Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
Dr. Briana N. Nicholson spent nearly ten years at her state’s department of higher education, holding various leadership and administrative positions. As a director within the agency, she coordinated all policy and strategy development for increasing the number of students who entered into and successfully completed their degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) disciplines. Dr. Nicholson was responsible for monitoring public policy and key higher education initiatives, alongside state goals for collaboration and engagement including connecting with various governmental agencies, secondary entities, postsecondary and adult career and technical education institutions, and community colleges.
Dr. Nicholson began her work in positively affecting student success as a coordinator for a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant, a collaboration with federal, state, and local entities to improve the college-going outcomes of at-risk youths. She has also been a member of committees for various programs targeted at student access and success, including serving as part of the management team for her state’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship Program. Dr. Nicholson further lead work related to increasing the minority population in engineering disciplines and a primary care initiative to increase the number of students entering into primary care nursing or medical fields. Prior to her tenure in public service and state leadership, Dr. Nicholson was a program assistant and office manager for the Ohio College Access Network. She also volunteers within her community and is actively involved in her church.
Dr. Nicholson received her doctorate in human services from Capella University, and a master's degree in communications from the Ohio State University. She currently lives with her husband in Powell, Ohio