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Student Development and Success 

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At Virginia Union University®, we are committed to elevating the student experience by pushing the boundaries of higher education. Our mission provides essential services that improve the student journey from pre-enrollment to graduation. We are committed to preparing our students to become global leaders. 

Mission Statement

Our mission is to develop global citizens by cultivating in students their goals, dreams, and aspirations throughout the student life cycle. Student Development and Success provides comprehensive supports and programs that foster academic, spiritual, and personal growth. Through inclusive, collaborative and purposeful efforts, Student Development and Success promotes student success and community through enrichment and empowerment utilizing critical reflection and the nine noble achievements.​

Department of Student Development
Mission is to develop students into socially responsible, healthy, self-actualizing leaders through an engaging future focused student experience. The Goal To empower students to discover, realize, and achieve their life plan/dream.

Department of University College & General Education
Mission is to support student success and development by providing learning resources and advising that expand students' self-exploration through the creation and activation of the Personalized Education Plan.

Department of Spiritual Formation
Mission is to create a beloved community of students through faith and learning by nurturing and embodying the intellectual, ethical, and spiritual life of a global citizen.

Our Team:

Natalie Andre'

Name: Natalie Andre'​
Position:  Coordinator of Civic Engagement and Service Learning​
Hometown:  Brooklyn, NY​
Expertise:  Leadership|Civic Engagement|Government Relations| Student Engagement|Advocacy​
Hobbies: Travel|Cooking​
Interesting Fact:  Natalie was born in Jamaica​

Natalie Andre' is a Community Activist, Advocate of human rights, Entrepreneur and the Coordinator of Service Learning and Civic Engagement.  She is also a proud two time Alum of Virginia Union University.  This upcoming fall Ms. Andre', will be pursuing her PhD in Political Science.  Ms. Andre's activism has gained great respect from the City of Richmond and Virginia Government Officials.  As seen on Richmond Time's, CBS Channel 6 News, and many other outlets.  She uses her voice to help advocate change and share awareness that can affect the Black and Brown communities.  Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks.  With her mission to Engage, Educate, and Empower.  Ms. Andre' founded The Natalie Gives Back Foundation, which emerged out of the pursuit to inspire and support worldwide, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words

Cherise Bailey

Name: Cherise Bailey​
Position:  Lead Student Success Coach​
Hometown:  Halifax, VA​
Expertise:  Academic Affairs|Student Coaching|Student Affairs (Housing & Residence Life)​
Hobbies: Crafting|Reading​
Interesting Fact:  Cherise love crafting and event planning​

Bio ​
Cherise Bailey is an experienced, detail-oriented, highly motivated Higher Education professional driven to inspire student to pursue academic and personal excellence with seven years of experience in Higher Education.  Ms. Bailey has a proven knowledge of developing, operating policies & procedures, software implementation, productivity and performance management, and staff training and development.  Ms. Bailey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Public Administration from Virginia State University and her Master of Education in Higher Education with a concentration in Student Affairs from Liberty University.​​

LaKendra Brunston-Parker

Name: LaKendra Brunston-Parker​
Position:  Coordinator of Study Away Study Aboard​
Hometown:  Jamaica, Queens, NY​
Expertise:  International Education​
Hobbies: World Travel|Korean Dramas​
Interesting Fact:  Lakendra speaks Japanese

Dr. MarQuita Carmichael

Name: Dr. MarQuita Carmichael​
Position:  Assistant Dean, University Chapel​
Hometown:  Arlington, VA​
Expertise:  Pastoral Care|Mentoring|Rituals|Traditions​
Hobbies: Afrian History|Africia in the Diaspora​
Interesting Fact:  MarQuita LOVES ziplining!!!​

Bio ​
Dr. MarQuita Carmichael earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees in 2005 and 2012 from the Samuel deWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and has completed a clinical residence in pastoral care and counseling at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA.  Her sermon entitle, "The Silence We Keep" was awarded first place in the Faith Trust Institute's National Sermon Contest for 2010.  Dr. Carmichael is the author of "A Drop of Oil", published by Blackwoman Press and is a contributor to Dr. Ella Pearson Mitchell's "Those Preaching Women Volume5" published by Judson Press.  Additionally, her submissions to Dr. Katie G. Cannon's "Womanist, Feminist, Mujerista Ethics Seminar Journal" were published by Dr. Cannon in May 2009.  She is the owner and creative force behind the professional coaching and retreat service, Serenity's Waiting.  Dr. Carmichael is known for her sensitivity and commitment to others. ​

