President Anderson has served on the association’s board of directors since 2020

UMES President Heidi M. Anderson

University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, was recently elected as the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors at the association’s annual conference in Carlsbad, CA.

Anderson, who has more than 30 years of higher education experience, has served on the AASCU Board of Directors since 2020 and chairs AASCU’s Council of State Representatives.

“I am both honored and eager to collaborate with our AASCU campuses in pursuit of innovative actions and strategies that will enhance new majority student success,” said Anderson. “As a catalyst for our conversations, my theme for the year and for the 2023 annual conference is ‘AASCU Leading for Democracy: Rebuild, Restore, Reframe.”

“At this significant time in our history of educators, I look forward to conversations exploring transformations consistent with the AASCU mission and vision,” Anderson continued.

Under her leadership, UMES developed strategic initiatives that are improving enrollment and retention.

UMES has increased its six-year graduation rate to a level higher than in the past 20 years, and the university has experienced record-breaking research funding and philanthropic efforts.

Anderson has completed construction of a $95 million academic building for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. UMES has received the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute award to support STEM education and career readiness.

In January 2022, Anderson was named as one of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders by the HBCU Campaign Fund. She was recognized for her proven work in shaping polices and making decisions that strengthen the higher education space.

“(Dr.) Anderson has dedicated her career to expanding access and opportunities for students from underserved populations, and as a first-generation college graduate, she knows firsthand the transformative power of postsecondary education,” said AASCU president Mildred Garcia. “We know that she will bring that lifelong dedication to this role, particularly as higher education grapples with declining enrollments, the impact of the global pandemic on our campuses, and threats to our democracy.”

Anderson is a proud graduate of AASCU’s Executive Leadership Academy and AASCU’s Academy for New Provosts. She earned a B.S. in pharmacy, M.S. in education, and a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration all from Purdue University, in her home state of Indiana.


ALBANY, GA Albany State University (ASU) has been awarded $2.9 million the Connecting Minority Communities Program federal grant from the United States Department of Commerce.

The Connecting Minority Communities Program will plan, develop, and expand the institution’s reach to online and distance learning globally. With a focus on broadband expansions, the program will enhance the educational instruction and learning opportunities offered at ASU.

“We are honored to be awarded the grant for the Connecting Minority Communities Program. This grant will address the growing demand of support needed for broadband connectivity in the Albany community while establishing a foundation for future distance learning at Albany State University,” said Marion Ross Fedrick, President of Albany State University. “This program aligns with our strategic plan that addresses opportunities for community partnership, ensures student access and success and creates the environment where both the community and our students can thrive.”

The program will expand on broadband access and allow ASU to purchase devices, educational software, internet access services, and other IT software and hardware for low-income students. “Broadband access is crucial to so many aspects of our everyday lives. The pandemic highlighted how important it is in order to keep our teachers and students connected, as well as how crucial it is to our economy,” said Congressman Bishop. “Albany State University is an educational cornerstone in Southwest Georgia. It can use this federal grant to improve its broadband infrastructure which will help ASU train the next generation of entrepreneurs and workers as well as serve as an informational hub connecting local officials, our regional industry sectors, and the community organizations that serve our residents.”

“ASU’s global expansion will provide students from Georgia and beyond an enhance Historically Black College and University (HBCU) experience, course credits and fully online degrees and certificates. “Our number one customers are our students, and Albany State plays a leading role as one of the state’s premier public HBCUs in making sure they can access the technology they need to succeed and contribute to Georgia’s workforce,” said Sonny Perdue, University System of Georgia Chancellor. “I’m proud of President Fedrick and her campus for leading this initiative and look forward to seeing them implement it as they continue to build and maintain strong community partnerships.”

The program will serve students from Albany, Georgia, the surrounding community, and the regional economy that are in recovery due to the impacts of COVID-19.


Tomika LeGrande, who currently serves as Vice President for Strategy, Enrollment and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents named her as a sole finalist for President at Prairie View A&M University.

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, TX – The Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents on Thursday (Nov. 10) named Tomikia P. LeGrande as the sole finalist to become the ninth President of Prairie View A&M University.

According to the University, after a nationwide search, Chancellor John Sharp recommended Dr. LeGrande as sole finalist and the Board approved. Under state law, the Board of Regents name a finalist for at least 21 days before making the appointment at a subsequent meeting.

Dr. LeGrande, who is currently Vice President for Strategy, Enrollment Management and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University, would not assume her duties at Prairie View A&M until the end of the 2022-23 school year.

She would succeed Dr. Ruth Simmons, who will become President Emerita and will hold a faculty appointment as University Professor, a position that will allow her to remain a campus figure raising money, expanding the national profile of the university and lecturing to another generation of students.

“Dr. LeGrande will provide great leadership for the Panthers for many years to come,” said Chancellor Sharp. “Her experience and leadership in enrollment management and student success is exactly what PVAMU needs at this juncture to build on the great work Ruth Simmons has provided these past five years. I’m excited by where PVAMU is headed.”

