67° Galesburg
Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student


This poll has ended.

Student Senate recently passed a bylaw requiring a club representative at senate meetings. They have since paused the bylaw. Are you in favor of it?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Student Development at Knox: Dr. MarQuita Barker’s First Eight Months


Over the summer, Dr. MarQuita Barker, Vice President of Student Development since January 2022, proposed an initiative for air conditioning to be installed in dorms with common areas. Previously, Dr. Barker worked at Elon University, working in diversity education and residence life. She also held positions at Old Dominion University for residence life and at Hampton University for student access. 

“I’m from North Carolina so the idea of not having AC is mind blowing to me,” Dr. Barker said. “I know that we’re in Illinois, so the weather is different, but I believe that students need to be comfortable where they are. You can’t strive and thrive in your academics if you’re not comfortable where you live, if you’re not eating and taking care of yourself.”

As Vice President of Student Development, students’ wants and needs are a priority for Dr. Barker.

“I always tell people that the reason I got into higher education was so I could help students,” Dr. Barker said. “My job as VP is to set a vision for student development and make long term plans about what I want to see happen.”

Dr. Barker previously worked as the assistant dean of campus life and director of residence life at Elon University.

“At my previous institution, I was an assistant dean that oversaw residential life and some other areas, but I knew I could do more and I wanted to impact students in a different way,” Dr. Barker said.

Dr. Barker attends many meetings with students and faculty every day, but she wants students to know that she’s not just an administrator in an office.

“I think sometimes students might see me as an ‘administrator’ and obviously I am, but I’m really approachable. I’m nice and friendly, and I love dealing with students. When they see me around campus, I hope that they feel free to say hey, I hope that they feel free to stop by my office,” Dr. Barker said.

Dr. Barker is also a resource for students. Dr. Barker primarily oversees student needs outside of the classroom.

“I oversee Counseling, Health Services, the Dean of Students Office, Campus Life, Intercultural Life, and a bunch of other areas, so if students are having any questions outside of the classroom, I’m a good place to start. Any issue that a student has, I’m usually good at being able to direct them where they need to go,” Dr. Barker said.

Dr. Barker earned a B.S. in Communications and M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; an M.B.A. from Elon University in Elon, North Carolina; and an Ed.D. in Leadership and Learning in Organizations from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. MarQuita wrote her doctoral research on, ‘Residential Colleges and Their Impact on Students’ Sense of Belonging.’

“I love the idea of being connected to a small institution where students get a lot of one-on-one attention,” Dr. Barker said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jenna Schweikert
Jenna Schweikert, EIC-In-Training
Jenna Schweikert '25 (she/they) is a journalism and political science double major. They are the Editor-In-Chief In-Training for The Knox Student. In her free time, she enjoys dancing in her room to Taylor Swift records. You can most often find Jenna writing in the Gizmo or attending Terp rehearsals in CFA. Awards: Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 3rd Place Column
Theodore Hazen Kimbale Memorial Award in Journalism - Feature article, 2022

Comments (0)

All The Knox Student Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *