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Staff Senate begins academic year with newly elected leadership

August 30, 2019

Contact: Brittney Dabney, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Naquitha Bowen
Bowen-Tarver, 2019-20 Staff Senate Chair

Tuskegee University’s Staff Senate has selected its new senators that will serve as the 2019-20 Staff Senate Executive Body during the academic year. The Staff Senate represents the university staff in a variety of contexts while acting as a liaison with administration.

The newly elected chair of the Staff Senate, Naquitha Bowen-Tarver, has served Tuskegee for 18 years, working in a variety of accounting and finance positions. Currently, she is the financial analyst in the Department of Pre- and Post-award Administration. Cited by her colleagues as a goal-centered collaborator, she is a member of the Tuskegee University Faculty and Staff Choir in addition to her professional duties. She holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Troy University Montgomery.

Donna Washington, currently the faculty records specialist in the Office of the Provost, serves as the organization’s vice chair. She has more than 30 years of student financial service experience, and is a long-serving member of the Staff Senate. Outside of her current role, Washington is a member of the Tuskegee Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, where she serves as financial secretary.

Serving as Staff Senate treasurer is Natasha Staples, who has been a member of the Staff Senate for a year and works as the administrative assistant for the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments.

Kheri Spence will work alongside Staples as the organization’s assistant treasurer. Spence, director of student success and retention in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has served in a variety of student support positions with the university since 2012. In addition, to her professional duties, she also serves as advisor for the Collegiate Chapter of NAACP and a member of the Judicial Board. Spence holds a degree in mathematics from Tuskegee University, and two masters degrees, in secondary mathematics education from Auburn University and her second degree in school and guidance counseling from the University of West Alabama.

The Staff Senate’s newly elected secretary is Elizabeth Whetstone, a financial analyst in the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences. Prior to her current position, she worked in the university’s Office of Sponsored Programs for 11 years. Whetstone holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Faulkner University and a master of business administration from Ashford University.

Jerrica Russaw, admissions counselor, recruiter and marketing specialist in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Management, will serve as the assistant secretary of the Staff Senate. Russaw has been employed with the university since 2016 and holds a degree in psychology from Tuskegee University.

Earl Smart, a 21-year university employee, serves as parliamentarian. In addition to his duties in the Tuskegee University Police Department, he serves as secretary of Barnes Choice Masonic Lodge #922 PHA of Alabama. Smart studied sociology and criminal justice at Miles College, Malcolm King College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York City.

The Staff Senate collaborates with the university’s executive leadership to develop and recommend policies relating to staff employment, benefits, and professional development, as well as activities that encourage and foster staff engagement.

For additional information about Tuskegee’s Staff Senate, visit

Donna Washington
Washington, Vice Chair
Natasha Staples
Staples, Treasurer
Kheri Spence
Spence, Asst. Treasurer
Elizabeth Whetstone
Whetstone, Secretary
Jerrica Russaw
Russaw, Asst. Secretary
Earl Smart
Smart, Parliamentarian

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