Liz Okuma, Ph.D., joined Hiram College in 1998 as an area coordinator in the Office of Residential Education. Throughout the next 15 years, she assumed progressively responsible positions as the director of residence life; director of residential, citizenship, and commuter education; assistant dean of students; associate dean of students, and associate vice president for student affairs.
In 2014, Dr. Okuma was appointed as Hiram’s vice president and dean of students. In this position, she supervises: athletics; campus safety; career and academic development; citizenship education; campus involvement; diversity and inclusion; health, counseling, and disability services; international, commuter, and transfer student services; residential education; conferencing; and special events. She also co-chairs Hiram’s Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Since joining Hiram, Dr. Okuma has served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and helped to oversee construction of several new buildings, including: the new dining hall; a 104-bed, suite-style residence hall; and a 26-unit townhouse complex. She also re-organized the campus judicial system, created a peer judicial board, and formed a Commuter Lounge space to enhance commuter students’ connection to campus.
Dr. Okuma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary and secondary education from Bowling Green State University, a Master of Education degree in higher education from the University of Georgia, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in education leadership and human resources from Colorado State University. While enrolled at the University of Georgia, Dr. Okuma managed the Olympic Village for the 1996 games in Atlanta and interned at The Ohio State University for orientation and conference services. Throughout her career, Dr. Okuma has presented at, and held positions on, regional and national professional organizations. She has also taught various courses, including: freshman colloquium, leadership development, and money management skills. Dr. Okuma is also a certified ropes course instructor.