Diversity Woman

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Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau

Special Asst. to the President for Community Leadership

Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau is currently the Special Assistant to the President for Community Leadership at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is responsible for providing leadership to enhance the University’s efforts in building a truly inclusive, welcoming, academic community for all students, faculty, and staff. She will play a critical role in creating a culture and campus life that supports and enriches the multi-ethnicity of the student body. In addition, she will work with the President to further advance the Mount’s reputation in Annapolis, Washington DC, and local community through active participation with government offices, foundations, and professional associations.

Dr. Whetsel-Ribeau also serves as the First Lady of Howard University in Washington D.C. for the past five years where she is the Executive Director for the Howard University Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program, Founder and Chair of the Howard University – Women As Change Agents (WACA) initiative, as well as teaching in the Afro-American Studies Department. In addition, Dr. Whetsel-Ribeau serves as a Co-Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to Howard University for a five-year transformational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) project, the ADVANCE program. Last year, Howard was one of 13 institutions to be awarded an ADVANCE project and was the only HBCU recipient. Prior to Howard University, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and as a faculty member at Bowling Green State University. Some of her most significant accomplishments included creating and providing leadership and management of several innovative and successful initiatives with a focus on curriculum and professional development, assessment, and the attainment of grant funds to support these endeavors.

In addition to serving on various community Boards, Dr. Whetsel-Ribeau was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to the National Board for the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). She is a member of multiple professional organizations, involved in numerous community service activities, and has provided keynote addresses, workshops, and presentations both locally and nationally.

Dr. Whetsel-Ribeau is married to Howard University’s 16th President, Dr. Sidney A. Ribeau. They are the proud parents of two daughters (Shannon and Taylor), a son (Brandon) and four grandchildren.

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