A Trio of Women Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Tekita R. Bankhead has been named executive director for support programs in the Division of Access, Diversity, and Inclusion at Mississippi State University. She most recently served as director of the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois.

Bankhead is a graduate of Mississippi University for Women, where she majored in nursing. She holds a master’s degree in counselor education from Mississippi State University and is pursuing a doctorate in higher education policy, organization, and leadership from the University of Illinois.

Sonia Rucker, formerly an associate director of diversity and inclusion in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, will return to Cornell as the associate vice president of the department of inclusion and belonging. She has been serving as vice president of equity, access, and behavioral health and the dean of students at Southeast Missouri State University.

Rucker holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences recently welcomed Felysha Jenkins as its first diversity, equity, and inclusion program manager. Previously, she was a program associate for the graduate school at North Carolina State University and an early college outreach coordinator at Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee.

Dr. Jenkins earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. in psychology from North Carolina State University.

Filed Under: AppointmentsDiversity


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