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Chester Native Chosen Director of Alumni Programs

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 In April, R. Sylvester Owens will start his new position as director of alumni programs.
 The Chester, S.C., native is a 2003 graduate of Winthrop who is pursuing a master's degree in counseling at the university.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - R. Sylvester Owens joined the Office of Alumni Relations in April as the new director of alumni programs. Previously, he worked for three years at Clinton Junior College, first as its registrar and academic advisor and then as enrollment manager/community outreach coordinator.

Owens will oversee a variety of alumni interest groups, including the Winthrop Alumni Admissions Volunteers (WAAV) and the Alumni Career Network. He also will supervise the Student Alumni Council.

"Sylvester is a wonderful addition to the Alumni Relations team," said Debbie Garrick, executive director of Alumni Relations. "His experience in working with student groups and the community, along with his experiences in higher education, will serve as wonderful resources for our future programming initiatives."

A 2003 graduate of Winthrop with a degree in history, Owens will earn a second degree, master’s degree in counseling and development, from Winthrop in May. The Chester, S.C., native was active during his college years with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and as treasurer with the Student Government Association.

Owens said he is excited for the opportunity to work with Alumni Relations. "My experience at Winthrop has afforded me countless opportunities; it is an honor to give back to my alma mater," he said.

He is a former board member of A Place for Hope, Inc. to help the Blackmon Road community near Rock Hill. Owens is alumni chapter president of his fraternity and undergraduate chapter co-advisor, member of the American School Counselor Association, outreach chairman of the Rock Hill/York County MLK Taskforce and member of the Winthrop University Black Alumni Club and the Student-South Carolina Education Association.

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