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Erika Davis Joins Georgian Court as Vice President for Enrollment Management

Erika Davis

“I walked over to the PBS building, sat down in the waiting room, and who walked in but Mr. Rogers!”

Erika Davis, a veteran expert in enrollment management, brings a wealth of experience and a record of innovative leadership to her new role as Vice President for Enrollment Management at Georgian Court, effective July 17. Her appointment follows a national search for a dynamic leader to enhance the university’s enrollment initiatives.

Erika comes to Georgian Court from East Stroudsburg University, where she served as Director of Admissions and New Student Orientation. She has also held positions as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at Cedar Crest College and Assistant Vice President for Online and Graduate Enrollment at Mary Baldwin University. Erika has a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, and an Ed.D. from Morgan State University.

“We are thrilled to have Erika on board and look forward to the positive impact she will have on our community,” said Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., President of Georgian Court. “Her leadership in higher education and extensive experience at private and public institutions will be invaluable as we strive to enhance our enrollment strategies and outreach.”

We sat down with Erika to learn more about her journey into higher education and her vision for Georgian Court:

What inspired your career in higher education?

I initially started my career in pharmaceuticals, working in clinical trials and helping individuals access life-changing research studies. While I valued this work, I come from a family of educators—my father was a principal and superintendent—so I was always drawn to higher education.

Encouraged by my husband, I transitioned to a career in higher education in 2010. After earning my doctorate in community college leadership, I intended to work in community colleges to facilitate life-changing transitions for students. Instead, I’ve had the privilege of working with four-year institutions that profoundly impact students’ lives, which has been incredibly rewarding.

How have personal experiences shaped your professional approach?

During my undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, I competed as a Division 1 gymnast on scholarship while pursuing a BA in Communications. I was lucky enough to secure an internship with CNN in Atlanta—only to learn that my responsibilities with the team would prevent me from taking the opportunity.

My coach, recognizing my disappointment, promised to find me something better. Two weeks later, they secured an offer for me to intern with PBS in Pittsburgh. I walked over to the PBS building, sat down in the waiting room, and who walked in but Mr. Rogers!

Working on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a life-changing experience. It taught me the importance of being open to new experiences and demonstrated that what may seem like a setback can lead to unexpected and rewarding opportunities.

What are your thoughts on the future of higher education and Georgian Court’s role in it?

Higher education is at a crossroads, facing challenges from the enrollment cliff to changing demographics. To thrive, institutions need to define and emphasize their unique strengths. For Georgian Court, this means excelling in graduate-level teacher education, offering a top-notch transfer experience, delivering a distinct Mercy-driven education, and so much more.

Specialized, mission-driven institutions like Georgian Court have a unique opportunity to offer something different and impactful. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, we should focus on what we do best. By aligning with our mission and emphasizing what we do best, we can provide a valuable and distinct educational experience that attracts and retains students effectively.

How do you plan to integrate the Mercy tradition into your enrollment strategy?

Every Catholic institution—whether Jesuit, Sisters of Mercy, Franciscan, or otherwise—provides a unique experience that isn’t always quantifiable but is definitely qualifiable. I’m excited to brand and deliver the Mercy experience in a way that attracts students who seek that special environment. Understanding and embracing our unique identity is critical, and our Mercy core values and history are an essential part of that identity.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I believe every experience of my career has helped prepare me for this role. At Georgian Court, I see an opportunity to do something amazing and thought-provoking, to make a profound impact on our students’ lives, and to foster the values of connection and community. I’m eager to work with a team dedicated to servant leadership and transformative education. Together, we will achieve great things and make a lasting impact on those we serve.

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About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings, and in 2024, GCU was named one of the best Online Master’s Colleges in New Jersey.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.