National Institutes for Historically- Underserved Students ​​

"We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community-and this nation."       -Cesar Chavez

                                   National Advisory Council
                               for The National Institutes for Historically-Underserved Students

Dr. Ivan Banks, Dean, School of Education and Psychology, Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS

Dr. Kristin Bundesen, Lead Faculty in Humanities, Walden University, Santa Fe, NM and London, UK

Shirlethia Franklin, Esquire, Attorney Of-Counsel, Jones Day; former White House Liasion to the U.S. Attorney General, Obama Administration; Washington, DC

Dr. Keith Gaskin, Vice President for Advancement, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, TN

Dr. Chris Gilmer, President, West Virginia University at Parkersburg; Founder, National Institutes for Historically-Underserved Students;  Parkersburg, WV

Lillian Gomez, Executive Director, Title V Programs, Adams State University, Alamosa, CO

Dr. Trudy Hensley, Vice President, RMC Research Corporation, Tampa, FL

Dr. Anthony Johnson, Vice President for Sponsored Programs and Undergraduate Research, Philander Smith College, Little Rock, AR

Dr. Donzell Lee, Interim President, Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS

Dr. Estela Lopez, Senior Associate, Excelencia in Education; Retired Provost, Connecticut State University System, Hartford, CT

Dr. Dorothy McGill, Executive Director, Innovative Behavioral Services, Inc., Ridgeland, MS

Dr. Robin Ozz, Immediate Past President, National Association for Developmental Education; Director of Developmental Education and Innovation, Phoenix College, Phoenix, AZ

Luisa del Carmen Pollard, Chief Executive Officer, Clemente and Associates, LLC, Atlanta, GA

Chad Shealy, Superintendent, Vicksburg/Warren Public Schools, Vicksburg, MS

Constance Slaughter-Harvey, Esquire, Founder and President, Legacy Foundation; Civil Rights Attorney, Forest, MS

David Creel, Managing Director

Meet Our Founder...

     Chris Gilmer is President of West Virginia University at Parkersburg where he is also a tenured Professor of Humanities. He  earned a Ph.D. in English with emphasis in writing from the University of Southern Mississippi. A first-generation college graduate, he has spent most of his career as a faculty member and administrator in the Historically-Black College and University (HBCU) system in Mississippi.   

     Prior to WVU Parkersburg, Chris was Executive Director of Alcorn State University's Vicksburg Campus and also Executive Director of the Southwest Mississippi Center for Culture and Learning at Alcorn. He has served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Adams State University. Adams is the oldest federally-designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in Colorado, and Alcorn is the oldest public land grant HBCU in America.

     Chris has worked in developmental education for 25 years and is committed to making higher education accessible and attainable for historically-underserved students. He has been an active consultant for the U.S. Department of Education's Regional Educational Lab (REL) and Comprehensive Center technical assistance networks, and he was the inaugural chair of the National Centers for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), a technical assistance network of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which he helped to found and which still servies all 50 states and all U.S. jurisdictions.

     He has published peer-reviewed academic articles as well as nonfiction alongside Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and change agents such as Oprah Winfrey. He has presented hundreds of keynote addresses and workshops for audiences nationwide.

"My mother read David Copperfield to me in the womb and promised my world would be larger than hers. A sharecropper’s daughter born on the kitchen table of a cotton shack, she was valedictorian of her high school class in the red clay hills of rural Mississippi and got me instead of the college education of her dreams, thus beginning my lifetime commitment to the belief that much is required of the person to whom much is given."