Cerri Banks joined Mount Holyoke College in July of 2011 as the vice president for student affairs and dean of the College and also serves as an adjunct lecturer in the Psychology and Education department. She comes to Mount Holyoke after serving as the dean of William Smith College and assistant professor of education at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
In her role at Mount Holyoke, Banks is responsible for the academic and social progress of students and oversees the dean of students, the dean of studies, the directors of health services and the counseling service, and the dean of religious life and director of diversity and inclusion. Committed to educational reform and issues of inclusion, Banks draws from educational theory, feminist theory, and critical race theory in her work as the dean and in her teaching, research, and writing.
Banks received her Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Women’s Studies, both from Syracuse University. She specializes in sociology of education, cultural studies, multicultural education, and qualitative research. Her book Black Women Undergraduates, Cultural Capital and College Success (Peter Lang, 2009) expands the theoretical concept of cultural capital and provides practical ways colleges and universities can recognize and utilize the cultural capital of all students. She is also the co-author of the edited text, Teaching, Learning, and Intersecting Identities in Higher Education (Peter Lang, 2012). This book utilizes voices of scholars and students from a range of academic disciplines to analyze the ways divergent identities and experiences infiltrate the classroom.