CHICAGO, IL (April 1, 2021) – Shedd Aquarium, a leader in animal care, conservation, education and research, announces the election of six new senior executives to the aquarium’s Board of Trustees which includes Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Chicago State University President.

Zaldwaynaka Scott, president of Chicago State University.

“The dynamic group of leaders brings years of economic, cultural, social and community contributions that will bring great value not only to Shedd’s role in the healing and recovery of Chicago but also to informing and strengthening our future ambitions,” said Brain A. Kenney, chairman, president and CEO of GATX Corporation and Shedd Aquarium Board Chairman.

Scott serves as the President of Chicago State University as of 2018 and is considered a thought leader on issues of equity and access in higher education. In her time as President, she has overseen the development and advancement of student success initiatives, developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan and created a statewide, cross-sector Equity Working Group for Black Student Access and Success in Illinois’ Higher Education.

“Shedd Aquarium’s Board of Trustees is generous in so many ways, providing hard work, ideas, resources and connections that translate to meaningful and lasting impacts for Shedd and for Chicago,” said Bridget Coughlin PhD, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “We are thrilled to usher in new insights and contributions from six tremendous leaders, who are also passionate about animals and saving this blue planet.”

Shedd is governed by the Shedd Aquarium Society, composed of volunteer corporate, civic and community leaders that make up the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for governance oversight and fiduciary accountability, as outlined in the Society bylaws. The board provides strategic direction for institutional priorities through work in both governance and programmatic committees.

About Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium connects nature lovers and animal enthusiast with the aquatic animal world. Beluga encounters, beach clean-ups and 360 virtual dives with Caribbean reef sharks are all tools that deepen connections with wildlife and work toward this vision. For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

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Dr. Kristie L. Kenney, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Talladega College.

TALLADEGA, AL – Dr. Kristie L. Kenney, Talladega College’s vice president for institutional advancement, has been selected to participate in the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI). A new class of 32 exemplary, senior-level higher education professionals will participate in the 2021 MLI, a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

“I commend Dr. Kenney for being one of 32 higher education professionals in the nation selected to participate in the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College, who was a member of the 2000 Millennium Leadership Initiative. “Having completed the MLI, I understand and appreciate the value and lasting impact that this program can have on a participant’s life.”

MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.

Since MLI’s inception 22 years ago, 662 protégés have graduated from the program. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advanced significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.

In 2020, AASCU restructured MLI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 institution will also feature virtual programming – four meetings a month from March 17 to May 26. Additionally, it includes a tentative, in-person meeting in the fall. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

About AASCU
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. Theses are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. For more information, visit www.aascu.org.

The HBCU Campaign Fund would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Dr. Adena Williams Loston on the completion of her 14th year as President of St. Philip’s College located in San Antonio, Texas. She joined the SPC family on March 1, 2007, on the occasion of St. Philip’s 109th anniversary.

Adena Williams Loston, Ph.D., 14th president of St. Philip’s College.

Named as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund, Dr. Loston serves as president of the only college to be federally designated as a Historically Black College (HBC) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Prior to joining SPC, she previously served as the Director of Education and Special Assistant for Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Chief Education Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at its Headquarters in Washington, DC. Her initial appointment at NASA was as the Associate Administrator for Education on October 28, 2002, and prior to joining the Agency, she served as the NASA Administrator’s Senior Education Advisor starting in September 2002. As NASA’s senior education official, she was responsible for structuring the Office of Education, providing executive leadership, policy direction, functional management, and guidance in coordinating the Agency’s overall efforts to organize and enhance its education investments and portfolio nationally and internationally for its Headquarter operations, mission directorates and 10 field centers. Dr. Loston was responsible for a $230 million budget (including earmarks) and directed policy for $1.3 billion.

Recently, Dr. Loston was named to two local committees, serving on both The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) 2021 Executive Committee and Mayor Nirenberg Commission on the Status of Women. She has been a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for more than forty years. She is also a recipient of many awards, achievements, and recognition.

Dr. Loston is the product of a historically black college, Alcorn State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1973. She received her Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Bowling Green State University in 1974 and 1979 respectively. She also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University in 1996; the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University in 2001; and the Wharton School of Business in 2005.

Learn more about Dr. Adena Williams Loston here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

NASHVILLE, TN (Feb. 15, 2021) – The Board of Trustees of Fisk University have named Dr. Vann Newkirk Sr. as the 17th President of Fisk University effective immediately. “We have had the pleasure of observing Dr. Newkirk’s outstanding work both as Provost and as interim president, and this was a unanimous decision by the Board,” said Chair Frank L. Sims. Dr. Newkirk has been an essential part of the amazing momentum that Fisk has built over the past five years. The University is poised for an exceptional future and Dr. Newkirk’s experience and insight around new programming and sponsored research will be instrumental as Fisk continues to cement itself as a top 10 HBCU and pursue its goal of becoming a top 50 liberal arts university.

During these challenging time for higher education, Dr. Newkirk has proven a track record of innovation, according to a press release by the University. Dr. Newkirk has launched several highly successful new programs at Fisk including bioinformatics, data science and social justice. These programs have not only contributed to the tremendous growth in enrollment but also the increased academic caliber of Fisk’s incoming student body. In the last two years, Fisk has had three Rhodes Scholar finalists and set numerous records for student outcomes.

