Nine Women Who Have Been Appointed to Administrative Posts at Colleges and Universities

Chrissy Downwind was promoted to vice president for American Indian student success at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College in Minnesota.  In this inaugural role, Downwind becomes the first American Indian woman to hold a vice president position at a four-year university campus in the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities. Since 2020 she has served as the executive director of the American Indian Resource Center.

Downwind earned a bachelor’s degree in Indian studies at Bemidji State University. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and is currently completing a doctoral program in education with an emphasis in leadership and management at Capella University.

Debra Hanken Kurtz was appointed associate dean of technology and digital scholarship for Florida State University Libraries. She was the director of data governance at Arizona State University. Earlier, she was associate university librarian for technology services at Arizona State.

Kurtz is a graduate of Arizona State University, where she majored in English. She holds a master of library science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Wanda A. Wright, former director of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and a 21-year veteran of the Arizona National Guard, has been named director of Arizona State University’s Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement. She will take on her new duties on June 1.

A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Wright earned a master’s degree in educational leadership at Arizona State University. She also holds an MBA from Webster University in Missouri and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona.

Jaci Lederman is the new executive director of information technology and chief information officer at Vincennes University in Indiana. She was the director of enterprise applications at the university. She joined the university in 2011 as a faculty member in the information technology department.

Lederman holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix and an MBA with a concentration in IT management from Western Governors University.

Maureen McGuinness was appointed Title IX coordinator for the University of North Texas System. She was assistant vice president and dean of student affairs at the University of North Texas. She has been on the staff of the university for 25 years.

Dr. McGuinness is a graduate of John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, where she majored in communications. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education from the University of North Texas.

Evelyn Rucker has been named director of intercultural affairs at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. A native of Mobile, Alabama, she had been serving as the interim director since September 2022. Rucker began her career in student affairs at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.

Rucker holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

Kate Garry has been promoted to executive director of academic communications at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. She was director of communications and marketing for the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.

Garry holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Richmond. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois.

Vanessa Love has been named the director of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX at the University of Pittsburgh. She was assistant vice president in the Office of Compliance & Integrity at Point Park University in Pittsburgh.

Love holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in international affairs, and a juris doctorate, all from the University of Pittsburgh.

Shannon M. Yates was appointed director of athletics at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, effective July 1. Most recently, Dr. Yates served as director of intercollegiate athletics & deputy Title IX director at Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina. Earlier, she was the associate director for internal affairs & senior woman administrator at Southeast Missouri State University.

Dr. Yates holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in parks, recreation, and tourism, and a doctorate in higher education administration, all from North Carolina State University.

Filed Under: Appointments


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