Faculty & Staff Directory Profile

Dr. Ruth R. Nichols

Departments and Positions:
Leadership, Special Assistant to the President for Community and Economic Development

Special Assistant to the President for Community and Economic Development

As special assistant to the president for community and economic development, Dr. Ruth Nichols manages the community and economic development planning process and initiatives for Alcorn State University. She emphasizes Alcorn as an economic driver and as a critical component of regional workforce development and continuous improvement in its communities.  

Nichols brings to Alcorn a successful 35-year career in educational leadership ranging from the kindergarten classroom to college and university administration. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in K-8 education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and a doctorate degree in technical and adult education from Clemson University.  

Before she joined Alcorn in 2008, Nichols held positions of leadership at North Georgia Technical College as president and vice president for student affairs. On the national level, Nichols served the American Association of Community Colleges as keynote speaker, conference presenter and as a member of the Commission on Student and Community Development and the Commission on Marketing and Communications. 

Nichols has a passion for workforce development and individual economic success. She works closely with community economic development and chambers of commerce to establish viable initiatives. Some ongoing initiatives include the Entrepreneur Academy in four counties, Miss-Lou Regional Certified Work Ready Region, Friday Forums, Southern Hospitality/Customer Service Academy, Possibilities Tour (empty building project), and concurrent enrollment with community colleges.

Nichols was named one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women in 2014 and was chosen as a Caring Woman in a position of Leadership by Merit Health – Natchez in 2015.

Nichols is a certified business and life coach and is currently researching successful workforce development models that focus on soft skills and work ethics of the emerging and transitioning workforce.  She manages USDA grants and a Delta Regional Authority grant in these fields. Nichols is a member of First Baptist Church in Natchez where she started a children’s church, Wee Worship.