ASU Senior Director of Community Outreach and Partnership Development receives Black History Month recognition from IHL
On February 16, 2012, Dr. Ruth Nichols, senior director of Community Outreach and Partnership Development at Alcorn, was honored by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning in recognition of Black History Month and presented with a memorable plaque at the IHL Board meeting.
The IHL Black History Month recognition honors faculty and staff members from each of Mississippi’s public universities for advancing diversity at their institutions.
“It was a great honor to be nominated by my University and recognized by IHL for such an important effort as promotion of diversity,” shared an emotional Dr. Nichols. “Most of all, I am proud to represent Alcorn State University, an organization that appreciates and supports diversity.”
An educational administrator with over thirty years of experience, Dr. Nichols has been working for Alcorn since 2009 providing senior-level leadership and playing a central role in growth of non-traditional and transfer student enrollment, improvement of retention and graduation rates, expansion of online course offerings, and developing stronger relations with community colleges, K-12 systems and business partners. Dr. Nichols is also responsible for the University’s support and involvement in local community and economic development, studying the development of a continuing education department for Alcorn. She spearheaded creation of the Southern Hospitality Academy as a training entity for customer service. Dr. Nichols seeks grants and donations to further the projects of the University and assists in communities with a strategic vision for the future of higher education in Southwest Mississippi.
Dr. Nichols received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Mississippi and did graduate studies in guidance and counseling at Louisiana State University. She did further studies at Clemson University where she obtained a doctorate in adult education.
Dr. Nichols is actively involved in community service and is a member of several organizations, including Mission Mississippi, an organization centered around racial reconciliation; promoter of “The Leader in Me” projects in Vicksburg schools based on Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Leaders; member of the Mississippi Broadband Initiative Advisory Council; chairman of Miss-Lou Regionalism Sub-Committee on Education and Workforce Development for Adams County and Concordia Parish; director of First Baptist Church Kids’ Church (Wee Worship); director of Friday Forums, a community conversation; member of the Natchez Adams County Chamber Board of Directors and Rotary Club.
Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards and honors including the Natchez Community Hospital 2011 Caring Woman of the Year, and the 2010 Tourism Superstar.
Pictured L to R: Trustee Bob Owens, Dr. Nichols and Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II, Ph.D.