Whitney Grant

Name: Whitney Grant​
Position:  Student Success Coach​
Hometown:  Richmond, VA​
Expertise:  Social Science of Economics​
Hobbies: Traveling|Big Foodie|Writing​
Interesting Fact: Whitney's dream is to start a Nonprofit​

Bio ​
Whitney Grant, a newly hired Student Success Coach is a tenacious and innovative thought leader pursuing economic change for minority communities.  Ms. Grant is a Richmond native, birthed from Brooklyn, NY, parents giving her the exposure and opportunities to marry city and southern perspectives producing progressive change for local natives.  At only 29 years old, Ms. Grant has led and taught Chesterfield County's ESOL program, served as a Public Relations and Communication's Officer at Old Dominion University, and held grassroot electoral positions for President Joe Biden's current term.  Volunteering and giving back to the community is core to who Ms. Grant is; Ronald McDonald House, FORKids, establishing a Spanish Club, Beulah Elementary's summer school, Children's Hospital of Richmond, and Circles RVA are just a few organizations Ms. Grant has volunteered her time in making a difference.  Ms. Grant loves using social science, and her creativity to catalyze change for minority groups.  Currently Ms. Grant holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Spanish from Old Dominion University, and is in the process of procuring a Master's and Doctoral degree in Economics from Howard University. The ultimate goal that Ms. Grant knows that she will achieve is establishing a Nonprofit serving the economic concerns of black and brown communities. ​

Dr. Joseph Green

Name: Dr. Joseph Green​
Position:  Vice President, Student Development and Success
Hometown: Clinton, MD ​
Expertise:  Undergraduate Research|Mentoring|Academic and Career Transitions​
Hobbies: Theatre|Landscaping|Cooking|Movies|Storytelling​
Interesting Fact:  Joseph's first ever flight was to Archorage, AK​

Bio ​
Dr. Joseph Green, Ph.D is a longtime educator having worked with and served students I primary, secondary, and higher education settings over his 30-year career.  The Maryland native was born in Washington, DC and now makes his home in North Carolina.  His work experience includes developing programs centered on student development, mentoring, and student success.  Dr. Green has primarily focused his work on preparing first generation, low-income , and underrepresented students for post-secondary education and graduate studies.  Dr. Green holds an undergraduate degree in behavioral sciences/sociology and an advanced degrees in counseling psychology and political science.​

Dr. Mark James

Name: Dr. Mark James​
Position:  Assistant Dean ​
Hometown:  Ft. Lauderdale, FL​
Expertise:  Leadership|Teambuilding​
Hobbies: Reading|Sports​
Interesting Fact:  Mark was born in England​

Bio ​
As a life-long advocate of educational transformation, Dr. James has dedicated nearly 30 years of service to the community and the people he serves.  He leads by the mantra that "to change the culture, one must first change the mindset".  He has done that in a career spanning nearly three decades.  Throughout his professional career, he has worn many hats across various accountability, leadership, and innovation levels.  He is an energetic, experienced, and highly accomplished professional with a proven record of intuitive and insightful leadership that fosters inclusion, team building, fiscal accountability, and dynamic problem solving.  The following are a few highlights of his proficiencies.  He has had stops at Norfolk State University, St. Paul's College, Delaware State University and now Virginia Union University.  Dr. James has taken the same approach in his current role as Assistant Dean of Students.​

Dr. Deborah Martin

Name: Dr. Deborah Martin​

Donte' McCutchen

Name: Donte' McCutchen​
Position:  Total Wellness and Life Services​
Hometown:  Richmond, VA​
Expertise:  Health Advocacy|Education|Community Planning and Programming|Crisis Response|Well-Being| Evidence Based Interventions|Group Facilitation​
Hobbies: Reading |Traveling​
Interesting Fact:  Donte' is very shy​

Bio ​
Donte' McCutchen is a dedicated Health Educator and Navigator.  He is an advocate for Health, Well-Being and Social equity for all.  Mr. McCutchen has worked tirelessly for the last 18 years planning, implementing, and evaluating programs and services that address the physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of youth and families; placing heavy emphasis on prevention and early intervention of gun violence/usage, crime, HIV sexual risk, substance use risk, conflict resolution, healthy relationships, health care, self-care, and Healing.  Mr. McCutchen is an ordained Baptist Minister and graduate of Virginia Union University.  He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry in Public Health and Social Change at Pacific School of Religion.  He holds additional certifications in alcohol and substance abuse counseling, Mental Health interventions, and Wellness.​

