By Emily Chang
On Sept. 12, Dr. Eboni Ford Turnbow joined CI as the new Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA). Toni DeBoni temporarily filled the position as interim since Jan. 11, 2021, and is now assuming the role of Assistant Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness and Special Assistant to the President.
At California State Polytechnic University Humboldt, Ford Turnbow served as Associate Vice President & Dean of Students from 2019 to 2022 and Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Success from June 2022 to September 2022. She earned her B.S. in Secondary Education & Health Studies from Wayne State University in 2010, her M.A. in College Student Affairs Leadership from Grand Valley State University in 2012 and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Wayne State University in 2019, specializing in Gender and Work in Higher Education.
Ford Turnbow has been studying and involved in education since her undergraduate career. She said, “I found college age students was where I could make the most impact and I never looked back. I’m a big proponent of positively impacting higher education across our country and globally to ensure I’m doing my part for as many students as possible.” She chose CI specifically because she “appreciated (the) collegial dynamic from the faculty and staff” as well as “enjoyed getting to know the students … and hearing what they’re passionate about.”
As far as the new VPSA’s goals for CI within the next few years, she commented she has many, but some of her “more immediate goals are to aid in the enrollment growth, to continue the progression toward our GI 2025 goals, and ensure our students are having a robust student experience while at CI.” Her experience at Humboldt will help her navigate her duties at CI because of her experience in “crisis management, establishing new and restructuring departments” and “expanding cultural centers for students of color.” Ford Turnbow acknowledged her time at Humboldt as a “great introduction to the CSU” but also realizes “every campus is unique.”
While Ford Turnbow has several serious professional goals and intentions at the University, her responses demonstrate her emphasis on being connected with students – a great reminder that, as different as we students feel from the people that head the University and its departments, we are all fundamentally connected by our humanity.
On that note, Ford Turnbow enjoys going to the gym in her free time, as well as “spending time and making new memories with loved ones, and football, both college and NFL.” Some of her favorite movies, which was a tough decision for her, are “movie series like Rush Hour, Bourne Supremacy, Taken, Friday, Saw.” She commented after listing those movies, ”(It) looks like action packed is my preference,” which is a fitting preference for someone working with college students!
Lastly, Ford Turnbow offered a piece of advice for CI students this fall semester: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today! Take advantage of the moment and opportunity when it presents itself.” These are excellent words to start this semester and guide us through the rest of our educational experience because, while the University can change around us with new buildings, staff and faculty, the outcome of our years at CI are ultimately up to us. Give welcome to our new VPSA and look out for what she accomplishes in her time here! Ford Turnbow stated, “I bring not just my Humboldt experiences, but institutions throughout my career as a whole,” as she joins our campus.