OUS opens lactation room for campus mothers, makes other family-friendly changes

Viviane Vallance, new OUS director of external relations, with her young daughter in the new Lactation Room.

IRONTON – Ohio University Southern Campus (OUS) recently opened a new, dedicated Lactation Room for new campus mothers. The space was designed to add a comfortable, private and quite space for nursing mothers.

New OUS Director of External Relations Viviane Vallance said, “As a working mother, having a Lactation Room is very reassuring for me, and I can continue providing for my two-month-old daughter.” Vance added, “In today’s modern society, all businesses should take note. We have a duty to accommodate our diverse workforce when needed and OUS has gone above and beyond.”

Dean Nicole Pennington worked with campus staff to identify space after recognizing the need to provide new moms a private and comfortable location to pump or breastfeed. Having been a non-traditional student when she was pursuing her education as a new mother, she identifies with the issues that new moms face while pursuing their own education. “I understand, first-hand, the challenges many of our students face while juggling families and jobs while they pursue their education.” She added, “We are always looking for ways to make our campus as family-friendly so that we can support students while they are pursuing their goals.”

Dean Pennington has a long history of supporting new mothers. Her professional background includes years of experience as a maternal-child health nurse.

Director of Facilities Management Adam Riehl explained that in addition to the new Lactation room, OUS also has baby changing stations on the first floor of every building in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. Adding the changing stations to the men’s restrooms is also a recent addition to the campus. Family restrooms are available on the first floor of the Dingus Center and the third floor of the Riffe Center.

“Dean Pennington has made a special effort to make our campus and facilities family-friendly,” Riehl said, “Through the repurposing of existing space for the Lactation Room and the addition of changing station equipment in the existing men’s restrooms, we have been able execute this vision in an effective and economical manner. I think it has turned out quite nice and, as a father, is a fabulous addition to our campus.”

The Lactation Room, Riffe Center 155A, is available by request. Mothers wishing to use the space should see the Administration Office staff, 2nd floor of Riffe Center, for further details and access.