From the president

Adalheid "Heidi" Crum is a non-traditional student who completed her Regents Bachelor of Arts in 2021 with an area of emphasis on Human Services. She is set to earn her master's degree in Higher Education Administration this semester and is beginning a PhD Program in the same field this fall. As someone who grew up in state care, her academic focus and personal passion is improving higher education outcomes for youth coming from the foster care system. Heidi currently works at a congregant wardship facility in Missouri where she will do her PhD research and complete her proposed Newman Civic Project. Heidi is inspired to work with this population because she sees this as the most vulnerable and marginalized group in the United States. Her vision is to create a strong, sturdy bridge between ending foster care and entering higher education for those who desire that path.

E. Gordon Gee


West Virginia University


Personal Statement

As a transient, wardship experienced little girl, I couldn't wait until I might not have to tell this part of my story anymore. Aging out of state custody meant trying to obtain adulthood readiness while grieving a childhood I longed for; one of stability, love, and attachment. When I learned the statistical outcomes of wardship experienced individuals like me included a pipeline to prison, next generation wardship, and early death, and did not include a high chance of making to college, my anger compelled me to complete my undergraduate degree. At West Virginia University, my professors and classmates invested in me; they listened to my insecurities, saw my seemingly invisible barriers, and offered both structure and validation that this part of my story is in fact worth sharing. My deeply personal anguish with systemic, structural barriers has been molded by my collegiate experience. Currently, I serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) while also examining current structural and systemic influences affecting relationship outcomes between congregant wardship and higher education. I endeavor to continue the WVU legacy: to validate and support higher education candidates who also have wardship experience.

Adalheid (Heidi) Crum

Higher Education Administration

West Virginia University