New Administrative Positions in Higher Education for Nine Women

Kristina Wong Davis is the inaugural vice provost for enrollment management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She was vice provost for enrollment management at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Before her role at Purdue, Dr. Wong Davis served as director of admissions for the University of California, San Diego and as director of outreach and recruitment for Ohio State University.

Dr. Wong Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arizona. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Marcia Walker-McWilliams was named executive director of the Tulane History Project at Tulane University in New Orleans. In this role, she will develop a detailed history of Tulane with respect to its racial history and founding, including the impacts of slavery and segregation.  The university’s roots date back to 1834 with the founding of the Medical College of Louisiana. Dr. Walker-McWilliams was most recently executive director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium at the University of Chicago. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming The New Civil Rights Movement Reader: Resistance, Resilience and Justice (University of Massachusetts Press, 2023).

Dr. Walker-McWilliams holds a bachelor’s degree in social policy and African American studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She earned a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Chicago.

Leandra Davis has been named the new executive director for the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction at the California Institute of Technology. Davis joins Caltech after spending more than 15 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she most recently led the planning, design, and construction group in the School of Engineering.

Davis is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she majored in interior design. She earned a master’s degree in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michelle Thackray is the new associate vice president for operational excellence and engagement at Rice University in Houston.  She was the director of strategy and assessment at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Thackray is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University. She obtained her master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial organizational psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Melissa Hodge-Penn has been named associate vice chancellor for research and economic development at North Carolina A&T State University. She was assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs at the University of Mississippi.

A native of Atlanta, Dr. Hodge-Penn received a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University in Louisiana. She holds a master’s degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi.

Boston University announced the appointment of Siobhan Dullea as the new executive director of Innovate@BU. Founded in 2017, Innovate@BU is a training ground for creative, entrepreneurial student ventures and projects. Dullea was president and CEO of MassChallenge, a nonprofit start-up accelerator and network connecting entrepreneurs, experts, corporations, and communities.

Dullea is a graduate of Boston University, where she majored in political science and business administration.

Karla C. Lewis has been named the associate director of state and community relations at the SERVE Center of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to this role, she focused on evaluations of Early College high school projects, student support services, and STEM initiatives at the university.

Dr. Lewis is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she majored in sociology. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Karen Julian is the first woman to serve as chief information officer at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has been serving as interim CIO for the past six months. Earlier she was associate vice president and chief data officer for the enterprise data and services department for the university’s Innovation and Technology Services division.

Julian holds a bachelor’s degree in business and finance and an MBA from St. Thomas University.

Andrea Simpson will serve as chief information security officer at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She was the chief information security officer at the Federal Communications Commission.

Simpson holds a master’s degree in information systems and telecommunications from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Filed Under: Appointments


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