Eight Women Taking on New Administrative Positions in Higher Education

Athena N. Jackson has been named the Norman Armena Powell University Librarian at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she previously served as director of special collections. She currently serves as the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair and dean of libraries at the University of Houston. She has held various special collections and library leadership roles at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Miami, and Louisiana State University.

Jackson received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Houston. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas.

Emily Burlij has been appointed director of federal relations in the Office of Government and Community Relations at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. She currently serves as director of the Office of Federal Relations at Boston University, where she has worked for the past 11 years.

Burlij holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and a juris doctorate from the Washington College of Law at American University.

Madhu Behera has been named the first chief research informatics officer at Emory University in Atlanta. She has been with Emory University since 2008, currently serving as chief informatics and data officer for Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and as director of the Winship Data and Technology Application Shared Resource.

Dr. Behera is a graduate of Utkal University in India. She earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of South Florida.

Elena Nicklasson has been promoted to vice president of university relations for Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She has been with the university since 2017, most recently serving as director of development and community relations, and previously as director of development.

Nicklasson graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin where she majored in political science. She holds a master’s degree in organizational development and change and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in leadership studies from Fielding Graduate University.

Georgia State University has appointed Cheryl Harrelson as vice president for university advancement and president of the Georgia State University Foundation. She has served as associate vice president for alumni, annual giving, and pipeline development at the University of California San Diego since 2017. She has held similar roles at New Mexico State University, Washington State University, James Madison University in Virginia, and North Carolina A&T State University.

Harrelson holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and applied science from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree in higher education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a master’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

Pryia Harjani has been promoted to senior associate vice president and deputy general counselor at Northwestern University in Illinois. Prior to joining the university’s Office of General Counsel staff in 2004, Harjani was a practicing commercial litigation attorney in Chicago.

Harjani graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois where she double majored in psychology and communications. She received her juris doctorate from Northwestern University.

Julia Jeffrey Rathgeber has been named vice chancellor for governmental relations for the University of Texas System. She spent the last two years serving as vice president of governmental and regulatory relations and business development for Berkshire Hathaway Energy. She has over 30 years of experience in Texas government including serving as chief of staff to Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, deputy chief of staff for Governor Greg Abbott, and deputy chief of staff for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

Rathgeber earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has promoted Krissy Vick to editorial manager in the Office of University Relations. She joined the university’s staff in 2021 as the media relations specialist.

Vick is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where she majored in communication studies with a concentration in broadcasting and minored in professional writing and language.

Filed Under: Appointments


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