Two Northwestern University leaders have been named to “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” magazine’s annual report recognizing 25 women for their significant contributions to higher education.
Robin Means Coleman, vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, and Parneshia Jones, director of Northwestern University Press, will be featured in the magazine’s Women's History Month edition, which publishes March 4.
Northwestern is the only university to have two women on the list of this annual special edition, which celebrates women who have made a difference in the academy by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a positive difference in their respective communities.
Both new to their roles, Jones took the helm of NU Press in September 2020 after 17 years on its staff, and Coleman, who is recognized nationally as a trailblazer in diversity, equity and inclusion, has held her new post since Feb. 1.
Prior to joining Northwestern, Coleman served as vice president and associate provost for diversity and professor at Texas A&M University, where she led efforts in accountability, climate and equity, working collaboratively with faculty, staff and students across 16 colleges and schools and two branch campuses.
At Northwestern, Coleman holds a tenured appointment as the inaugural Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication, and courtesy appointments in the Department of Radio/TV/Film in the School of Communication, and in the Department of African American Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
One of only two Black women running a university press, Jones spent almost two decades in marketing and sales and acquisitions at NU Press. In that role, she developed an award-winning catalog, including Nikky Finney’s “Head Off & Split” (National Book Award), Patricia Smith’s “Incendiary Art” (Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award), and Kyle Dargan’s “Anagnorisis” (Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize).
Jones also brought five nationally acclaimed poets together for the 2017 Press-sponsored “Black Women as Giants: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks” event, a tour de force performance in honor of the Chicago poet and first Black Pulitzer Prize recipient.
Jones is an award-winning poet, and Coleman is an expert in media studies and the cultural politics of Blackness. Their commitment to and success as higher education administrators is grounded in scholarly practice.