Profile of the Week: HHSP New Director Marsha McGriff

By: Crystal Hill

Courtesy of Indiana University

Former IUPUI student services director/advisor Marsha McGriff has been appointed as the new director of IU’s treasured Hudson and Holland Scholarship Program. According to The IU News Room, she takes her new position on October 15.

HHSP was originally founded in 1987 as the Minority Achievers Program, which initially was a program designed to recruit intelligent, bright, and academically successful students from minority backgrounds. The program was renamed in fall 2004 after Herman C. Hudson and James P. Holland because of their significant contributions to IU Bloomington.

McGriff, who also served as a teacher in the Indianapolis Kelly School of Business, received her Bachelors from Tuskegee University in political science in ‘93 and then went on to get her Masters in education in ‘97.

McGriff’s passion for mentorship stems from her experience in being mentored by the late Dr. Lawrence Hanks at Tuskegee.

“Dr. Hanks gave me my ‘aha’ moment”, McGriff said, “He gave me the sense that there were no barriers and that anything was attainable. I could be whatever I wanted to be. That was the defining moment of my life”

From then on, McGriff knew she wanted to be in a position where she could help and inspire students the same way Dr. Hanks had inspired her. After becoming a director of the Nina Scholars program at IUPUI, McGriff found that she had a gift and a passion for mentoring students.

“It was at the Nina Scholars Program that I really began to actualize my passions there because I could relate so well with the students, they became like my children,” McGriff said, “The program was so successful that many of the students went on to pursue a higher education, that’s the power of mentorship.”

Because of her own personal experiences in college, and the experiences she had at her previous jobs, McGriff understands the importance of mentorship to students and plans to take it seriously as the new Director of Hudson and Holland.

“I want the Hudson and Holland Scholars to feel the same focus and commitment to their success that Dr. Hanks showed me when I was in school. I want the students to come into the building knowing that we [the Hudson and Holland staff] are your partners in your success.”

McGriff has a clear vision for the future of HHSP. She plans to build upon external relations, organize more fundraisers to raise more money, and began to construct a Hudson and Holland Alumni Association; but above all, McGriff plans to create a sustainability model to ensure that HHSP continues to thrive and be made available to minority students.

“A program like this [Hudson and Holland] has to exist because I fear that if it doesn’t, our plight and our uniqueness will be lost forever”, McGriff said. “Many of the students in this program are 1st and 2nd generation students that have no real lineage of education in their families; they need to be nurtured so that they can grow, given tools that will help them successfully navigate these waters, and afforded opportunities that will strategically push them through the pipeline of success.”

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