'Practice What We Preach!' Pringle Focused as 'Student Warrior' Dedicated to Removing Obstacles
“We don’t settle.”
Spend five minutes with Eboni Pringle, Ph.D., and you'll quickly be convinced of her unwavering drive for student success. There is no obstacle she won't conquer, no red tape she won't destroy and no barrier she won't bust if it stands in the way of a student reaching their educational goals.
Such is the calling of Kent State University's senior associate vice president for student access and dean of University College.
Later this year, Pringle will celebrate 25 years with Kent State, and her advocacy for students was recently recognized nationally when she received the 2023 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award, presented by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. The organization serves education professionals by supporting and advancing efforts to improve student learning and transitions into and through higher education.
“They’re the standard bearer for the kind of work that we do,” says Pringle. “We rely on their research and guidance and standard-setting to drive what we do for our students.”
The nomination process included supporting letters from those very students, as well as Pringle’s fellow faculty and staff members. This was done without her knowledge.
“I was really humbled, and it was a complete surprise,” says Pringle. “I don’t like being in the spotlight, I just like doing the work.”
Pringle considers herself a "student warrior" and working with students her own form of activism. It’s about honoring what students bring to the table and meeting students where they are. They come to Kent State with the ability to succeed, and she works to identify and knock down any barriers to their success.
“My job is to be deeply committed to changing the future for students.”
Pringle loves witnessing the power of education and seeing the confidence of students who are nowhere near where they were when they started.
After a quarter century of service to the university, Pringle can personally attest to the kind of institution Kent State is. She appreciates the culture that supports and even celebrates innovation and trying new things.
Dean Eboni Pringle shares a smile with President Todd Diacon during his inauguration in 2019.
“We practice what we preach.”
Pringle believes the university's Students First commitment isn’t just a slogan; it’s a force that is actively applied daily. And while awards and recognition are nice, Pringle feels they're also a reminder to keep going.
“We’re not perfect, and there’s a lot of work to do. But we’re committed to continuous improvement. We don’t settle.”