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NKU Names Two to Leadership Team

Northern Kentucky University named a new assistant vice president for economic engagement and government relations, and a new vice president for student affairs.

Dr. Eddie J. Howard, Jr. will assume the role of vice president for student affairs on January 1, providing direct leadership over student-centered departments across campus.

He arrives from Youngstown State University in Ohio where he serves in the same role.

"We're delighted for Eddie to join our executive leadership team. He brings an exceptional understanding of guiding and advocating students' needs along with comprehensive experience in retention, graduation and inclusive excellence,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “We look forward to Eddie’s insights on our strategic priorities as we work towards becoming a more student-ready, regionally engaged university."

"Serving the needs of diverse learners from all backgrounds is what I love doing,” said Howard. “I appreciate President Vaidya and the NKU community's investment in new experiential learning opportunities. By empowering students, we continue to build the bedrock of the civic hopes and aspirations our society holds."

Dr. Howard has a decorated history in higher education and regional institutions. Before his tenure at Youngstown State University, he served numerous positions at Augusta Technical College, Augusta University, Georgia College & State University and the University of Louisville. He has served as the associate vice president for Student Experience, vice president for Student Affairs, acting assistant vice president for Student Life, director of Student Activities, assistant director of Services and greek advisor for the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Dr. Howard received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Youngstown State University, a Master of Education in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Valdosta State University.

Meanwhile, NKU named Carmen Hickerson as its assistant vice president for economic engagement and government relations. Hickerson currently serves as the vice president for strategic initiatives for Metro United Way in Louisville. She will assume her position on Nov. 4.

With over 25 years of executive-level leadership, Hickerson brings extensive experience in community engagement, advocacy and building national strategic partnerships. She has been responsible for cultivating the vision and advancement of corporate events, brand experiences and sponsorships. Prior to her role with Metro United Way, she held leadership roles at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, Greater Louisville Inc. and Fifth Third Bank.

“It’s rare to find a strategic thinker and a thorough communicator with a proven track record like Carmen’s,” said Eric Gentry, vice president for university advancement. “She has a successful record of building partnerships and coalitions that advance the organizations and communities she has served. This ability will be key to advancing NKU’s economic engagement strategies and building on our momentum and sharing our story across the Commonwealth.”

Hickerson will lead and develop NKU’s resources with strategic initiatives that foster economic growth and development. She will be responsible for strengthening ties with the region’s business community while also serving as the primary liaison to local, state and federal government agencies. Hickerson and her team play a fundamental role in advancing the university’s strategic framework, Success by Design, which challenges NKU to become a more student-ready and regionally engaged institution.

“I’m excited to be joining the team at NKU,” said Hickerson. “I’m passionate about the opportunity to contribute to the success of the University, it’s mission and the Northern Kentucky region.”

Hickerson earned her bachelor’s degree with Honors from Morehead State University in Communications, Public Relations and Public Affairs. She replaces Adam Caswell, who left the university in May.

-Staff report

Photos provided

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