Black Women in Leadership Image of Panelists

FDU Office of Alumni Relations, Student Life, Community Relations
& the Black Alumni Chapter Present
Original date of event: Thursday, March 23, 2023

A panel of highly-successful Black alumnae from FDU discussed challenges and successes in their careers. The panelists shared their insights into establishing work-life balance, navigating career decision-making, advocating for oneself, and cultivating the leadership of other Black women.

Watch a replay of the event below.



Jonnese Arrington PhotoDr. Jonnese Chanel Arrington Ed.D., BA '06, MA '16
Detective, Confidential Investigations Unit
Associate Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Dr. Jonnese Arrington has over seventeen years in public service. Dr. Arrington began her career at the Juvenile Justice Commission in 2006 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Fairleigh Dickinson University. As a youth worker, Dr. Arrington worked directly with incarcerated youth entrusted to the JJC for criminal violations. Shortly after, Dr. Arrington began working for the Division of Child Protection and Permanency investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect of children in Newark, NJ. In 2010, Dr. Arrington joined the East Orange Police Department and worked in the Patrol Division, Enhanced Community Safety Team, Criminal Investigations Bureau, and Violent Crimes Task force. In 2015, Dr. Arrington joined the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office where she has worked in the Narcotics Taskforce, Special Victim’s Unit, and Courthouse Division. Dr. Arrington is currently assigned to the Confidential Investigations Unit where she conducts investigations into allegations of police misconduct. In 2016, Dr. Arrington obtained her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Fairleigh Dickinson University and became an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Justice Department. In 2022, Dr. Arrington earned her Doctorate in Education with a concertation in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from Saint Peter’s University. Her dissertation research was titled, “Living in Violence Has Become a Norm: A Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences Faced By College Students Raised in Urban Communities." In her research, she detailed the life stressors faced by urban minority students due to exposure to criminality and the resilient efforts to attend college. Dr. Arrington aspires to help people understand the hardships faced by students in urban communities and introduce minorities to the criminal justice system through education and not incarceration.


Carolyn Lowe photo

Carolyn Lowe, Esq. BA '78
Administrative Partner, Lowe & Associates LLC
FDU Pinnacle Society Member

Carolyn Oakley Lowe is the Administrative Partner at Lowe & Associates LLC | Counsellors and Advisors, a law firm based in Philadelphia. Ms. Lowe has a broad background in business, finance, law, real estate, and regulatory and public policy. She has served as in-house legal counsel to a real estate development company and legal counsel to a non-profit housing development organization. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lowe served as the Associate General Counsel of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, and subsequently, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency. She has also been a Principal of a real estate asset management company. Before joining Lowe & Associates, Ms. Lowe was the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Philadelphia office of DHR International, a global executive search firm.




Kiki Haynes photo

Kianya 'Kiki' Haynes, BA '98
Keynote Speaker

Kiki Haynes is most recognized for her series regular role in “Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse” on OWN as the sassy, troublemaking Keisha, as well as her role as Miranda on ALLBLK’s “Ladies of the Law”. She has guest starring roles on CBS’s “Rules of Engagement” where she plays the role of Rusty’s Nurse, Lena Waithe’s “TWENTIES” in the role of Cocoa, Bounce TV’s “In The Cut” playing the role of Mallory and “Family Time” in the role of Racquel. However, Kiki is rapidly gaining popularity for her current series regular role on “All The Queens Men” on BET+ where she plays the relentless, and clever Detective Davis.



Dr. Uchenna Baker photoDr. Uchenna Baker, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students,
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Dr. Baker has over two decades of professional experience in Higher Education and teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Baker currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Puget Sound and the Assistant Dean for Campus Life and Director of Residence Life at Elon University in North Carolina. Dr. Baker earned an M.Ed. in counseling psychology and a B.A. in English and sociology, both from Rutgers University. She completed her Ph.D. in educational policy with a focus on urban education through a joint program of Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her dissertation research was titled “An Ontological and Phenomenological Model of Leadership: Igniting Individual and Collective Transformation and Catalyzing Educational Reform.” She was the 2016 recipient of the Illinois Qualitative Dissertation Award presented by the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. In her research, she chronicles her own personal journey in leadership as an African- American educator and student affairs practitioner. Her other scholarly publications focus on the role of ontological inquiry in exploring ways to engage university administrators, faculty and students in such a way that they are transformed and empowered to see themselves as change- agents within and beyond the classroom. Dr. Baker has presented her award-winning research at national and international conferences, through self-led workshops, and at invited talks and classroom presentations. Dr. Baker is also the founder and owner of The Leap Agency, a company focused on providing individuals and organizations with the tools they need to LEAP (lead ethically, authentically, and with purpose).