Vice President for Student Affairs Lori McDonald is pleased to announce Dr. Sherrá Watkins (she/her/hers) has been selected as Associate Vice President for Student Health and Wellness.
Dr. Watkins is currently the director of Wellness Counseling and an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. She will join Student Affairs at the U by October 1, 2022.
“Student health and wellness has gained increasing attention over the past few years as the pandemic shined a spotlight on the challenges many of our students face,” said McDonald. “We have always strived to support students holistically, and having a senior leader to guide these efforts elevates this work in ways the U has not seen before. This position will work with our teams to coordinate resources, build partnerships with campus and community organizations, and develop and advocate for ways to improve access to resources. Dr. Watkins brings a diverse background of professional experiences, connections with national organizations, and a vision guided by her commitment to equity and social justice,” said McDonald. “I am confident she will help the U become a leader in student health and wellness.”
Dr. Watkins’ research focuses on decreasing the stigma of mental health and substance use disorders, chronic pain and chronic diseases among African Americans, and the intersection of racism and racial bias within chronic pain and substance use treatment. She has vast expertise in the areas of public health, mental health and substance use administration and education, wellness, and leadership development.
Dr. Watkins earned four degrees from East Carolina University, a Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Counseling & Administration, a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling & Substance Abuse Counseling, a Master of Arts in Education in Health Education, and a Bachelor of Science in School Health Education. She has received personal honors from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and professional honors ECU Leadership Awards: 40 under 40 Inaugural Class. She is the author of Healing In Review, a practical and insightful guide designed to help readers reflect on their healing journey and record their progress with counseling or coaching, and Healing In Color, its corresponding motivational coloring book.
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