At the annual Moving Up Day Ceremony recognizing the achievements of William Smith students, President Mark D. Gearan announced the appointment of Dr. Cerri Banks as the Dean of William Smith College. The announcement was met by a standing ovation by the more than 400 faculty, students and staff gathered for the event. Dr. Banks has served as Interim Dean for the past year while the Colleges conducted a national search.
As interim dean, Dr. Banks has held a leadership role in the Colleges’ retention efforts, the celebration of the William Smith Centennial, the Commission on Inclusive Excellence, the Social Justice Collective and Orientation. In all of this work, she has distinguished herself as a mentor, advocate, leader, teacher and scholar.
Dr. Banks holds a bachelor of science in inclusive elementary and special education, a master’s degree in cultural foundations of education, a certificate of advanced studies in women’s studies, and a Ph.D. in cultural foundations of education – all from Syracuse University. At SU, she was a recipient of many awards including the School of Education doctoral prize. Her research and teaching areas are in education and school reform, cultural studies, multicultural education and qualitative research. Her forthcoming book “Black Women Undergraduates, Cultural Capital and College Success” will be published this year by Peter Lang Publishing.