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Dr. Will Simpkins is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Metropolitan State University of Denver, leading student engagement and wellness initiatives, enrollment management services, and workforce development and industry partnerships for a vibrant, urban campus in one of the United States’ fastest growing cities. Dr. Simpkins’s previous experiences in higher education include career services, student activities and leadership, diversity initiatives, and civic engagement in both public and private institutions in New York City as well as serving on the faculty of the Educational Leadership in Higher Education program at Montclair State University.
At MSU Denver, Dr. Simpkins created the C2 Hub, an innovative program that meets student and industry partner success needs. With over a dozen Industry Navigators, 50+ Peer Mentors, and initiatives that reach students in high school, the C2 Hub is MSU Denver’s signature student success program. Dr. Simpkins has also built or invested in programs focused on student equity, student access, student basic needs support, and community engagement.
Dr. Simpkins is currently a Senior Impact Fellow of the Aspen Institute Leadership Development Index and serves on the Executive Committee of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. He was previously appointed to New York City’s Manhattan Community Board 9 (West Harlem) by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in 2007, serving two terms with involvement in health, governance, and zoning issues. He has served in a number of leadership roles in professional organizations, including national co-chair of the LGBTQ Knowledge Community of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Idealist.org On Campus Advisory Board.
Dr. Simpkins earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, with a dissertation that examined the college experiences of bachelor’s degree students who receive welfare (TANF benefits) in New York City. He also holds an M.Ed. in Counseling and Personnel Services with a concentration in student leadership development from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in English with concentrations in creative writing and cultural studies from Virginia Tech.