Andrea Cornett-Scott

Chief Diversity Officer
Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott

As MBU’s Chief Diversity Officer, Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott will build upon her 25 years of experience in diversity strategies, inclusive programming, and student-centered mentorship at Mary Baldwin to provide strategic vision to develop and implement proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at MBU and most effectively foster a community of awareness, belonging, and respect.

Since she joined Mary Baldwin in 1996 as director of African American affairs, Cornett-Scott has impacted the lives of hundreds of students through her work as an advisor and her leadership in MBU’s Office of Inclusive Excellence.

Most recently serving as associate provost of inclusive excellence, she designed and directed both the Ida B. Wells Living-Learning Community — a leadership and civic engagement program for women of African descent — and the PERSIST Program, focusing on student success.

She also served as a co-leader of MBU’s Coalition for Racial and Social Justice, formed in 2020, and as a member of the Academic Leadership Council.

Over the course of her MBU career, she has been a vital resource for DEI expertise and best practices during strategic planning and designing initiatives to serve students.

Often in collaboration with students to bring their interests to life, she has launched and developed nearly 30 programs, celebrations, and organizations to bolster cross-cultural learning and inclusive excellence at the university.

Those programs — like the Ubuntu Student Mentoring Program and the Sista Friends Alumni Mentoring Program — were also consistently focused on supporting students’ academic, emotional, and social wellbeing through relationship-building.

Traditions created through the Office of Inclusive Excellence have become part of the MBU culture as a whole. The Kwanzaa celebration, held each February, is one of the largest events on campus, and the annual Ajani Ceremony — celebrating graduates who have been leaders of diversity programming and inclusive excellence — is a signature event during Commencement weekend. Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month also bring a slate of cultural events and engagement opportunities to MBU.

Behind each of these efforts, Cornett-Scott has promoted the value of a diverse intellectual and social environment for all students and has centered the voices of historically culturally marginalized students.

Also a member of the philosophy and religion department, Cornett-Scott taught the courses African American Religion and Community and Practice, both of which support the African American studies minor, as well as Faith, Life, and Service and Community Service.

In 2000, she planted Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in downtown Staunton, where she continues to serve as pastor. She has also served as the dean for the AME Virginia Annual Conference Board of Examiners for many years, and last year was named dean of the Second Episcopal District Board of Examiners.

Cornett-Scott attended Howard University and graduated from Morris Brown College, earning a bachelor of arts in Spanish. As an undergraduate, Cornett-Scott also studied abroad in the Dominican Republic at Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. She earned her master of divinity from Payne Theological Seminary, writing her thesis — “Ain’t Got Time to Die: The African Spiritual Inheritance of the African Methodist Episcopal Church” — on African cultural continuities.