Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries
Dr. Ernest Jeffries serves as the Vice President of Student Engagement. As the chief student affairs officer, Dr. Jeffries provides leadership to the Division of Student Engagement which includes the areas of Residence Life & Housing, Community Standards & Title IX, Student Activities, First-Year Experience & Student Support, Public Safety & Security, Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG), Health and Counseling Services, Dining Services, and Athletics.
Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries started his career at the University of Tennessee as Residence Hall Director. He then served as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Director of Minority Affairs at Western Carolina University. Following that, he did a 20-year tenure at Davidson College during which he held various roles and titles including Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Life; Chief Judicial Officer where he served in the Title IX process; and he created the framework for a multicultural affairs office and then served as Director of Multicultural Affairs from 1996 to 2011. Most recently in his role as Associate Dean, Jeffries was responsible for the administration of judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, academic access and disability resources, academic support, student retention programs, and technology resources.
His professional affiliations include the Southern Association of College Student Affairs, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, and the Phi Mu Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities.
D.Min., United Theological Seminary
M.Div, Hood Theological Seminary
M.Ed., University of South Carolina
B.A., University of South Carolina
Strengths Finders Talent Themes
Samuel Irons '18 MS '20
B.S. Mary Baldwin University
M.S. Mary Baldwin University
they, them, theirs
Strengthsfinders Talent Themes
Elaina Carson-Fuduloff brings a robust background in law enforcement, safety and security services, and personnel management to Mary Baldwin. She holds a B.S. in criminal justice, multiple security-related certifications, and has worked in the law enforcement and private security industry for more than 10 years. Her experience includes special training with the U.S. Army, working as a disaster action team member with the American Red Cross, and serving as the assistant director of transit security operations for the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
As MBU’s Director of Safety and Security Elaina oversees the Office of Campus Safety. She manages a team of highly trained security professionals, and is responsible for providing a safe and secure living, learning, and working environment for Mary Baldwin’s students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Tiara Grace is a committed servant leader with eight years of experience working alongside student affairs professionals. Tiara specializes in student engagement through Residence Life and Housing practices and has been responsible for using progressive systems and programming strategies to enhance the student experience. Throughout her career, she has been privileged to create policies and processes as well as serve on implementation teams for student information systems. She enjoys finding creative ways to streamline processes to improve the productivity of the team and enhance the efficiency of procedures for the people she serves. Tiara is a quiet but unwavering force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Tiara is inspired by her close family and partner who she strives to make proud daily. In her free time, Tiara likes to tackle DIY projects, paint, and explore. In her new position at MBU, she looks forward to connecting with amazing students and transforming their residential experience.
Nadia Kuley, Ph.D.
Erin Marley, an employee of Augusta Medical Group, provides acute, chronic and preventative healthcare services for the students of Mary Baldwin University. She has been practicing as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) since 2005 and joined the MBU family in 2015. She truly enjoys taking care of students and above all, loves witnessing the amazing transformation that takes place within students during their four years at Mary Baldwin.
BSN, University of Virginia
MSN, University of Virginia
She, Her, Hers
Strengthsfinders Talent Themes:
Thomas "Tom" Byrnes
Thomas Byrnes assumes the duties of director of athletics at Mary Baldwin University in August 2019.
Byrnes’ background encompasses NCAA Divisions I, II, and III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), as well as committee work for the NCAA, Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), and others. He will provide leadership for all aspects of MBU’s Athletics Department including strategic planning, program and staff development, resource management, athletics and recreational activities, and ensuring compliance with NCAA, USA South, Title IX, and university policies.
He joins MBU during a time of strategic planning and expansion of athletics offerings and facilities, such as the recent addition of six men’s programs, including men’s soccer and baseball, as well as the construction of SMA Worth Field.
In his most recent position as director of athletics at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Denver, Byrnes oversaw a 500% increase in student-athlete recruitment and stewarded the school’s NCAA D-III membership application, a multi-phase process. He also expanded JWU Denver’s coaching and training staff, launched men’s and women’s golf programs, and initiated a student-athlete advisory committee.
Prior to JWU Denver, he served as the first full-time commissioner for the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), based in York, Pa. He recruited member institutions for CAC, enhanced membership services for their 21 championship sports, worked with NCAA D-III staff and commissioner organizations, and represented the conference both regionally and nationally.
Byrnes also has years of experience on the sports information and media relations side of collegiate athletics, serving as sports information director (SID) at California University of Pennsylvania, and, prior to that position, assistant executive director for media relations at the Pennsylvania-based Patriot League. He started his career as the first full-time SID at Franklin & Marshall College and then rose to the position of assistant director of athletics.
For more than 30 years, Byrnes has participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball at the collegiate and scholastic level as an official. He also served on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Committee for 25 years.
Byrnes earned a BA in communications/journalism and an MS in organizational communication, both from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Coreena, have two children, Nathan and Lauren.
M.S., Shippensburg University
B.A., Shippensburg University
LaRhonda Johnson Horton
Preparing students for the road ahead is the most meaningful part of the job for LaRhonda Johnson Horton, a 22-year veteran of student affairs, who joins MBU this month as the assistant vice president of student engagement.
“College students give you hope for the future,” Horton said. “The energy they have for life and the hopes and aspirations they have for the future really excite me and in the end are so rewarding.”
Horton’s mantra, “manage by walking around,” mirrors her No.1 goal: to be visible around campus as she brings compassion, a service-like mindset, and high energy to the student population.
“I’m excited to welcome LaRhonda to campus, and am confident that her charismatic personality, encouraging support, and higher education expertise will energize and elevate the MBU experience for our students,” said Vice President for Student Engagement Ernest Jeffries.
Working with Jeffries to increase student engagement is a high priority for Horton, who is excited about the new vision for MBU under the leadership of new university president Jeff Stein.
Horton will return to MBU where she started her professional career. One of her first job experiences was working in first-year experience at MBU while pursuing her master of education at James Madison University (JMU).
Horton comes to MBU from the University of Utah overseeing all aspects of student care, support and conduct processes such as academic integrity, review of enrollment, as well as facilitating education and training programs.
Horton took a career break in 2013 to become a full-time caregiver for her husband, a veteran of the U.S. Navy who was injured in the line of duty. During that time, she realized she had a gift for helping people navigate challenges.
“When I returned to the workforce, I found my gift and passion for working with individuals as they manage the challenges of pursuing higher education,” said Horton. “Every student is capable of achieving their educational goals and I see my role as being a supporter and advocate for students throughout their college journey.”
As a first-generation college student from eastern North Carolina, Horton received her bachelor of arts in religious studies from Elon University and earned her master of education in college student personnel administration from JMU.
Horton’s first day on campus is Friday, Aug. 25.