Merodie A. Hancock

Merodie A. Hancock

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Merodie A. Hancock has dedicated her career to serving adult and nontraditional students. Widely recognized for delivering innovative education across campuses and international borders, she has been a strong and consistent advocate for adult and continuing education policy, funding, practice, and assessment.

Initially focusing on the military learner, Hancock was an early advocate of virtual delivery methods as a means to keep deployed personnel active in their studies regardless of time zone or duty requirements. She served on the Department of Defense Taskforce on Developing Best Practice Standards for Distance Learning, playing a key role as this technology expanded to deliver high-quality academic programming to busy professionals, parents, caretakers, and other adults with time and place commitments.

Throughout her career, Hancock has created and expanded programs that reach underserved populations with hybrid academic and student support services to drive student completion and professional success. As an assistant provost, Hancock created Maryland’s largest community transfer scholarship and reduced barriers for bachelor-level degree completion. As a vice president, she established one of Michigan’s first Veteran’s Resource Centers, endowed a $1 million community college transfer scholarship, garnered national recognition for four master’s programs in the top 10 for graduating African Americans and three in the top 10 for overall minority graduates, and led online programs that repeatedly ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News and World Report. She has focused on developing professionally relevant programs that take a holistic approach to serving students who contend with challenges such as autism, raising children, deployment, and more.

Hancock has set an admirable example for those who advocate for and speak on behalf of ignored and underserved populations. While holding leadership positions in highly regarded and innovative institutions, Hancock combined best practices across the field and created high-impact programs that leverage adult student learning theory, emerging technology, and decades of professional experience to move adult education from a simple any-place, any-time approach to one embedded with student engagement in the curriculum, virtual and in-person communities of practice, progressive student and career services support, and relevant learner outcomes and assessment. She has served on numerous committees and boards to impact nontraditional and online best practices for the military, underserved, and adult students around the world.

One of Hancock’s greatest achievements is her work in leveraging technology and communities of practice to bring together disparate national and international communities in the joint exploration of an academic or social subject. One example of this is her leadership role in the SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, a collaborative partnership between the State University of New York and the University of the West Indies to promote progress on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as they pertain to the West Indies and the Caribbean diaspora within New York. The center’s focus is on training and programs intended to empower underserved populations and members of the Caribbean and SIDS diasporas in order to create greater upward mobility and economic growth.