With the end of the 2016-2017 school year in proximity, Bowie State University’s new president recently met with some students and faculty to set her priorities to continue to build upon the school’s academic rigor and image for the next academic session.

Bowie State President Aminta Hawkins Breaux meets with students on May 9. (Photo credit: Bowie State University)

Aminta Hawkins Breaux, who was appointed as Bowie’s tenth president, will succeed Mickey L. Burnim on July 1. Burnim is scheduled to retire after a 40-year tenure in higher education, with 11 of those years at Bowie, on June 30.

“As a product of public education, I feel a special obligation to help ensure bright and successful futures for students attending our public universities. In collaboration with BSU’s outstanding faculty and staff, a strong community of learners, community and government leaders, and through business partnerships,  I will strive to ensure that BSU graduates have a quality educational experience and continue to have a positive impact locally, regionally, and globally,” Breaux said in a statement .

Breaux told the AFRO on May 9 that she wants to ensure that Bowie continues to be great for another 150 years. She said she would do this by building on the strength of both the school and the community around it.

She said that one way she will build on Bowie’s academic strength is by merging the classroom and the workplace through the university’s Education Innovation Initiative (ei2). The ei2 program is a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) education initiative that exposes under-represented students in Prince George’s County with real world work experiences. “It will merge the classroom and the workplace because this is what will help you in the world,” Breaux told the AFRO.

Breaux also said she wants to create more partnerships with the community, faculty and students and work with the school’s Board of Regents to continue to improve the value of public education.

“Bowie State University is positioned to achieve even greater excellence in the years ahead,” University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret said in a statement. “Dr. Breaux has the leadership experience, ability, and commitment to make that a reality. Throughout her career, she has excelled in nurturing productive relationships both on and off campus, with the goal of enhancing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. We very much look forward to her joining the University System of Maryland community.”

Beaux comes to Bowie with more than 35 years of experience in higher education. According to a press release, she has experience in student affairs, academic affairs, strategic planning, enrollment management, capital planning, and budget management through her previous positions as vice president for advancement at Millersville University from 2014 to 2017; vice president of student affairs at Millersville University from 2008-2014; dean of student at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia from 2000-2008; and assistant provost of Drexel University in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2000.

Some of Breaux’s accomplishments throughout her academic tenure include increasing Millersville’s endowment from $30 million to $40 million, providing leadership for a $150 million residence hall replacement project and for the $35 million redesign of the Student Union.

Breaux earned a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Temple University, master’s degree in psychological services in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University.

Washington D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine contributed to this article.