Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

SHECP Names New Executive Director and Next Academic Home

October 12, 2021 GMT

LEXINGTON, Va., Oct. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) is pleased to announce that Washington and Lee University (W&L) has been selected as its new academic home effective January 2022, following a competitive application process. Millsaps College has served in this capacity since 2017. Stephanie R. Rolph, PhD, associate professor of history at Millsaps College will remain as SHECP academic director for the remainder of 2021. Timothy M. Diette, PhD, professor of economics and senior advisor to the president for strategic analysis at W&L, has been named SHECP’s new executive director, effective immediately, replacing Jim Langford, who stepped down from the role in August. Diette will also serve as the SHECP academic director beginning in January of 2022.


Kristin Harper of Birmingham-Southern College and chair of the SHECP Governing Board, expressed the board’s appreciation for the support of Millsaps College and Rolph, the work of Mr. Langford and enthusiasm for the consortium’s return to W&L. “We ​sincerely appreciate the leadership and support that has been provided by Millsaps College and Dr. Stephanie Rolph through a very pivotal time for the consortium. Due to their commitment to the SHECP mission and leadership of Rolph, a solid foundation for continued growth has been built,” said Harper. “We are very thankful for the continued support throughout the transition,” Harper continued. “In addition, we would like to acknowledge Jim Langford for his faithful work guiding us through a very challenging two years as executive director of SHECP. Looking ahead, we are thrilled to partner with W&L as our new academic home. We are excited to work with ​Dr. ​Tim Diette and his staff to expand the consortium and continue our work of preparing students for a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty.”


“The Shepherd Program at W&L has been at the heart of my teaching, mentoring of students, and research for the past two decades,” said Diette. “I’m excited for the opportunity to serve SHECP, a consortium that includes a diverse network of institutions and partners with a rich array of organizations, in this new capacity. Its curricular and co-curricular opportunities have been transformational for a generation of students, and I look forward to collaborating with others to strengthen the connections between existing member schools, their students, staff, and faculty, and our partners. I am also excited about the opportunity to recruit new member institutions to enhance SHECP and further our mission of transforming poverty studies.” Diette continued, “I am deeply appreciative to Dr. Rolph for strengthening the rich academic component of SHECP’s summer internship experience. I look forward to working with Dr. Stephanie Rolph to ensure a smooth transition.”

About the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty
The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP), is a consortium of colleges and universities that is committed to the study of poverty as a complex social problem, by expanding and improving educational opportunities for college students in a wide range of disciplines and career trajectories. SHECP member schools support undergraduates as they move toward a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability. For more information, please visit

About Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University is a top-ranked, private liberal arts university in Lexington, Virginia. Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, W&L is the ninth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate programs in the humanities, arts and sciences, as well as nationally accredited programs in business and journalism and a graduate School of Law. Our graduates, mentored by a faculty of teacher-scholars, are ready to make a meaningful impact wherever they go in the world. To learn more, please visit

Media Contact for SHECP:
Cheryl Musial