Dr. Richard Price

Name: Dr. Richard Price​
Position:  Dean, University Chapel​
Hometown:  Harlem, NY​
Expertise:  Leadership theory and practice​
Hobbies: Travel|Food|Cultural Experience​
Interesting Fact:  Studied Tailoring in NY​

Bio ​
Dr. Price serves as Dean of Chapel and Professor.  He is an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and has served non-denominational congregations rooted in the Christian Restoration tradition in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and New York.  In addition, Dr. Price is an experienced professor who taught at the College of -New Rochelle at Brooklyn and Harlem campuses in areas of social science, From 2018-2022.​

Dr. Price earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Livingstone College; a Master of Arts in American History from St. John's University, a Master of Religious Leadership and Administration, and a Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological Seminary.  His dissertation was Re-examining Early Prophetic African American Voices in The Church of Christ; A Best Practice Model for Community Engagement.  Dr. Price enjoys spending time with his family; he is married and has one daughter.​

Dr. Corey Scott

Name: Corey Scott​
Position:  Dean, University College​
Hometown:  Richmond, VA​
Expertise:  Student Success|Retention|Life Counseling|Leadership Development​
Hobbies: Home Improvements​
Interesting Fact:  Corey enjoys watching western movies/tv shows​

Bio ​
Dr. Corey Scott is a longtime educator with experience in K-12 and higher education.  He has a BS in Criminal Justice, master degree in Counselor education, and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership.  Dr. Scott embraces his calling of leading and guiding leaders to address student success and student retention.  All students are teachable, as educators it is our responsibility to help students find their voice, their passion, and their purpose on their way to success. ​

Sensiere-Yanti Thompkins-Harris

Name: Sensiere-Yanti Thompkins-Harris​
Position:  Student Experience & Engagement Coordinator​
Hometown:  Harlem, NY​
Expertise:  Student Engagement|Student Leadership|Special Education|Mental Health​
Hobbies: Crocheting|Cooking|Listening to music​
Interesting Fact:  Sensiere graduated from high school when she was 16

Bio ​
Sensiere-Yanti Thompkins-Harris is a dynamic professional and dedicated Student Experience and Engagement Coordinator.  With a background in special education teaching, intensive in-home counseling and student leadership.  Ms. Thompkins-Harris brings a unique blend of empathy, organization, and problem-solving skills to her work.  Graduating with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in computer science from Virginia Union University in 2019, she combines their passion for understanding human behavior with a knack for technology.  While attending VUU, she served in different capacities in various student organizations, including Student Government Association, Panthers Activities Board, NAACP, Panther P.A.L.S and became a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  With a keen focus on fostering inclusive and supportive learning environments.  Ms. Thompkins-Harris strives to empower student to reach their full potential inside and outside of the classroom. ​

Megan White

Name: Megan White​
Position:  Lead Student Success Coach​
Hometown:  Charleston, SC​
Expertise:  Life Coaching|Student Success|Mental Health|Crisis Stabilizaation|Mentoring|Self Advocacy​
Hobbies: Writing|Reading|Natural Hair|Video Games​
Interesting Fact:  Megan is currently working on writing a novel and she enjoys playing board games​

Bio ​
Meagan White is a detailed-orientated, highly motivated academic advisor with a passion in assisting student in identifying, developing and utilizing their voice to become active participants in their own success.  The Charlestonian is currently located in Richmond, VA, where she has spent the last 20 years focused on providing mental health resources to undervalued and represented communities.  Ms. White's primary focus has been on healthy family dynamics through the development of communication skills, conflict resolution, healthy boundary settings.  Ms. White holds an undergraduate degree in a bachelor's of arts in psychology and with a minor in creative writing from University of Richmond and additional certifications in alcohol and substance abuse., grant writing, and professional communication skills.​

Paula Williams

Name: Paula Williams​
Position:  Executive Assistant to Vice President of SDS​
Hometown:  Woodbridge, VA​
Expertise:  ​
Hobbies: Music|Reading|Basketball|Event Planning|Shopping​
Interesting Fact:  Paula loves fashion and would love to open a Boutique​

Paula Williams is a go getter.  She has held several leadership positions with highly recognized companies such as America Online, Sprint, Navy Federal, and now Virginia Union University.  She loves the challenge of leading and helping others to achieve more.  Ms. Williams helped to bring to fruition, Lion Hearts.  This is an all boy program that helps her grandsons and boys in her neighborhood to learn from men(mentors) about manhood and different trades.  Ms. Williams is a strong believer in the proverb "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."