Three African Americans Appointed to Positions Relating to Diversity in Higher Education

Barbara J. Lawrence has been named vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and belonging at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Since 2021, she has been serving as the inaugural vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Rider University in New Jersey. She also was the first African American to serve as vice president at the cabinet level in Rider University’s 158-year history. Earlier, Lawrence served as vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A former New York City police officer, Lawrence is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. She holds a master of public administration degree from Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis and a juris doctorate from Indiana University.

Michael Snowden is the new chief diversity officer for Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville. Dr. Snowden has most recently served as the vice president of inclusion and diversity at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. Earlier, he served for nine years as chief diversity and Title IX officer for McNeese State University in Louisiana.

Dr. Snowden earned his undergraduate degree in business administration, a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration, all from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Lynette Yarger was appointed associate dean of equity and inclusion for the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University. She had been serving in the role on a part-time basis. A professor of information sciences and technology in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, Dr. Yarger joined Schreyer Honors College in 2019 as the assistant dean for equity and inclusion. She joined the university’s faculty in 2002.

Dr. Yarger is a graduate of Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where she majored in computer and information systems. She holds a master’s degree and doctoral degree both in computer information systems from Georgia State University.

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