New Vice President of Student Affairs, Carllos Lassiter – AC Observer
Written by Aguiele Ndoungla, writer
This academic year, Austin College welcomes a new Vice President (VP) of Student Affairs, Carllos Lassiter, who also takes on the role of Head of Inclusion and Diversity. Lassiter is a Vassar College alumnus and a current candidate for a Doctor of Education in Higher Education at the University of Mississippi.
As Lassiter completes his 19th year of graduate school, he decided to join Austin College in part because of his closeness to his family. After feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lassiter realized how precious being surrounded by loved ones and family was to him. Other aspects he enjoys about the college are the hospitality of the faculty and students he interacted with during the interview process. “I fell in love with the small campus,” he added to point out the size and beauty of the campus as another deciding factor. The fact that Austin College was a liberal arts college also played a role in his interest in Austin College. Indeed, Lassiter has a preference for liberal arts colleges not only because of the diversity of student universities, but also because of the closeness between faculty and students. His familiarity with the liberal arts community was a determining factor in his decision.
Lassiter was not always interested in higher education. As he completed his first year as a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in African studies, a combination of African American and African studies, his main focus shifted to education. Indeed, Lassiter went to Morocco and studied Arabic, intending to become a Foreign Service Officer of the State Department in the Middle East. However, with the rise of conflict in the Middle East, he opted for other careers, including a job at Tougaloo College, a small, historically black college in Jackson, Mississippi. “From there, I fell in love with being back on a college campus and supporting students through different types of services,” he explains. Since then, Lassiter has found his raison d’être in higher education and after earning a Masters in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi, he is currently writing his doctoral dissertation in education and is expected to defend it this fall semester at the same institution.
Although he’s been here for just over two months, Lassiter is already working on implementing some changes on campus. One of them is the creation of an “inclusion and diversity statement that will increase the mission statement” of Austin College. This would serve to strengthen the institution’s goal of being a safe and inclusive community. The Vice President aims to focus on the Austin College community and ensure a quality student life experience on campus by providing resources and working with different departments such as campus policing and food services to improvement. As Austin College’s premier Inclusion and Diversity Officer, he strives to make the community a place where all members feel a strong sense of belonging, regardless of what role they fill here. . This includes working with faculty and staff to ensure a fair approach to interacting with students. Eager to bring his contribution and his ideas to the continuous improvement of Austin College, he invites the community to see him act. In the words of his close friend, “Watch me do the job”
Mr. Lassiter has an open door policy. Any member of the AC community can visit him in his office at WCC 251. He is happy to discuss with students or faculty about their ideas and issues. You can also contact him by phone at 903.813.2228.