Benedict College Appoints Dr. Vanessa Harris as the Executive Director of the B.E.S.T. Lives Center

Columbia, SC, Benedict College appoints Dr. Vanessa Harris as the Executive Director of the B.E.S.T.  Lives Center. Harris has over 25 years of higher education experience with cross-institutional expertise in recruitment, admission, student success, academic advisement, academic coaching, and administration. 

Before joining the Benedict College family in January, Harris was instrumental in launching the Second Chance Pell Program in the South Carolina Department of Corrections at Claflin University.

“With her experience as the Interim Director for Pathways from Prison Program, Interim Executive Director for the Center for Professional and Continuing Studies, and as an Associate Professor, Dr. Harris is well-positioned to lead the efforts of the B.E.S.T. Lives Center,” said Dr. Janeen P. Witty, Vice President for Academic Affairs for Benedict College.

Harris completed her Ph. D in educational psychology and a master’s in public administration at the University of New Mexico. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in Aiken.

The B.E.S.T. Lives Center (BLC) is a comprehensive educational hub focusing on military-affiliated, former foster care, formerly incarcerated, and adult learners. The Center is funded by a community grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The BLC aims to provide in innovative and transformative educational opportunities for underserved communities that positively enhance life chances by preparing learners to enter a robust, technologically advanced workforce in South Carolina and beyond.