Four Universitiies Annouce the Appointment of African Americans to Diversity Positions

Cerri A. Banks, vice president of student success and deputy to the senior vice president of the student experience at Syracuse University in New York, has been appointed to the interim leadership team to advance the university’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility priorities, and strategic planning efforts. She will be charged with implementing the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan. Dr. Banks came to Syracuse earlier this year after serving as dean of students and vice president for student affairs at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Dr. Banks earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, a master’s degree in cultural foundations of education, and a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education, all from Syracuse University.

Levon T. Esters, professor in the department of agricultural sciences education and communication at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has accepted a new position as the inaugural associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, and faculty affairs at the university’s Polytechnic Institute.

Dr. Esters is a graduate of Florida A&M University, where he majored in agricultural business. He earned a master’s degree in agricultural education and a Ph.D. in agricultural and extension education from Pennslyvania State University.

Wanda B. Knight is the inaugural assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. She had been serving as an associate professor of art education, African American studies, and women’s, gender, and sexualities studies at the university.

Dr. Knight is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, where she majored in art education. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan and a Ph.D. in art education from Ohio State University.

Katrice A. Albert was appointed vice president for institutional diversity at the University of Kentucky, effective September 27. She was executive vice president of inclusion and human resources for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Earlier in her career, she was the chief diversity officer at the University of Minnesota System and Louisiana State University.

Dr. Albert graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi and a doctoral degree in counseling psychology at Auburn University in Alabama.


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