June 2016 – Present
Vice President, Philanthropy; USA Funds; Indianapolis, IN
Dr. Lorenzo Lamar Esters is the Vice President for Philanthropy at USA Funds. As vice president, philanthropy, Lorenzo L. Esters is responsible for grant-making in support of USA Funds®’ mission and focus on Completion With a Purpose®. He reviews funding requests and ensures the achievement of the goals envisioned in USA Funds’ grant projects. His primary focus is on institutional strategy and innovation in college and career preparation.
December 2014 – June 2016
Senior Program Director, USA Funds, Indianapolis, IN
USA Funds: USA Funds is a $55 billion nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation whose mission is to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. The organization pursues its mission through a strategic direction of “Completion with a Purpose”—supporting postsecondary students’ attainment of credentials and competencies that lead to productive and rewarding jobs and careers and thus to economic, civic, and creative contributions to their communities and society.
Senior Program Director for Innovation in College and Career Preparation: Create and direct effective grant-making programs by designing and formatting grant application materials to meet organizational objectives, developing and managing a database of current research and opinions related to issues of importance to designated initiatives, translating research learnings into useable evaluation frameworks, and creating and fostering a public image for USA Funds philanthropic and national engagement work.
Symposium on Supporting Underrepresented Minority Males in STEM: APLU Minority Male STEM Initiative Report Finding. Panelists include –Lorenzo L. Esters, Vice President, APLU, and Project Director, MMSI; Christine Keller, Director of Research, APLU
August 2012 – September 2014
Vice President, Student Success and Enrollment Management, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY
Kentucky State University: Kentucky State University is a public historically Black, liberal arts, land-grant University in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The university enrolls approximately 3000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs.
As the Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management, he managed a staff of approximately 85 employees across twelve units with an annual budget of over $11 million. He was responsible for all student programs from recruitment to graduation, including enrollment services, retention management and advising services, student engagement and leadership development, and university police.
- Improved academic advising systems by creating the Center for Academic Persistence and Success (an advising center) to more effectively advise students and monitor student progress
- Increased the size of the 2013 first-time freshman class by 35%, increased overall undergraduate retention by 5.2 percentage points in one year, increased the composite ACT score of incoming freshmen from 19 to 21 in one year and recruited a freshman class with an average cumulative high school GPA of 2.68, the highest such GPA for a freshman class at the university in the last ten years
- Redesigned academic advising model at the University in collaboration with the Office of the Provost.
- Provided leadership for staff to significantly decrease the number of academic actions in the close of Spring 2013 grading in comparison to Spring 2012, which contributed to an overall decrease in academic probation, suspension and dismissals
- Developed a model for and reorganized the Student Affairs Division to the Student Success and Enrollment Management Division to assure enhanced support services to students and to facilitate collocation of student services
- Changed policies and created the area of Retention Management and Advising Services aimed at increasing the retention of students
- Strengthened partnerships with the local community through the development of the Frankfort/Franklin County Initiative that resulted in more dual enrolled high school students and an increase in admission applications from the university’s service area
- Provided the vision for creating the Office of Student Judicial Affairs to conduct student judicial hearings and educate students on being good citizens at the university and in the community
- Established University’s Men and Women of Excellence Mentoring Program to build a sense of community for students and to enhance retention among first-year students
- Established the first Circle K International Club (campus version of Kiwanis Club) on the campus and served as advisor
U.S. Education System
Education experts and leaders talked about higher education accessibility and affordability and how to re-establish the United States as a global leader in education. Michael Crow moderated the panel sponsored by Arizona State University at the National Press Club.
June 2009 – August 2012
Vice President, Office for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities, Association of Public and Land- grant Universities, Washington, DC
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU): The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U) is a voluntary, non -profit association of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and many state university systems. The association’s overriding mission is to support high-quality public higher education and its member institutions as they perform their learning, discovery and engagement missions. The association’s membership includes 219 institutions with member campuses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
As Vice President, Office for Access and the Advancement of Public Black Universities Dr, Lorenzo was responsible for establishing and maintaining external partnerships with other organizations, private foundations, members of Congress and federal agencies to advance programmatic and strategic goals toward broadening access and opportunity for low- income and minority students and improving the quality of the higher education for all students; design and coordination of budget and develop initiatives. Dr. Lorenzo also served as primary liaison between the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence and the Council of 1890 Universities; and supported the President in the execution of related duties
- Built nationwide partnerships with federal and private organizations in support of the key programmatic initiatives
- Secured private funding in support of major initiatives developed at the association Developed key relationships and established advisory board of philanthropic and business community representatives and secured grants that resulted in increased annual funding support for programmatic initiatives Designed and implemented key initiatives for diversity and inclusion programs and operations through the delineation of measurable goals and objectives
- Provided the vision for the development of a comprehensive agenda for the Council of 1890 Universities and supported its work through the delineation of measurable goals and objectives
- Developed a comprehensive agenda for the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence and supported its work through the delineation of measurable goals and objectives;
- Led a taskforce that developed a diversity statement for the association that was approved by the Board of Directors