Former students were once asked to describe Dr. Cissy Petty; abruptly one piped up and said, “she’s a lightning bolt on two feet.” Lots of ways to look at this description!

Cissy has high energy, a drive to accomplish bold projects, a keen eye for the details. She would describe herself as a change agent, comfortable with intuitively seeing the potential in people, places, and things. She is also described as a relentless advocate for learning. Learning opens up the possibilities to imagine and re-imagine what can happen at any given moment. Maya Angelou, one of her favored authors, evokes this excellence in the following, “the horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.”

M.L. “Cissy” Petty is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Provost of Academic Affairs at Loyola University New Orleans. Cissy arrived at Loyola University New Orleans eight months after Katrina and the failure of the levees decimated New Orleans. “As a southerner, a change agent and having felt a calling, I wanted be a part of rebuilding this great American city; Loyola is the leader in putting faith into action.”

Cissy provides leadership for the development of programs and services that enhance both the curricular and co-curricular student experience. Prior to joining Loyola University New Orleans, she had the privilege of serving St. Lawrence University as Vice President and Dean of Students for Co- Curricular Education and Programming; was selected for a post-doctoral fellowship as the Upsilon Nu Chi Distinguished Scholar in Counseling at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; served as Dean for Student Development at Mississippi University for Women; and Director for Student Development at the University of North Carolina Asheville.

Cissy has a national presence with the three major student affairs professional organizations. Currently she serves on the Editorial Boards for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Books and Media Board; the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice; she also is a member of the NASPA Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year committee. She was recently selected to the Executive Board of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program and the ACPA Institutional Leadership Council Implementation Team. Her presentations are numerous on the national level regarding higher education administration and student development program implementation. She consults with a variety of non-profit leaders in education, business, and hospital administration.

For all her association engagement, she is most enthusiastic about serving the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA) as President through Spring, 2014.

Dr. Petty’s undergraduate and graduate degrees are from The Florida State University. Cissy was selected for a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship as the Distinguished Scholar in Counseling at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; selected for Harvard University’s Senior Institutional Management Program; completed her professional leadership coaching certification from Georgetown University; and most recently complete a two-year certificate of Spiritual Studies from St. Thomas University.