Universities Announced the Appointments of Six Black Administrators

Scott Hamilton Adams was named university pastor at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. He is the first African American to hold the post. He was the assistant director of interfaith and ecumenical ministries at Loyola University Maryland and senior pastor of Heritage United Church of Christ in Baltimore.

Adams is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he majored in psychology. He holds a master of theology degree from Duke University’s School of Divinity and a master’s degree in theology from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

Olivia Lapeyrolerie was appointed chief communications officer for the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University. Most recently, she served as a vice president at SKDK, a progressive communications firm, where she advised many of the firm’s major nonprofit and advocacy clients.

Laperrolerie earned a master’s degree in modern history from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Kristi Smith was named associate vice chancellor of alumni and development at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She has worked in the alumni office since 2016. Earlier, she was the assistant to the dean of the Graduate School.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master of public administration degree from the University of Arkansas Little Rock.

Oliver M. Thomas has been named director of external affairs at North Carolina A&T State University. He has been serving in the position on an interim basis. Before joining the staff at North Carolina A&T in 2020, Thomas served as coordinator for Preparing Future Leaders for the graduate schools of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T. Earlier, he was assistant director of admissions and recruitment for the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Dr. Thomas graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A&T State University, where he majored in political science. He holds a master of divinity degree from Wake Forest University and a Ph.D. in educational studies with an emphasis on cultural foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Anne Edwards was appointed director of the Black Cultural Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She has been serving as the director of the Center for Black Studies at Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Edwards is a graduate of Purdue University, where she majored in hospitality and tourism management. She holds an MBA from Valparaiso University in Indiana and earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Paulette G. Curtis is the new associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of the Honors Program at Florida State University. She had been serving as a visiting scholar at Tulane University in New Orleans. Earlier, Dr. Curtis was assistant dean and interim associate dean of academic affairs in Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology.

Dr. Curtis holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University.


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