By Lauren Poteat (NNPA Newswire Contributor)
In her historic role as Bowie State University’s first female president, Dr. Aminta Hawkins Breaux said that she’s ready to lead the top 25 HBCU into the school’s next phase of growth and development.
Following the celebrated legacy of Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, the former BSU president that served the institution for nearly 11 years, Breaux said that she is thrilled and honored to accept the leadership role.
“When I look at issues that African American women have faced in this country, it makes me realize how very proud I am to get to this point,” Breaux said about serving as BSU’s first female president. “I have received so much positive feedback from faculty, students and staff and recognize that this is a huge responsibility that is very exciting and I wholeheartedly serve in leadership role with great distinction.”
Though Breaux has only officially been in office since July 1, the former vice president for advancement at Millersville University in Pennsylvania has already started to outline new initiatives.
Heavily involved with community building, Breaux noted that she wanted to enrich the neighborhoods surrounding the university while preparing students for the ever-changing workforce.
“Partnerships are going to be extremely important. We want to reach out to our business leaders and the rest of our community and help them see the value that our students and faculty bring to this area,” Breaux said. “This campus is filled with rich opportunity and initiatives and strong academic programs, but we are also a part of a larger scheme. Initially, I want people to know that we are a part of this community…We want to begin looking at our business community, business leaders and partnering with businesses in the area to make sure that we are preparing our students for the workforce…not just for today, but for tomorrow.”
Though the university is fully-equipped with state of the art facilities including a Fine and Performing Arts Center that opened in 2012 and an elaborate Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing that opened this year, Breaux said that this only just the beginning of a long-term focus on K-12 institutions and community colleges, as well.
“I envision our students mentoring and bringing different K-12 and community college students to our campus,” said Breaux. “With state of the art facilities, it is always good to let students see other role models at higher levels doing great things. You know, you have to give students that goal and let them see that they can get to that point.”
Breaux continued: “I am looking forward to partnering with Prince George’s Community College, in particular, and reaching back to K-12 institutions in order to ensure that these students are prepared to come into our university and succeed.”
In addition to her work at Millersville University, Breaux was also dean of students at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia from 2000 to 2008 and assistant provost of Drexel University from 1998 to 2000.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University, a master’s degree in psychological services in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in counseling psychology from Temple University. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Executive Management and the American Association for State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute.
In his last days before his departure Burnim, Bowie’s ninth president also shared his vision for the university and wishes for the upcoming president.
“I have expressed to Dr. Breaux that she is becoming president of one of the finest public comprehensive universities in America,” said Burnim. “Bowie State University is poised for further growth and progress. There are many people and organizations that want to see that progress and are willing to work with her to achieve it.”
Founded in 1865, Bowie State University, located in Prince George’s County, Md. serves more than 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students and offering over 41 bachelor and master degree programs, two doctoral programs and 14 graduate and advanced study certificates. Areas of focus at the school include computer science, information technology, nursing, natural sciences and education.