Sibby Anderson Thompkins
Sibby serves as the Special Advisor to the Provost and Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion, and as the Interim Chief Diversity Officer. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. As part of her role, she continues to lead the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity and diversity-related initiatives for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.
Sibby brings 20 years of experience in higher education administration to these positions. Her expertise is in serving and supporting the success of underrepresented groups. Previously, Sibby served as an Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of Students and an Assistant Dean in the Office of Student Academic Counseling (now the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling) here at Carolina. In addition, she served as an Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Hampshire College in Massachusetts and a clinical faculty member in Education and Dean of Advising at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. She has also been an active member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), serving as the NPA’s Diversity Officer and past member of the Advisory Group for the NPA’s NSF Paid ADVANCE Grant, as well as contributing to a book that resulted from the project, From PhD to Professoriate: The role of institutions in fostering the advancement of postdoc women. Most recently, she served a working group for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities that issued the report, Increasing diversity in the biomedical research workforce.
Sibby completed her PhD in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University and has a certificate in Management and Educational Leadership from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. Additionally, Sibby holds a BA and a MA in Communication Studies from Carolina and a MA in Educational Research (Ethnography and Qualitative Methods) from GSU.
Get to know Sibby
Name your favorite podcasts.
My favorite podcast is Oprah Super Soul Conversations. I love the kernels of wisdom by Oprah and her guests.
Best perk of the job?
I feel incredibly blessed to have a career I love and one that permits me to nurture the personal growth and professional careers of others. It’s so rewarding to give back to my alma mater and support diverse students and early career scholars.
In an alternate universe, what would you do for a living?
A barista for sure. I love coffee, enjoy experimenting with my Nespresso machine, and serving up specialty drinks to friends and family.
Name three things that people would be most surprised to learn about you.
- As an undergraduate, I directed or performed in more than 20 shows, including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, The Tapestry, and Uncommon Women.
- My side hussle in college was performing in dinner theatre shows in the Triangle.
- During graduate school, I studied abroad in South Africa.
What’s in your bucket list?
Travel to India and see the Taj Mahal.
Whom do you admire…and why?
Septima Clark. As a child, I remember reading about Clark in the Ebony Black History Book series. The daughter of a former slave, Clark became a licensed teacher in the south. Though perceived as an agitator by many, Clark played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement as an educator and activist, working to ensure that Blacks were educated on their rights as citizens and able to exercise their vote. As a higher education leader, Clark has remained a source of inspiration on issues of access, equity and opportunity.