Dr. Newkirk’s vision includes increasing enrollment, developing elite programs, expanding corporate partnerships, improving student outcomes, and building national awareness around Fisk’s outstanding results.

“I am deeply honored to serve as President of Fisk University and I am confident the best times are still to come for this remarkable institution,” said Dr. Newkirk.

Coupled with his vision, Dr. Newkirk brings a deep appreciation for the importance of financial stability and maintaining a sustainable enterprise.

“Fisk has finished consecutive years with an operational surplus and is really bucking the trend on a host of fronts in large part due to the leadership of Dr. Newkirk,” said Frank L. Sims.

Dr. Newkirk received his doctorate in history from Howard University and has been a proven leader in higher education for more than 20 years. Dr. Newkirk served as Provost for three years at Elizabeth City State University before joining the Fisk team as Provost in 2018 and serving as Interim President for the past 6 months. Dr. Newkirk has held numerous senior administrative and academic positions throughout his outstanding career. In addition to his administrative accomplishments, Dr. Newkirk is also a published scholar.

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Colby College has announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees. These individuals will bring to the board their unique expertise and perspectives in education, management, and national affairs, bolstering the College’s commitment to deliver a world-class education to an ever-more diverse student body and equip graduates with the deep skills necessary to have a profound impact on the world.

Joining the board as corporate trustees are Brenda Allen, president of Lincoln University; Eric DeCosta ’93, executive vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Ravens; and Amy Walters ’91, Litt.D. ’17 national editor of The Cook Political Report. They will each serve a four-year term.

Brenda A. Allen, Ph.D., 14th President of Lincoln University.

Brenda A. Allen is the 14th president of Lincoln University in Pennslyvania, the country’s first-degree granting historically black college and university (HBCU) institution. A respected leader, effective administrator, and successful fundraiser, Allen is implementing a strategic plan at Lincoln to cement the university’s place among outstanding liberal arts institutions. Her priorities include enhancing academic quality and improving operational effectiveness. Prior to joining Lincoln in 2017, she served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Winston-Salem State University. Previously, she was associate provost and director of institutional diversity at Brown University, raising nearly $15 million to support diversity goals and leading efforts that culminated in 36-percent and 45-percent increases in the number of women and minority faculty members, respectively. Earlier, at Smith College, she held administrative positions, rose through the ranks to full professor, and chaired the African American Studies Program.

Allen has been named one of Philadelphia’s most influential African American leaders by the Philadelphia Tribune, and just last month, one of the ten most dominant HBCU leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Lincoln University and an M.S. in experimental psychology and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University.

Click here to read more about the elected members.

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About Colby College
Chartered in 1813, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts, Colby is the 12th oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Since its founding the College has pioneered several important initiatives in higher education. For more information, visit www.colby.edu.

About Lincoln University
Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. For more information, visit www.lincoln.edu.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College has named Dr. Kristie L. Kenney as its vice president for institutional advancement. Her tenure at the College begins March 8, 2021, according to a press release by the College.

Dr. Kristie L. Kenny

Dr. Kenney will provide leadership and direction through the planning, organization, coordination, and implementation of the College’s development programs. Her responsibilities will include leading the advancement team in carrying out the institution’s goals and funding priorities as determined by the College’s mission and vision. She will report to the president.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kenney to our senior leadership team,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College. “She brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, development, and alumni relations, and has the vision and expertise to elevate our advancement efforts.”

Dr. Kenney previously served as director of alumni giving for Christian City, Inc., in Union City, Georgia, where she increased annual giving, donors retention, and employee giving. Prior to joining Christian City, she served as executive director of JSU (Jackson State University) Development Foundation, Inc., where she managed its $52 million assets operation, $3.5 million annual contributions, $17 million endowment, and $1.2 million operational budget.

Dr. Kenney holds a Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University, a master of science in Higher Education – College Administration and Leadership from Purdue University Global, and a bachelor of science in Agricultural Business from Tennessee State University. She also earned a certificate in fundraising management from the Center for Philanthropy at Indianan University.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCU in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has announced its inaugural Emerging Higher Ed Professionals Award recognition that identifies a generation of higher education professionals who demonstrate leadership and a drive to grow professionally. The individuals must serve a historically black college and university (HBCU) or Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI).

The recognition honors professionals who are inspiring others by demonstrating a commitment to the value, mission, and vision of the student affairs space, prioritizing a steadfast commitment to student success through their work, and positively impacting, engaging, and supporting their division and the campus community.

“Each of the recipients has had an impressive career and a wealth of experience as a higher education professional. They also continue to make an impact on the important mission and have met the characteristics of what defines an emerging professional,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., president and CEO, Founder at HBCU Campaign Fund. “I am extremely proud of their continued work and commitment of support for students on a daily basis, to the higher education space, and in the HBCU community. It is an honor to recognize their work and observe their progressive growth throughout their careers.”

