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Loyola University New Orleans Welcomes New Chief Diversity Officer

Loyola press release - May 1, 2017

Dr. Sybol Cook Anderson joins Loyola Aug. 1, 2017

Loyola University New Orleans President the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., announced today that Sybol Cook Anderson, Ph.D. has been named the university’s new chief diversity officer. As chief diversity officer at Loyola New Orleans, Dr. Anderson will report directly to the president and provide clear leadership over the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion practices at Loyola.

“Our goal is to build and improve upon a culture that is consistent with our values, and we are thrilled to have Dr. Anderson lead that effort,” Wildes said. “A commitment to diversity is central to our mission as a Catholic, Jesuit university. We want to ensure that everyone in our community has a strong sense of safety, belonging and representation. What’s more, we must also serve as strong role models to inspire and mentor the minds, hearts and spirits of all our students.”

Dr. Anderson comes to Loyola from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where for the past two years she has led students, faculty and staff in a campus-wide initiative designed to create strategic goals for inclusion, diversity, and equity (IDEs) and develop and refine policies that support all members of the community. In so doing, she has led the mobilization of campus support and collaborated with college leaders to create a new student leadership team that provides inclusion, diversity, equity advocacy, support, and education for all students.

At St. Mary’s, Dr. Anderson has also been the lead architect and director of the DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program, an academic and leadership program for high-achieving underrepresented students. The program designed to create IDEs campus leaders provides rigorous instruction, advising, peer mentoring and program support to scholars, with the support of faculty, student staff, and professional partners. The program has helped to increase scholars’ first semester mean grade point average by nearly a half point and second-year retention rate by 11 percent. To support the program, Anderson worked with an executive team to secure establishment of a new state-funded grant that has since 2013 provided more than $2.4 million in funding; she has also secured external grants from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, as well as corporate and private gifts for student scholarships.

Dr. Anderson brings to Loyola more than 25 years of innovative results-driven program administration and inclusive teaching, with skills in public and media relations, fundraising and grant writing. Her commitment to student success and creating a climate of inclusion has been a central part of her career for more than 20 years. She is a philosopher of race and recognition who possesses deep insight into contemporary problems of difference.

Dr. Anderson holds a doctorate in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, where she attained her bachelor’s and M.L.A. degrees, and a master’s degree in philosophy from American University. Her current research focuses on Hegel’s theory of recognition and the philosophy of race.

Dr. Anderson is the author of three books, as well as book chapters, refereed conference papers, and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has delivered to a variety of audiences nearly 50 lectures and talks on inclusive, diversity and equity topics. Her many awards include the Andy Kozak Award for Faculty Contributions to Student Life, the Homer L. Dodge Award for Excellence in Teaching, a four-year Henry C. Welcome Fellowship from the Maryland Higher Education Commission and a three-year Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Anderson joins Loyola on Aug. 1, 2017.