The First Meeting
While our children were hard at work in their classrooms, less than seven miles down I-77 at LeBron HQ, our I PROMISE Institute’s (IPI) Bureau was hard art work at planning for their future. In total, over 100 years of higher education experience converged in Akron as Bureau members Paul Herold, Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Dr. Brian Hemphill, and its newest member, Dr. Scott Scarborough, held their first team meeting.
The IPI was established to provide resources, research-based interventions, and support to our students on I PROMISE scholarships as they pursue their four-year college degrees. In LeBron’s words, ““We don’t just want our kids to get to college, we want them to graduate from college. And we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help them do that.” The Bureau, which is tasked with overseeing IPI curriculum and guiding interventions, spent their day discussing research, brainstorming and laying the framework for preparation as our first class of students enter college in the fall of 2021.
The Bureau’s expertise is as rich as it is diverse with members from all walks of higher education. Paul Herold, who is a native Northeast Ohioan, served The University of Akron for over 30 years. Holding multiple positions through an illustrious career, Paul is best known for his expertise as a communication strategist. Representing the South, Dr. Hephner LaBanc is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Mississippi. Another Northeast Ohioan herself, Brandi has strong ties to her hometown, including a stint at The University of Akron. She currently provides leadership and direction for all aspects of the Division of Student Affairs while also serving as a faculty member in the Higher Education program in the department of Leadership and Counselor Education.
Though they are not Ohioans by birth, Dr. Scarborough and Dr. Hemphill’s commitment to Akron’s youth make them Ohioans at heart. Dr. Hemphill is the President of Radford University in Virginia. As President, Brian is a champion for positive change and a vocal advocate of shared governance.
Invited to the meeting as an expert contributor, Dr. Scarborough was instantaneously nominated and accepted to the Bureau. As President of The University of Akron, Scott was one of the chief architects of the I PROMISE Scholarship.
While the group has returned to their respective corners of the word, the Bureau continues to work toward building the framework for success as our students enter college. We send a warm family thank you to Paul, Scott, Brandi, and Brian for their hard work, steadfast dedication, and unrivaled commitment.