Carolyn W. Meyers, PhD

President, Jackson State University

The INSIGHT Into Diversity Giving Back Award honors college presidents and chancellors who go above and beyond their everyday duties to give back to their institutions and communities. President Meyers was nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a 2016 Giving Back Award recipient for her dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraging community service both on her campus and in the surrounding community. 

Civic Involvement
Member of the board of directors for the American Council on Education’s Advisory Board, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, and the National Science Foundation’s Center for Engineering and Learning

Holiday Giving
Rather than purchase holiday gifts for her direct employees, Meyers purchased bicycles for 50 children in foster care who would have otherwise not received anything during the holiday season.

Building Community Partnerships
Under Meyers’ leadership, Jackson State University (JSU) partners with 100 Black Men of Jackson, the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, Human Rights Campaign, Jackson Public Schools, and University of Mississippi Medical Center, as well as many other community organizations.

On-Campus Initiatives
Pushed for the creation of the Cyber Learning Initiative, an on-campus digital learning ecosystem, which led to JSU being recognized by Apple as an Apple Distinguished School for 2013-2015 and 2015-2017; created a task force to develop and implement a program that will allow veterans credit for prior learning

Diversity and Inclusion Achievement
Established the position of chief diversity and equal employment opportunity officer, which reports directly to her office

Encouraging Faculty Scholarship
Meyers initiated the Creative Awards and the Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards, which promote innovation, collaboration, and creativity with an emphasis on world issues and excellence in teaching, research, and service.

Awards and Recognitions
Named a 2015 “Woman of the Year” in education by the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women; 2014 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers President’s Award for Excellence in STEM Research and Mentoring; 2014 HBCU Digest’s “Female President of the Year”; National Society of Black Engineers’ Golden Torch Award; National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award

Nomination Excerpt
“Carolyn Meyers is intimately aware of the benefits and challenges of providing an affordable and inclusive education to underrepresented students. Her own story — of facing challenges of underrepresented groups in society generally and of facing challenges in obtaining access to education because of her [own] race or gender more specifically — further endows her with the drive and compassion for underrepresented, [as well as] for all, students.”