Recipients will be granted the opportunity to participate in year-long professional development activities, including mentoring, continuing education opportunities, leadership skills, development, and networking with other senior leaders. Senior leaders will be identified from honorees who are president and chancellor recipients of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award by HCF.

Support is appreciated to assist with professional development activities for the recipients; click here to make a financial gift to the organization.

Click here to view the inaugural recipients of the 2021 Emerging Higher Ed Professional Award.

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr. will participate in the Educate Me Foundation’s HBCU Teachers Fair as a panelist on the HBCUs Matter discussion. This event will begin 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. (EST) on January 27.

Briggs will join the panel alongside with Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, president of Norfolk State University; Dr. Jacqueline Gibson-Preastly, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success at Southern University, Baton Rouge; Dr. Jame’l Hodges, Vice President for Student Success and Engagement at Edward Waters College; Dr. Susan Powell, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Jackson State University; and Dr. Parris Carter, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

The HBCU Teachers Fair is designed to create an opportunity for current HBCU students majoring in education and HBCU alums to secure employment opportunities, network with other attendees, meet with schools, and learn from the guest speakers’ panelists to grow their teacher skill sets.

“I am honored to be a panelist for the outstanding event. Indeed, HBCUs matter now, before, and for our future,” said Briggs.

There will be over 500 educators and 70 different school systems from across the United States joining the Educate Me Foundation for the HBCU Teachers Fair.

Click here to register

Educate ME Foundation inspires interest and exposure to pursuing a career in education through engagement in high school. Through mentorship, the foundation develops and assists a cohort of students in college.

Earlier this month, President Briggs was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Briggs was selected for his prominent and influential role in leadership and effectiveness in moving an institution forward.

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About the Educate ME Foundation, Inc.
Educate ME Foundation, Inc. is a social enterprise determined to increase the number of men and women of color in the field of education. The organizaion seek to change the education system by creating a continuum for men and women of color to grow, achieve, and succeed from high school to career. For more information, visit www.edcomhq.com.

Dr. Brenda A. Allen, president of Lincoln University

(WEST CHESTER, PA) – Lincoln University President Brenda A. Allen will address the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Roundtable on January 26 at 6 p.m.

President Allen will share how she leads through a crisis and the ability to persist. Attendees will have time to engage with each other in several breakout sessions.

As Lincoln University’s 14th president, Allen has been aggressively implementing a strategic plan designed to ensure Lincoln’s place among great liberal arts institutions. The plan builds upon the university’s strong legacy of using the liberal arts as the vehicle for producing world leaders who are globally engaged and committed to social justice.

The GWCC Women’s Roundtable Series, sponsored by Miles Financial Management, Inc., connects attendees with extraordinary female speakers from the Greater West Chester regions and presents unique networking for professional women.

“Dr. Allen is an inspiring woman that has faced man challenges in her life head-on, and I, as well as many other, am eager to learn from her experiences,” said Melissa Hawes, Founder of Miles Financial Management, Inc. “We are happy to sponsor such a great and well-rounded series as the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Roundtable.”

The Women’s Roundtable event is open to members and non-members; registration is required. Registration is $10 for Greater West Chester Chamber of Commence members and $20 for non-member. Those who want to attend but can’t afford to may select the complimentary ticket option.

Click here to register

“The chamber is proud to feature Dr. Allen as this month’s Women’s Roundtable speaker,” said Dave Fairman, interim President of GWCC. “Her inspirational story will certainly resonate with our guest.”

Earlier this month, President Allen was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Allen was selected for her prominent and influential role in leadership and effectiveness in moving an institution forward.

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About Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commence (GWCC) is a membership-based not-for-profit business organization, centrally located in the heart of Chester County, PA. GWCC is devoted to serving businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers in the greater West Chester region by providing advocacy, resources, and opportunities to its member and the community. For more information, visit https://greaterwestchester.com.

Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College

COLUMBIA, SC – Congressman James E. Clyburn has announced that Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis has been appointed to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). The NACIQI advises the Secretary of Education on the establishment and enforcement of the standards of academic accreditation and on the eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher educations.

Congressman Clyburn nominated Dr. Artis for the appointment, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advanced her nomination to fill one of the six seats on the NACIQI.

“I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Artis will join the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Dr. Artis is a fierce advocate for educational access, and I am confident in her ability to advocate for positive and strategic transformation. She is a trailblazer, shattering the glass ceiling twice as the first female President of two collegiate institutions in the United States. I am pleased she will have the opportunity to use her experiences to continue advocating for colleges and universities that serve underrepresented men and women of color,” said Congressman Clyburn.


“It is my great honor to serve as a committee member for NACIQI,” said Dr. Artis. “I am deeply grateful to House Majority Whip, Congressman Clyburn and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for my nomination and appointment to this role. Higher education institutions are vitally important to the fabric of America as they provide the skilled workforce that drives our nation’s economy and stimulate the development of new knowledge to fuel innovation. It is critically important for these institutions to operate with the highest standards of quality and integrity. I am pleased to serve alongside my fellow NACIQI committee members to ensure that these measures of excellence are met throughout the higher education community.”

Dr. Artis’ four year appointment will commence immediately.

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