“I want to thank Chancellor Sharp and the Board of Regents for the opportunity to server as President of Prairie View A&M University. PVAMU has a strong legacy of transforming the lives of its students and contributing to the surrounding region and state of Texas, both educationally and economically. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and community as we honor and build upon the university’s powerful legacy and trajectory,” said LeGrande.

Dr. LeGrande, who has been a Virginia Commonwealth University since 2018, has experience in Texas. She served as an administrator for student affairs and enrollment management at the University of Houston-Downtown from 2012 to 2018. She also received a doctorate in higher education administration from Texas Tech University.

Prior to her duties in Houston, Dr. LeGrande worked at North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University.

She received her bachelor’s in chemistry from Savannah State University and a master’s in chemistry from North Carolina A&T State University.

“I am so delighted to learn that the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents has named Dr. Tomikia LeGrande as the sole finalist for President at PVAMU. I commend Chancellor Sharp and the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents for making such a noble selection,” said HCF Founder, President & CEO Demetrius Johnson, Jr. “Her experience and leadership throughout her years in the profession of higher education is impressive. I am confident she will continue to steel PVAMU for extraordinary greatness, in addition to the legendary Ruth Simmons. We at HCF send her our heartfelt congratulations and wish her the best in her role.”

In May, a 14-member committee was created to conduct a national search to find Dr. Simmons’ successor. The search was led by Bill Mahomes, Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, and Regent Elaine Mendoza.


Pictured: SCKY President Dr. Kevin W. Cosby with students.
Pictured: SCKY President Dr. Kevin W. Cosby with students.

LOUISVILLE, KY – In April 2015, Simmons College of Kentucky (SCKY) was designated as the 107th historically black college and university joining Kentucky State University as the second HBCU in Kentucky. Now Simmons College is making moves and gearing forward in several ways to preparing the next leaders of tomorrow while empowering the community.

SCKY has recently announced the National Baptist Convention of America International (NBCA)  will relocate their headquarters from Dallas to the campus of SCKY in Louisville. NBCA also has a new educational partnership with the institution. NBCA President, Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert, Jr. has embraced Simmons as the educational provider for their domination. SCKY also scored a partnership with the Full Gospel Fellowship International, which has made Simmons their educational partner in the training of clergy and lay leadership.

Simmons College was established in 1879 by members of black baptist churches in Kentucky who organized a state convention of Colored Baptist Churches. In November of 1879, trustees of the Convention of Colored Baptist Church purchased four (4) acres of land on the corner of 7th and Kentucky Street in Louisville that immediately served as the campus for the school.

In 2005, Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, who is the senior pastor at St. Stephen Church was named the 13th president and subsequently changed the name of the school to Simmons College of Kentucky whose once name(s) were: Simmons University, State University, Louisville Municipal College, and Simmons Bible College.

The name change to Simmons College of Kentucky was to reflect the school’s mission to prepare Christians for ministry, while reinstating its initial mission of general education. In 1930, The Great Depression came across the campus and forced the institution to sell its property due to foreclosure on the mortgage. But in 2006, the institution was fortunate to buy its original campus and move back. In March 2015, the institution received its accreditation.

SCKY welcomed Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. last month, who spoke during the West Louisville Forum sponsored by the institution. During his visit, he urged African-Americans in Louisville to go to the polls on election day and vote. Award-winning novelist and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation Marita Golden will speak during the next West Louisville Forum on Wednesday, November 2.


Simmons College of Kentucky continues to thrive as a institution of higher learning serving traditionally underserved communities. For more information about Simmons College of Kentucky, call (502) 776-1443 or visit


Photo creds:
Photo creds:

PINE BLUFF, AR – The Department of Nursing at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) honored 31 junior and senior prelicensure nursing students during the first Gold-AACN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing on Tuesday, October 25. The ceremony recognized students for their achievement of readiness for clinical practicum experience as part of the nursing curriculum.

This is an extraordinary milestone for UAPB, which in 2013 the State Department of Higher Education withdrew accreditation and the program shut down. It was restarted in January 2015 and since has received a grant from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield of $250,000 in funding the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Endowed Nursing Professorship in Rural Health.

According to UAPB, this recognition represents the faculty’s confidence that the students have demonstrated readiness to practice safely in the clinical environment.

For more information about the Department of Nursing at UAPB, call (870) 575-8220 or visit

OnTheYardSUHave you heard of a weekly video series called “On The Yard.” The series brings you all of the latest highlighting news and story lines around Southern University and A&M College (located in  Baton Rouge, Louisiana) as well as other HBCU’s and events. The series is co-directed/co-produced by Perry White and Garrett Edgerson of DaEdge1Productions. Perry White also serves as host of the series.

You can watch their weekly series videos on their YouTube channel  here.

Watch their latest video spotlighting the first ever Inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl which features the champions of the SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) and MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) in Atlanta, GA.