BY JAMES HARPER, DAYTONA TIMES STAFF: Dr. Valarie Greene King, the founding director of the University of Central Florida’s Office of Diversity Initiatives, has been recognized as a woman who is making a difference in the March issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education. She is among a distinguished group of 25 women from throughout the U.S. to receive this prestigious recognition.
UCF President John C. Hitt congratulated King, and acknowledged that she helped the school reach its goal of making UCF more inclusive and diverse.
“It was very heartwarming when he congratulated me on the national recognition that I not only brought to myself, but also to the University of Central Florida,” said King.
The University of Central Florida is the second largest university in the nation.
Started at B-CC
King began her career at Bethune-Cookman University during the administration of then-Bethune-Cookman College President Dr. Richard V. Moore. She was as a counselor in the College Education Achievement Program at Bethune-Cookman University in 1969.That program was designed to assist first-time U.S. and international students in developing the necessary skills to successfully complete college.
“The environment at B-CU was not only nurturing to these students who were new to higher education, but it also provided a nurturing and supportive environment to me as a young, beginning professional,” King said. “My eleven years at Bethune-Cookman ignited my passion for a career in the field of diversity and inclusion.”
She worked at BCU for 11 years before becoming a clinical psychologist in the U.S. Army. She was also employed at Southern Methodist University as the director of intercultural education and minority student affairs.
King is considered an expert in strategic planning, leadership development, and psychological counseling services. Her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. James Greene, were both professors at B-CU when it was Bethune-Cookman College. King is the sister of Daytona Beach City Commissioner Cassandra Reynolds.
In the article, the editors wrote they have been privileged to meet dynamic women like King in the world of higher education and beyond.
“They lead some of the most demanding and consequential organizations and programs on the planet. No longer sitting on the decision-making sidelines, they have shattered the glass ceiling and, subsequently, have introduced new ways of thinking about and approaching leadership,” according to the article.
Some of the other women recognized this year included Myrna Adams, Duke University’s first vice president of institutional equity; Lezli Baskerville, former outside counsel to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education before becoming its first female president and CEO in 2004; Molly Corbett Broad, the American Council on Education’s 12th president and the first woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1918; and Phyllis Buchanan, who manages Dupont’s Center for Collaborative Research and Education.
Other awardees included Charlene M. Dukes, the first female president of Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md.; Kimberly Ford, the NCAA’s director of minority inclusion since 2010; Lenora M. Green, director of client relations for the Educational Testing Service; Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, dean of diversity and minority affairs at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons; Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological university in the United States; Teresa A. Sullivan, the University of Virginia’s first female CEO; Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and Cora B. Marrett , deputy director of the National Science Foundation.