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Hendrix Names New Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Jackson, Dionne - 20160128 - 10480261CONWAY, Ark. (February 3, 2016) – Hendrix College alumna and education professor Dr. Dionne B. Jackson ’96 will become the College’s first Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer. She will begin the new position on July 1.

The position’s primary responsibilities are guided by the 2015-2020 Hendrix College Strategic Plan, which emphasizes increasing diversity on campus and ensuring inclusion at all levels of the College. 

Dr. Jackson’s specific responsibilities will include supporting the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship partner network and developing sustainable programming to recruit, develop and mentor Hendrix Aspire Scholars in order to promote their success and ensure their full inclusion in the campus community; working with constituencies across campus toward the creation of a Center for Inclusive Community to serve as the space on campus for diversity and inclusion initiatives, including programming and training; and exploring the creation of pre-baccalaureate programs for high school students and summer institutes for incoming first-year students. 

“I am excited and humbled to serve as Hendrix College’s first Chief Diversity Officer,” said Jackson. “As Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, I will work with President Tsutsui and our community to envision and conceptualize our diversity mission as an institution and to develop and implement sustainable initiatives to fulfill it.”

Jackson joined the Hendrix faculty in 2010 as Assistant Professor of Education. She also serves as the Principal Investigator of Hendrix's five-year, $1.1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant titled Noyce-STEM Teacher Education in the Arkansas Delta (Hendrix N-STEAD), which recruits, develops, and supports outstanding Hendrix science and mathematics majors to become teachers in the Arkansas Delta. She completed her bachelor’s degree in biology from Hendrix in 1996, her master’s degree in secondary leadership from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 1999, and her doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in 2010.

Jackson is licensed to teach science in Arkansas, and while serving as a science teacher in the Little Rock School District, she was awarded the Sallie Mae First Class First-Year Teacher of the Year Award for the state of Arkansas. Jackson currently serves as a member of the Hendrix College Task Force on Inclusion and Climate, as Co-chair and Zone 4 Representative of the Little Rock School District Civic Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Arkansas Science Teachers Association Board. 

“My professional experiences as an educator, coordinator of academic support, and as the Principal Investigator of the $1.1 million National Science Foundation funded grant program, Hendrix N-STEAD (Noyce-STEM Teacher Education in the Arkansas Delta), have provided me with several opportunities to engage in work related to the duties of this position,” she added. “ I am so encouraged by the initiatives that are already underway that relate to this position, such as the establishment of the Hendrix Aspire Scholarships and the work of the Task Force on Inclusion and Climate, and I look forward to leading our campus as we work together to fulfill the goals of our diversity mission.”

The new position at Hendrix directly aligns with the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Standards of Professional Practice for Chief Diversity Officers (CDO) to provide “senior administrative leadership for strategic planning and implementation of mission-driven institutional diversity efforts.” 

“I can think of no one better qualified than Dionne Jackson to lead Hendrix’s efforts to be a more diverse, inclusive and just community," said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui. "As a graduate and a faculty member, she is highly respected and trusted on this campus, and she has the skills and passion we will need to make Hendrix an even more welcoming and supportive environment for all students, faculty and staff.  I am excited to have the opportunity to work with her on issues of such importance to the college, our state and our nation today.”

Jackson is a member and volunteer at Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is married to Troy Jackson and is the mother of two children, Jamil and Chloe.

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit