Dr. Belinda Higgs Hyppolite is the newly selected Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Higgs Hyppolite has worked as a professional in Higher Education for 24 years. She recently served as the Assistant Vice President at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, Florida, before coming to OU. She has served in a variety of leadership roles and responsibilities. Dr. Hyppolite started in Student Affairs working on retention efforts for at-risk students and working with the residential student within Housing and Residential Life. Dr. Hyppolite has supported and advocated for several student populations such as fraternity and sorority students, multicultural, low-income, first generation, foster care, religious and non-religious, DACA/TPS, and Undocumented students. Dr. Hyppolite has worked in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Greek Life, and Multicultural Affairs and has and continues to support and confront social justice issues plaguing student success.
Dr. Higgs Hyppolite provides support to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion but has also been charged with developing the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at OU. Some past functional areas of responsibility include supporting Religion and Non-Religious Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Social Justice and Advocacy Department, and the Multicultural Academic Support Services Departments. Dr. Hyppolite served as the Divisional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion liaison at UCF and provided leadership to the University Bias Incidents Team, and the Dream US Scholars program. Dr. Higgs Hyppolite served as an adjunct professor for the Burnett Honors College, LEAD Scholars program, and a guest lecturer for Higher Education and Policies classes and taught Introduction to Higher Education classes. She facilitates leadership development, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and oppression reduction workshops. She has and continues to present at numerous conferences on various topics. Dr. Hyppolite passions are advocating for the voiceless through Diversity Education and Oppression Reduction work. She considers herself a Social Justice Advocate and Educator. Dr. Higgs Hyppolite believes access to education is a right, not a privilege.
Dr. Higgs Hyppolite is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she has served in the capacity of Treasurer and Chaired the Social Action Committees. She is a member of the Florida Diversity Council, which is a community group that fosters a learning environment for organizations to grow in their knowledge of diversity. She is active in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) regionally and nationally. Dr. Higgs Hyppolite served as a United Way Campaign Cabinet Member and held this volunteer role since the fall of 2011, and she participates in the annual 5k walk benefiting the American Heart Association and is an active volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
Dr. Hyppolite is the wife to her amazing husband, James Williams Hyppolite, and proud mother to a very active Zahara Boston and two bonus children Brandon Hyppolite and Sarah Hyppolite. Dr. Higgs Hyppolite holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Speech Pathology, and two Master’s degrees in Counseling Education and Human Resources, and a Doctorate of Education, with a specialization in Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation. One of her new favorite quotes by Michelle Obama is, “There is no magic to achievement. It is really about hard work, choices, and persistence.”