Five African Americans Taking on New Administrative Duties in Higher Education

Wanda A. Wright, former director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and a 21-year veteran of the Arizona National Guard, has been named director of Arizona State University’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement. She will take on her new duties on June 1.

A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Wright earned a master’s degree in educational leadership at Arizona State University. She also holds an MBA from Webster University in Missouri and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona.

Shawan Baptiste has been named director of bands at Texas College in Tyler. She has been serving as the director of bands for the Dekalb County School District in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Baptiste earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Texas College in 2009. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Chancey Page is the new director of residential education and student services operations at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey. Before joining Stockton, he served as the interim assistant director of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the assistant director of campus life at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.

Page earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Centenary University in Hackettstown, New Jersey. He holds a master’s degree in higher education leadership and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education leadership from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Branville Bard Jr. was chosen as the inaugural chief of the Johns Hopkins University Police Department. Since 2021, he has been serving as vice president for public safety. Prior to working at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bard spent 24 years working for the Philadelphia Police Department and served as chief of the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department. He subsequently served as the police commissioner in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Bard holds a master’s degree in public safety management from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He earned a master’s degree in criminal justice and a doctor of public administration degree from Valdosta State University in Georgia.

Evelyn Rucker has been named director of intercultural affairs at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. A native of Mobile, Alabama, she had been serving as the interim director since September 2022. Rucker began her career in student affairs at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

Rucker holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

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