Shay Little, Ph.D, is ready to “Engage with passion”

Andy Cole

STATESBORO — June 1 marks a new day for Georgia Southern’s division of student affairs; Shay Little, Ph.D, will be returning to the GS family, not as an eagle parent, but as the vice president for student affairs.

“I was a real active [college] student,” said Little. “And someone said, ‘Well, you know you can work with students and stay on the campuses.”

That, according to Little, is what led her into the master’s program and began her official collegiate career.

“I’ve worked in student life, my whole career on different college campuses,” said Little. “To me, there’s nothing better than being in that environment around students. You guys keep me young.”

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all of the candidates for the job were forced to interview in an unusual way: virtually. According to Little, usually universities will fly a finalist out to interview in-person. Not this time.

“It was very strange to be in your own house, interviewing all day, having all these different zoom links to log into, to meet these different groups,” said Little. “I’ll always remember that part of it for sure.”

Taking this job is a homecoming of sorts for Little who was once an eagle parent. Her daughter, Aulrbi, is a GS graduate herself.

Little remembers dropping her off, watching her perform in the marching band and, of course, the infamous Statesboro heat. Little never imagined being back less than a decade later.

Little expressed excitement for her new role and joining an already stellar division. She looks forward to bringing her passion for students and their extra curricular lives to GS.

That’s what Little wants to be known for — engaging with passion.

“I want students to know that they can count on me to be engaged, to be involved, to be at events, to be listening, to be present, to be a partner in their experience. I would say the same thing to the staff and faculty that I would work with,” said Little. “And to do that with a passion and a love for the college environment and this institution, and what the Georgia Southern experience truly means for students.”

Little encourages students to follow her on Twitter @Shay_Little and reach out to her via email at 

Andy Cole, Managing Editor for News Coverage,