Mrs. Banks joined the University of Arizona from Northern Arizona University where she served as Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs – Engagement & Inclusive Excellence. In this capacity, she led initiatives to unify academic and student affairs engagements through targeted messaging, using predictive analytics systems and aligning efforts to enhance support around first year, first-gen students of color. She implemented the Inclusion & Diversity Scholars program which expanded freshmen diversity mentoring from 30 students to 650 diverse students in one year. Mrs. Banks has also implemented campus-wide Inclusion Zone, TRANSparency Zone and DREAM Zone training, served as a leader in designing the first Diversity Strategic Plan as well as overhauled the Safe Zone training curriculum. She oversaw the Office of Indigenous Student Success, Multicultural & LGBTQIA+ Student Services, First-Gen Programs, Leadership-Engagement-and Peer Mentoring, TRIO programs and divisional initiatives such as the STAR program for early start for first generation students and the Indige-Bridge program which provides an early start for Native and Indigenous Students. Due to her expertise, Mrs. Banks also advised department chairs and deans on how to attract and retain diverse candidates through trainings and one on one consultations.
During her time at the University of Akron School of Law, Mrs. Banks led recruitment efforts and redesigned the recruitment strategy to expand recruitment to include diversity alumni in key cities and update admissions marketing materials to align with the growing millennial student population. She developed the Pathways program which resulted in a contractual relationship between Akron Law and Central State University, the only Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Ohio. In conjunction with the Akron Bar Association Diversity Committee, Mrs. Banks increased diversity participation and membership with the bar association and led the Law and Leadership Institute Program at Akron Law. As a Senior Lecturer, Mrs. Banks designed and delivered courses on Contracts Law Lab, Criminal Law Lab and bar preparation courses and served as co-chair of the Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and implemented diversity programming and recruitment.
Mrs. Banks has been awarded the Anthony “Tony” Ross Award for service to Black and African-American students, the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award and the LGBTQIA Commission’s Ally of the Year Award, at Northern Arizona University. From the University of Akron, she received Leadership Excellence Award, Akron Law BLSA Alumni Banquet and Alumni of the Year, Akron Law Black Law Students Association. Mrs. Banks was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Student Engagement in the Classroom from Bryant & Stratton College.
A proud First-Generation student herself, Mrs. Banks earned a Juris Doctor from University of Akron, School of Law, a Master’s of Education degree in Educational Leadership-Community College/Higher Education from Northern Arizona University, is working on a Masters of Education in Learning Design and Technologies from Arizona State University and completed a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University. She is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. which is one of the four historically African-American sororities. She has also acquired trainings and certificates from Cornell University in Faculty Institute for Diversity along with Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), Section 504 and Decision Maker Certifications.