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Anderson takes realms as Clarkson’s assistant vp for diversity initiatives

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POTSDAM - Warren Anderson wants to ensure all Clarkson students, regardless of their past, have the opportunities they need on campus to prepare for their future.

Anderson started in January as Clarkson’s new assistant vice president for diversity initiatives. He develops initiatives that support access and retention of underrepresented students, including women, minorities and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

Every freshman who walks into Clarkson has a different story to tell. They grew up in city neighborhoods, suburbs, small towns and on farms and were raised and educated in a variety of family situations and schools. Clarkson works to provide each of them with an opportunity to weave their backgrounds into their educational experiences.

Anderson works to make certain that every student finds their niche while at Clarkson, regardless of their background. He plans to build relationships with underrepresented groups to allow them to thrive in any situation they’re in while at Clarkson or beyond.

“My job is to make sure we are providing them a platform to graduate from Clarkson as prepared as possible. We need to do everything we can to minimize the barriers students come in with. They can be as successful as they want to be because we’ve given them the most holistic education possible,” he said.

Anderson will also collaborate with Clarkson’s admissions office to build relationships with high schools across the country in order to recruit talented students from underrepresented groups for years to come.

“I think we have the opportunity to do some really magnificent things related to diversity and recruiting, retaining and graduating underrepresented groups on campus. To have the opportunity to come to an institution with such a stellar reputation, and to do the work I want to do, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Senior Vice President and Provost Charles Thorpe said Anderson will foster dialogue across campus and create opportunities for students from different backgrounds to learn from each other. “He’s immediately jumped in, become a part of our community and started to transform us. He makes a great impression on everybody.”

Anderson has already developed a rapport with faculty and students since he arrived at Clarkson, Thorpe said. “He challenges and empowers the students. It’s ‘Let me help you figure out how you can make a positive difference.’”

Anderson grew up in Philadelphia and credits a series of mentors he had with opening his eyes to the variety of opportunities that existed if he worked for them. Likewise, he wants to make sure underrepresented student groups at Clarkson are aware of all the opportunities that are available to them.

He received a bachelor of arts from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania in 2000, a master’s of education from Eastern University in St. David’s, Pa., in 2004 and an Ed.D. in higher education with a focus in administrative leadership from Widener University in Chester, Pa., in 2012.

He previously worked at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, where he served as the director of student access and support from 2006 to 2008 and as the assistant vice president for student affairs at East Stroudsburg University from 2008 to 2012. Prior to that, he was a director of student activities at Chestnut Hill College, a direct service coordinator for the Philadelphia Education Fund, an assistant director of student activities for the Penn College of Technology and assistant director of admissions for Mansfield University.

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