Four African Americans Taking on New Administrative Roles in Higher Education

Jame’l R. Hodges was appointed associate vice president of student success and engagement at Virginia State University. He was the assistant vice president for student affairs at Tennessee State University. Dr. Hodges previously served as director of multicultural affairs at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and coordinator of Greek life and education at California State Polytechnic University.

A graduate of Virginia State University, Dr. Hodges holds a master’s degree from Florida State University and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Lesley-Anne Pittard is the new assistant vice president for campus and community engagement at the University of Oregon. She was the chief liaison for external and strategic partnerships in the Equity and Inclusion Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Pittard is a graduate of Hampton University in Virginia, where she majored in English. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Virginia.

Robert Young was appointed associate director of annual giving at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He was the associate director of annual giving at Connecticut College.

Young is a 2014 graduate of Lafayette College, where he majored in film and media studies and women and gender studies.

Gus Ridgel has come out of retirement to serve as senior advisor to the president of Kentucky State University. In this role he will be responsible for all commencement and convocation ceremonies. He is the former vice president for finance and administration at Kentucky State.

Dr. Ridgel was one of the first Black students to enroll at the University of Missouri, when he entered the graduate program in economics in 1950. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin.


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