New Administrative Appointments in Higher Education for Five African Americans

Gloria Johnson-Cusack was appointed senior advisor to the president at Florida International University in Miami. She is chair of the board of trustees of the Silicon Valley-based Firelight Foundation supporting community organizations in Africa. She is also a part-time lecturer for the graduate program in nonprofit management at Columbia University in New York City.

Johnson-Cusack is a graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in political science and African studies. She holds a master’s degree in executive management from American University in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Ballard II is the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for campus life at Iowa State University. For the past eight years, he has served in diversity-related posts at the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Oklahoma State University, and Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana.

Ballard holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Oklahoma State University and a master’s degree in adult and higher education administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Maria Ramirez was appointed the director of equity initiatives for the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She joined the staff at the university earlier this year as the assistant director of faculty development and diversity.

Ramirez is a graduate of Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, where she majored in history and secondary education. She holds a master’s degree in higher education administration from New York University.

Cornell B. LeSane II has been appointed the inaugural vice provost for enrollment management at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. LeSane currently serves as the vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he has been since 2014.

Lesane earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hampton University in Virginia. He holds a master of public management degree, with a focus in higher education leadership, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Samba Dieng is the new senior internationalization officer and executive director of International Programs for the Office of Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University. He has been serving as the director of International Students and Scholars within the Office of International Affairs at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

A native of Dakar, Senegal, Dieng earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He holds a master’s degree in political science and international relations from Indiana State University.

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