Eight African American Appointed to Administrative Posts in Higher Education

Emily N. Dickens was appointed senior vice president, general counsel, and chief relationship officer for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She was vice president for public policy and executive director of the Center for Public Trusteeship and Governance of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Dickens holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and a law degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham.

Mark Jackson is the new executive director of program development in the Division of Advancement and External Affairs at Syracuse University in New York. He was an administrator of business and human resources for the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Jackson attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but transferred and earned a degree in management at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

Richard A. Law was hired as campus architect at Norfolk State University in Virginia. He had been employed with Dewberry, an engineering and architectural firm based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Law graduated from Hampton University’s School of Architecture in 2005. He will be working on several ongoing projects on the Norfolk State campus.

Kawanna Leggett was named the inaugural director of residential life at Washington University in St. Louis, effective March 20. She has been serving as director of residential education at the University of California, Berkeley.

Leggett is a graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas.

Courtney Owens was appointed interim assistant extension administrator and state specialist in program and staff development at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Owens worked in the Peace Crops as an agribusiness advisor in Burkina Faso in West Africa.

Dr. Owens holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in agricultural education from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida.

Kelly Oaks was named assistant vice president in the Office of Equity and Accessibility at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She was the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Hawaii Hilo.

Dr. Oaks is a graduate of Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and a Ph.D. in counselor education from Virginia Tech.

Miriam Merrill was named associate director of athletics and chief woman administrator at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. She is the former director of athletics at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago.

Merrill is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in communication and was an All-American in track. She holds a master’s degree in sport administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati and is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology of human movement from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Crystal Brown was appointed vice president of communications and chief communications officer at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She was the chief communications officer at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she majored in rhetoric and communications.



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