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First Lady's Biography

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Lion fountain with blue skies on Kaufman Mall.

First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D.

Old Dominion University's First Lady Marisela Rosas Hemphill, Ph.D. is a true champion of education. As a bilingual and passionate speaker, First Lady Hemphill is a strong proponent of providing individual students with global experiences and diverse interactions through a variety of cultures and languages, which are so important in today's economy. Additionally, as an avid reader, she has a strong passion for literacy.

Dr. Rosas Hemphill spent her childhood years in Chicago, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. A first-generation college student, she received a bachelor's degree in International Business and Sociology from Cornell College, a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a doctorate in Student Affairs Administration and Research from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Rosas Hemphill's professional career includes prior appointments as: Director of Student Activities/Associate Director of Campus Life at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York; Associate Dean of Students at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York; and Special Assistant to the Vice President of University Relations at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Dr. Rosas Hemphill's scholarly research has been focused on college student activism, learning outcomes, and first-generation college students.

Dr. Rosas Hemphill is married to the love of her life, Dr. Brian O. Hemphill, ODU's ninth president. The Hemphills have two children, 9-year old twins Catalina and Cruz. The Hemphill family resides in the Jacobson House. In looking forward to being very active on campus and in the community, the Hemphills truly enjoy attending a variety of events in support of their fellow Monarchs, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and community members.