Today I am sharing someone extra special to me. She is a mentor, leader, and inspiration in my life, and she keeps it real at all times. Dr. Barbara Avery and I met when we both started Loyola Marymount University (LMU) at the same time
(1990). I was a first-year college student and Dr. Avery was the new Associate Dean of Students. In addition, I am excited to announce that Dr. Avery is featured in my soon to be published book, AAA (Authenticity, Accountability and Ambitions: What America is lacking through a Black Woman’s Eyes?) as one of three phenomenal women. In my interview with Dr. Avery for AAA, she shared crucial information that will be epic, informative and well-received.
Dr. Avery’s greatest LMU legacy, in my opinion, is that she founded The Learning Community (TLC) program at LMU, which is still going strong today. The TLC program gives African American LMU students the opportunity to arrive to campus two weeks early and navigate intricate details of LMU and the surrounding area before starting their first year.
Dr. Avery was appointed to the position of Vice Chancellor for Campus Inclusion and Student Life at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2015. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Pepperdine University, a Master’s degree in History and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of California-San Diego. Her dissertation topic looked at the importance of diversity and inter-culturalism in teacher education programs.
Prior to moving to her role at the University of Michigan-Flint she served as Vice President at Holy Names University in Oakland, California and, more recently, Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Starting her career at the University of California San Diego, her alma mater. Her focus has always been on making sure that all students have access to what they need to be successful.
Her passion outside of education has been supporting children in the foster care system. She also balances her life with a lifelong love of hiking in all parts of the country, small conversations especially with friends, and yoga when she can find the time.