Co-Lin taps Barnes as Natchez Campus Vice President

At a special meeting, the Co-Lin Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Dr. Sandra Barnes of Natchez as the new Vice President of the Natchez Campus. Dr. Barnes will begin her new role on July 15.

“We are so excited to have Dr. Barnes lead our Natchez Campus,” said Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon. “Dr. Barnes has an extensive background in higher education. Her expertise in academics, leadership, grant writing, and with the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) will greatly benefit Co-Lin.”

Dr. Barnes has 18 years of teaching and research experience in higher education and six years of leadership experience. She has been part of the Natchez community for 18 years. Dr. Barnes currently serves as the Chairperson and Professor of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Alcorn State University. She has also served in other capacities at Alcorn including Associate Professor of Chemistry and Research Assistant Professor for the Center for Biotechnology and Genomics.  

“I am humbled and honored to serve Natchez and the surrounding communities as Vice President of Co-Lin’s Natchez Campus,” said Dr. Barnes. “Every interaction I have had with college personnel has been very positive, and I feel at home already. I am excited to work alongside Dr. Hulon, Co-Lin administration, faculty, staff, and students to carry out the visionary goals set for the Natchez Campus.”

Dr. Barnes received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Alcorn and her doctoral degree in bioanalytical chemistry at the University of Kansas. She was also a post-doctoral researcher for Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas. She earned a certification from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology Post Graduate in Academic Leadership.

Dr. Barnes has been recognized for her excellence in the classroom by receiving the Higher Education Appreciation Day Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) award. She continues to provide leadership for the development of quality online courses in environmental chemistry and general sciences for elementary teachers.

As Chairperson of the Chemistry and Physics Department, Dr. Barnes has hired faculty, performed annual faculty evaluations, led the department, and managed National Science Foundation (NSF) grant budgets. Under her leadership, the chemistry program has experienced growth from an average of 40 majors to approximately 80 majors over the past few years. During this time, the department initiated a mentoring program, a tutoring center, and a resource center for student academic support.

Dr. Barnes has valuable experience in higher education accreditation. She served on Alcorn’s SACSCOC committee and has been actively engaged in the reaffirmation process. On the program accreditation level, she successfully led the Department of Chemistry and Physics’ chemistry program from the pre-application process to the full application phase of the accreditation process by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the first time the department has successfully reached this level.

In addition, her research has been published and her projects have been funded by numerous groups including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Barnes has served as a workshop facilitator at Indiana University and Spelman College. She has been honored as a woman of character, wisdom, values, and persistence by The LINKS Incorporated in Natchez.