Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo Named Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Sarah Lawrence College

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Sarah Lawrence president Cristle Collins Judd today announced the hiring of Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo as the College’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Nwankwo will begin at the College on August 30, 2021.

“Ifeoma has the skills, talent, and collaborative nature to build on our recent accomplishments and momentum around diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Judd. “And I believe she has the vision to clearly and honestly identify areas where opportunities for growth still exist, and the ability to implement the strategies needed to help us achieve that growth.”

Nwankwo’s resume reflects an esteemed career of faculty and leadership positions at renowned institutions of higher education. She comes to Sarah Lawrence from Vanderbilt University, where she is an associate professor in the Department of English and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, the Program in Latinx Studies, and the Center for Latin American Studies. Her significant administrative experience at Vanderbilt includes serving as director of the program in American Studies and as Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships. In this latter role, she focused on a number of initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to her time at Vanderbilt, Nwankwo served as co-director of the Atlantic Studies Initiative at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she also taught in the department of English and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies.

A self-described “teacher-servant-leader-scholar,” Nwankwo has a long history of university service, leadership preparation, grants, honors, awards, and fellowships, and invited and chaired lectures, presentations, symposia, and workshops. Her distinguished scholarly and teaching career has long imbedded a focus on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with undergraduate courses centered on topics including Afro-Diasporic Literature, Culture, and Music; Public Humanities and Community Engagement; Inter-American and Hemispheric American Studies; and Migration, Race, and American Identity. She is the author and editor of numerous articles, monographs, volumes, and journals including Black Cosmopolitanism: Racial Consciousness and Transnational Identity in the Nineteenth Century Americas and Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World (co-edited with Mamadou Diouf). And she is recognized for her community-engaged scholarly work in and with marginalized communities in the United States and Latin America. That work includes the development and enactment of Voices from Our America (an international project founded in 2006) and the linked Wisdom of the Elders program.

Nwankwo earned her B.A. in English and Spanish from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Rutgers College, New Brunswick) and her Ph.D. in English with certificates in Latin American Studies and African & African American Studies from Duke University.

In her role as Vice President, Nwankwo will provide leadership and strategic direction around all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion policy and programming, working collaboratively and engaging with every area of the College to create an environment that is inclusive and accessible. In addition, she will oversee Sarah Lawrence’s Title IX office. Nwankwo will report directly to President Cristle Collins Judd, and will be a key member of the College’s senior leadership team.

“Sarah Lawrence’s vision and mission resonate with me as someone who is focused on inspiring, facilitating, and guiding others to tap into and achieve their fullest innovative potential,” said Nwankwo. “I’m excited about the College’s momentum, and am eager to collaboratively build forward with our students and my faculty and staff colleagues.”


About Sarah Lawrence College

Founded in 1926, Sarah Lawrence is a prestigious, coeducational liberal arts college that consistently ranks among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. Sarah Lawrence is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant, successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an intellectually curious and diverse community.