Women's History Month Spotlight: VU Assistant Vice President of Lifelong Learning and VU Alumna Shanni Simmons

Shanni Simmons headshot

March 22, 2024

Vincennes University is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the exceptional women who contribute to our university community. These inspiring leaders include trailblazing educators and visionary administrators who motivate us to support each other, rise together, and create a future where every individual's potential is realized. Through this series, we honor and recognize the strength, achievements, and service of VU's women leaders. Together, we strive to foster a culture of encouragement and inspiration.

Shanni Simmons is an excellent example of the deep connection and dedication alumni have toward their alma mater. She graduated from Vincennes University in 1994 and is now the VU Assistant Vice President of Lifelong Learning. After earning an associate degree in Accounting from VU, Simmons pursued a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Leadership Theory from Franklin University. Her extensive knowledge and understanding of effective leadership principles, practices, and strategies have enabled her to make significant strides in empowering and inspiring those around her. Simmons continues to foster positive change at VU and beyond, using her expertise to create better futures for Trailblazers.

 Tell us about your VU current role and what you enjoy about it.

"I have been Assistant Vice President of Lifelong Learning for eight years. I love so many things about my role at VU. I am fortunate to work with such a strong team that cares so much about our students. It is a joy coming in each day to such a positive team. VU is a great place to work because we have a close-knit community, and you really can see the difference we make in students’ lives. My job is to work with online education, which is always changing. I find the changing technology and practices keep me learning, and I never have a dull day."

What does Women's History Month mean to you?

"I believe that Women's History Month is so important to show the future generations the significant and courageous contributions that women have made. These women should be remembered for the actions they took to better women's lives."

Share with us a woman who has inspired you in your life/career.

"There are so many women that inspire me. Fighting for the right to vote, equal wages, etc. The person who inspired my life and career most was my mother. She was a very strong person who believed women could be anything they dream of. My mother did not set boundaries on my opinions or dreams, and I thrived because of it."

How do you strive to set an example for the next generation of women leaders?

"I think it is important to be a change agent. No matter how big the obstacle is, one person leading change will create an avalanche of change. It may not all change at once but for each person you touch, that is one more person who will affect that change. The opportunity to make big changes is rare, but small changes can happen every day. To me, it is important to be part of the community to work on something you are passionate about, and that can make it better for the next generation of women leaders."

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