Javaune Adams-Gaston Elected President of Norfolk State University

Javaune Adams-Gaston has been elected president of Norfolk State University in Virginia. The historically Black university enrolls about 5,300 students. African Americans make up 85 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Dr. Adams-Gaston has had a 30-year career in higher education. Currently, she serves as senior vice president and affiliate assistant professor at Ohio State University. In 2009, she became the first African-American woman to be named vice president for student life at Ohio State. Before that, she served as associate dean of academic affairs, faculty member, executive director of the Career Center, equity administrator, psychologist, and the first African-American assistant athletic director at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Adams-Gaston has also served as a graduate faculty member at Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to her roles at Ohio State, Dr. Adams-Gaston serves on the board of trustees for the University of Dubuque in Iowa, the board of governors of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, the board of governors of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the board of Campus Partners for Community Redevelopment, the board of directors of the American Red Cross of Central Ohio, the NASPA Foundation board, and the board of the YWCA Columbus.

Dr. Adams-Gaston is the recipient of numerous awards including The Pillar of the Profession from NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education; the Diamond Honoree Award, the highest honor of the American College Personnel Association; Alumnus of Distinction-Hall of Fame by the University of Dubuque; the President’s Distinguished Service Award and the Outstanding Woman’s Award from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Adams-Gaston is a graduate of the University of Dubuque where she majored in biology, psychology, and general science. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University.

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