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Finalists Named for Fort Valley State University Presidency

Atlanta — November 30, 2005

Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers thumbnail
Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers
Dr. Earl Glenn Yarbrough, Sr. thumbnail
Dr. Earl Glenn Yarbrough, Sr.
Dr. Adena Williams Loston thumbnail
Dr. Adena Williams Loston

Regent Connie Cater, chair of the Special Regents Committee, and University System of Georgia Interim Chancellor Corlis P. Cummings today announced the names of the three finalists for the Fort Valley State University presidency.

“This has been an excellent search resulting in top-flight candidates for this important institution,” said Cater. “It’s been extremely gratifying to have such an outstanding list of finalists.”

Chancellor Cummings noted that all three finalists impressed the members of the regents’ committee with the depth of their experience, leadership qualities and commitment. “Any one of these three finalists clearly has the qualifications to lead Fort Valley and help the institution provide even greater service to the state.”

The presidential finalists, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Dr. Adena Williams Loston, director for education with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility, Goddard Space Flight Center. Since joining NASA in 2002, Loston has worked in a variety of leadership posts related to the space agency’s educational mission. In those roles, she has established partnerships with the public and private sector to promote NASA’s goals. Prior to her work with NASA, Loston pursued a career in higher education that culminated in her presidency of San Jacinto College South, in Houston, an institution of more than 7,500 students. She served in that post from 1997 to 2002. Loston also served in various executive, administrative and faculty positions in the El Paso County Community College District, in El Paso, Texas; Santa Monica College, in Santa Monica, Calif.; Georgia State University; the Houston Community College System, in Houston, Texas; and Arkansas State University, in State University, Ark. Loston also worked as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Southern University, in Houston, and at the University of Houston-Downtown.

Loston earned a bachelor of science in business education from Alcorn State University, in Lorman, Miss., and both a master’s degree in business education and a doctorate in educational administration and supervision from Bowling Green State University. She holds an honorary doctorate of science from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. In addition, Loston was a participant in the Oxford Round Table at Oxford University, Oxford, England; the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University; and The Leadership Journey, The Wharton Business School, at the University of Pennsylvania. Loston has received numerous awards and honors, served on a wide range of public and private boards and is a published author.

Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida A&M University (FAMU), Tallahassee, Fla. Rivers has served in his current position since 2002 and is responsible for the largest college at FAMU, with more than 5,000 students. He has had a long tenure at Florida A&M, serving as a faculty member, administrator and executive at the institution since 1977. He is one of two Distinguished University Professors at the University. Rivers also taught history and political science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1974-1977.

Rivers is an alumnus of Fort Valley State University, having earned his bachelor’s degree in social science education with honors from the institution. He has a Master of Arts in American history and political science from Villanova University, in Villanova, Pa.; a Doctor of Arts in American history and curriculum development from Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh; and a Doctor of Philosophy in cultural studies from Goldsmiths College, the University of London, England. He has won national awards for his published books on slavery and the African Methodist Episcopal and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion churches. His many awards include a 1992 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) “Teacher of the Year” award. He serves on a number of boards, with extensive involvement as a member of the National Parks System Advisory Board, as well as a range of state and national historical societies.

Dr. Earl Glenn Yarbrough, Sr., professor of industrial education and technology at Virginia State University, in Petersburg, Va., and former fellow with the Kellogg Foundation Minority Serving Institution Leadership Program - National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education section. Yarbrough was selected for this fellowship, which prepares participants for the rigors of serving as a college or university president. Prior to his fellowship, Yarbrough was provost and vice president for academic and student affairs at Virginia State University, (1998-2003), and dean of the School of Technology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, N.C., (1986-1998). He also has served in administrative and academic positions at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, in Tahlequah, Okla.; Des Moines Community College, in Des Moines, Iowa; and Iowa State University, in Ames.

Yarbrough earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from Wichita State University, in Wichita, Kan., a master’s degree in industrial studies (supervision) from California State University at Los Angeles, and his doctorate, in from Iowa State University. He was a participant in the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He serves on several editorial boards of professional journals, and served on the board of directors for the Piedmont Center for Advanced Manufacturing from 1993-1998. As an educational consultant, Yarbrough has worked with colleges and universities nationwide to help strengthen academic and administrative areas related to accreditation.

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