Three Women Taking on New Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Anita Fernández was named the inaugural chief diversity officer at Prescott College in Arizona. Dr. Fernández most recently served as director of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Organizing program at Prescott College. She is currently the director and assistant dean at the Tucson campus of Prescott College.

Dr. Fernández is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, where she majored in English. She holds a master’s degree in teacher education and a Ph.D. in language, reading, and culture from the University of Arizona.

Shawna Patterson-Stephens has been hired as the vice president and chief diversity officer at Central Michigan University. She is associate vice chancellor of student affairs and director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She will begin her new role on June 1.

Dr. Patterson-Stephens earned a bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University. She holds a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Michigan State University and a doctorate in higher education from Florida State University.

J. Goosby Smith has been named the inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She currently is an associate professor of leadership, associate professor of management, and assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Dr. Smith received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Spelman College in Atlanta. She earned an MBA and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University.

Filed Under: Appointments


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