Stillman Alumnus Appointed Allegheny College Chief Diversity Officer
MEADVILLE, Pa. – Lawrence T. Potter Jr., Ph.D., a 1995 Stillman graduate, has been appointed as chief diversity officer, associate dean and professor of English at Allegheny College.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Potter to the college as our first chief diversity officer,” said Dean of the College Linda DeMeritt, who led the search process. “He comes to Allegheny with impressive academic credentials and professional experiences that have prepared him well for the efforts he will lead here. He will be an outstanding contributor to Allegheny College and to the larger community.”
In accepting the appointment, Potter placed the decision into the college’s historical context.
“I resonate with Allegheny’s vision in establishing this position and applaud the leadership for doing so, now, as it prepares to enter into its third century,” he said. “Moreover, the level of support for the decision from the administration, faculty, staff and students was impressive. It is an awesome opportunity.”
Potter will be a member of the Allegheny College Administrative Executive Committee, the institution’s highest-level management body. He will have broad influence over many aspects of campus and community life, especially with faculty as well as the curriculum and co-curriculum in efforts to advance and sustain diversity initiatives at the college. His tenure begins August 15.
Potter comes to Allegheny from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, where he served as the university’s executive director of institutional diversity. During the current academic year, he also serves at DePaul University as an American Council on Education fellow, considered the country’s most prestigious senior academic leadership program.
Prior to his tenure at St. Thomas, Potter was director and associate professor of Africana Studies and English in the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. He also served as coordinator of the university’s Multicultural Student Achievement Programs.
Among his accomplishments, Potter established the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program in 2006 at St. Thomas with a grant of $880,000. He has written and directed other grants totaling more than $5 million.
Potter received his M.A. (with highest honors) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University in Indiana, had a one-year appointment as minority faculty fellow/provost administrative intern at Alma College in Alma, Mich., and was awarded a Fulbright to teach in China in 2003.
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