Photo of Dr. Erica Whitiker
Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has announced that Dr. Erica Whitiker will be joining the school’s administration as assistant dean for student experience. She will lead the Office of Student Experience with a focus on enhancing student engagement and amplifying student success.
“Dr. Whitiker brings compassion, leadership, and management skills to a much-needed role at this school,” said LaVeist in his announcement. “Both her educational and professional background are well suited to growing and working with a diverse student body, including adult learners. Her values fit well in a public health context, and she also brings an atmosphere of fun that I know students will appreciate. I feel confident that Dr. Whitiker will be successful in the role of assistant dean of student experience.”
“Creating spaces and community where all students feel welcomed and actively engaged in fostering an inclusive campus culture and connection is paramount,” says Whitiker. “As the assistant dean for student experience, I want to build a thriving student culture within the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I will challenge myself, my students, and my colleagues to think outside the box, push boundaries, and reimagine what student experience can and will look like for SPHTM. I am looking forward to building dynamic relationships with the students, staff, and faculty."
Dr. Whitiker comes to the school from Black Hills State University in South Dakota where she most recently served as associate director of the Student Union and campus activities. During her tenure student engagement increased exponentially, including a growth in student organizations, the number of events, and participation in student activities. With a passion to create campuses that are inclusive, open, and engage all populations of students, Dr. Whitiker has been involved in efforts to improve campus life for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and international students.
Prior to Black Hills State University, Dr. Whitiker fulfilled roles at William Paterson University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Kean University. She holds a doctorate in education administration and leadership from the University of South Dakota, where her research focus was on social justice and retention of marginalized students in rural white education systems. She holds a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Rider University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in women's studies and African American studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is profoundly passionate about ensuring access, resources, and inclusive spaces for all in higher education.
“I am most excited about the opportunity to create space for all students to learn, grow, and thrive,” says Whitiker. Whitiker will begin the role on September 18th.