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Dr. MarQuita Barker, currently a senior campus life leader at Elon University, will start at Knox in January 2022

Galesburg, IL Knox College announced today that MarQuita D. Barker, Ed.D., a highly accomplished educational professional with a track record of developing high-impact programs and services to advance student learning, development, and success, has accepted the position of Knox College vice president for student development. She will start in her new role at Knox on Monday, January 10, 2022.

A native of Virginia, Barker earned her B.S. in communications and M.S. in higher education administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She also earned her M.B.A. from Elon University in Elon, North Carolina, and earned her Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Barker wrote her doctoral research on “Residential Colleges and Their Impact on Students’ Sense of Belonging.” She is currently assistant dean of campus life/director of residence life at Elon, a highly-ranked private liberal arts institution with a strong commitment to experiential learning and global engagement.

“MarQuita will be an innovative, inclusive, and engaging leader for the student development division at Knox College,” said Knox President Andy McGadney. “I am absolutely delighted that she has chosen Knox as the best institution for her to continue her already successful career and am confident that our students and all other members of the campus community will appreciate her talent and skill as much as I already do. I want to give a huge thanks to the search committee and the Knox community for their work to select our new vice president for student development.”

In her current role at Elon, Barker leads the university’s academic-residential partnerships to create a premier student residential experience. She manages and strategically plans all aspects of an extensive program of residence life functions for 4,100 students, facilitates the transition from on- to off-campus living, and directs the recruitment and development of a diverse staff of more than 160. She developed nationally-recognized student-centered programs, conferences, and learning communities, in addition to other university-wide residential campus initiatives that have positively impacted residential students at Elon. Previously, Barker was senior associate director of residence life, associate director of residence life operations, and assistant director in the office of residence life and the multicultural center at Elon.

“The opportunity to lead student development for Knox was irresistible, given the mission of the College and the talented people leading, teaching, and learning at the College,” said Barker. “I look forward to working across the campus community to support moving Knox forward and ensuring that the student development division is serving Knox students as effectively as possible.”

About Knox College

Knox College and the city of Galesburg, Ill., were founded by a group of pioneers from upstate New York, led by the Rev. George Washington Gale, after whom the city was named. The Illinois Legislature approved Knox College's charter on February 15, 1837. Among the members of the General Assembly was Abraham Lincoln, who would later rise to national prominence in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, one of which was held at Knox's Old Main building. Today, Old Main is the sole remaining site from the historic debates. A nationally ranked liberal arts college, Knox has 1,200 students from 45 states and 49 countries, more than 60 courses of study, and 99 majors and minors. Knox also is one of the 40 colleges listed in the book "Colleges That Change Lives" by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope.

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