“What has really struck me since I’ve been here is the notion of radical hospitality; the community as a whole permeates the values it puts forward,” McMurdock said. “Every conversation has been led by this and it’s just wonderful.”
McMurdock said she is committed to the education of the whole person and wants to offer student programs that promote intellectual curiosity, a healthy lifestyle, global fluency and a commitment to service and action.
A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, McMurdock comes to the Mount from Marymount University in Virginia, where she served as vice president of student affairs for five years.
Earlier in her career, as dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, McMurdock launched initiatives for LGBT students, first-generation Latino scholars and co-led the creation of a student memorial on campus.
At the Mount, it’s important for her to provide an engaged and enlivened student experience to prepare them for life after their academic careers. “Let’s spark an excitement for lifelong learning and make sure our students thrive.”
McMurdock is now guiding the Mount’s Wellness Movement and launching Athenians Care, a health education campaign in response to COVID-19. “This primary initiative will explore holistic approaches to every aspect of health: mental, spiritual and physical,” she said. “I’ve always embraced the notion of holistic development, interdisciplinary approaches to innovative solutions.”
Lane Bove, senior vice president for student affairs at LMU, said McMurdock has all the attributes of a successful administrator: intrinsic motivation, good interpersonal skills, knowledge of and competence in the field and a good sense of humor. “Her greatest strength is her empathy for and understanding of students,” she said. McMurdock said success in her role means “delivering a transformational student experience, (helping them gain) a better understanding of self, of others and their gifts to the community.”
She added that the Mount is “a great place to be. I’m very happy to be here.”