Association of

in Higher Education

Minneapolis, MN

Black Women

Moving from Passion to Practice:  Celebrating 19 years of Supporting Education

Moving from Passion to Practice:  Celebrating 19 years of Supporting Education


The members of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE) are dedicated to the task of fostering and expanding the historically substantive role of Black women in higher education.  Building on the vision of the thirteen founding members, we recognize the need for a stronger Black voice in educational affairs of the nation.  Committed to this objective, we seek to provide a forum for action related to improving the quality of education for Blacks, and particularly Black youth, at every level of learning.

  • Dr. Yvonne Redmond-Brown, Northwestern College

  • Sue Hancock, University of Minnesota

  • Ruby Banks-Payne, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

  • Marcella Jones, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

  • Dr. Sharon Howell, University of St. Thomas


We inspire excellence.

We lead with passion and courage.

We are great by choice.


  • Dr. Nancy B. Walters, Minnesota Higher Education Services Office (President)

  • Dr. Jo Evans Coleman, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University (Vice President)

  • Dr. Carolyn Williams, St. Cloud State University (Secretary)

  • Dr. Gail Nordmoe, Augsburg College (Treasurer)

  • Dr. Verna Holoman, University of Minnesota

  • Ida B. Simon, Augsburg College


Minnesota Chapter History - The first Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education was officially incorporated on Saturday, April 1, 2000 at Augsburg College.  Joann Mitchell, Associate Provost at Princeton University, Board Member of the Women's Law Project and the Princeton Task Force on Ethics and National President of ABWHE conducted the chapter installation ceremony at the Christensen Center of Augsburg College.  A reception for the new chapter was held in the Alumni Gallery, Christensen Center.

Our History

IMG_0270 CAM00155 (2) SE 14 5

Current Chapter Leadership

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Roan Educational Consulting, Dr. Kimberly F. Roan, has over twelve years of experience developing and managing educational programs and seven years of experience evaluating diverse programs for educational institutions and businesses.  Most recently, she has assumed contracts with East Metro Integration District 6067, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and University of Minnesota under Roan Educational Consulting. Where she is responsible for the management and operation of the Office of Records and Registration. Currently Dr. Roan serves as the Enterprise Director at MMB, where she leads, directs, and manages the talent strategy for the executive branch of Minnesota State Government. She oversees the development of policies, priorities, and programs to improve productivity of state employees, increase leadership capabilities, attract and retain top talent, and ensure an inclusive work environment for all.

Dr. Kimberly Roan, President

Yolanda Lewis has a broad and deep background in the field of higher education.  Her passion for working with underrepresented undergraduate students has inspired her to devote much of her career to admissions and academic advising.  She has served as an adjunct faculty member at both private and public institutions.  Yolanda's commitment to access and success for underrepresented student populations has afforded her the opportunity to work on retention initiatives in higher education, and she continues her advocacy for higher educational institutions to provide systemic initiatives geared toward student satisfaction.

Yolanda Lewis, Vice President

Ea McMillan Porter is the Enrollment Advisor at the University of St. Thomas in the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling.  She has held this position for six years.



Ea Porter, Treasurer

Dr. Yvonne RB-Banks is a professor in the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University. She received her Ed.D from the University of Minnesota in Educational Policy and Administration and has been in higher education for 16 years.   Prior to higher education she taught and developed programs for children needing services related to special education in PK-12 for over 18 years.  Her professional passion is found in the advocacy of access for those often marginalized at the doors of higher education and her personal passion relates to gardening and reading. In addition to her teaching and administrative and consulting duties Dr.  RB-Banks contributes to the work of several non-profit boards and is a regular contributor to several higher education publications. She has traveled to over 17 countries presenting at international conferences on topics related to educational access for women and the over-representation of African American males in special education.  She has an upcoming chapter that will be released soon that discusses her experiences as an African American female scholar in Christian higher education.

Dr. Yvonne RB-Banks, Research Support and Logistics

Dr. Yvette LaShone Pye is an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in the Doctor of Leadership Program where she enjoys teaching and advising doctoral students.  She recently published her memoir Going from the Projects to Ph.D.: Transcending My Geography. In it she shares the journey of earning her Ph.D. and being at Saint Mary’s despite being born in the projects, abandoned by drug addicted parents and being under prepared to do so.  In September 2014, she launched the Dream Big Institute; an ASSET-based approach to helping all people of all ages have the life they want through education! The goal is identification of the current of state of being (personally, academically, or professionally) and strategizing how to get to the desired state of success.

Past-president and Chapter Mentor

Dr. Yvette L.  Pye


pye poter Dr Kim