By Sloane M. Perron, Manager of Marketing Communications 

Anna Maria College is proud to announce the hiring of Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the promotion of Dr. John McLaughlin as Vice President of Enrollment.   

Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu’s will start her new position on September 1st. She takes over the role from Dr. Christine Holmes who retired June 30 after serving Anna Maria College for 24 years in academic leadership. Dr. McLaughlin began his new role on July 1. 

President Mary Lou Retelle expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “I am excited to welcome Dr. Ugochukwu to Anna Maria College and congratulate Dr. McLaughlin on his new role. Both individuals embody our mission to educate and focus on the whole person. I look forward to seeing the positive impact that their higher education experience, professionalism, and dedication to student success have on our campus community.”  

Prior to joining Anna Maria College, Dr. Ugochukwu’s academic leadership appointments include roles at three Catholic institutions including Marquette University, Mount Mary University, most recently at Cabrini University, as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. She also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Cottey College.  

Dr. Ugochukwu began her career as a political reporter, columnist, and features editor. She is deeply committed to social justice and initiated an annual diversity symposium/speaker series at the University of South Carolina, Upstate, where she was a tenured faculty member. Additionally, Dr. Ugochukwu served on Boards of organizations that promote the arts, women’s health, and developmental initiatives such as her role as Vice President of the Governing Board of the Arts Council of Johnson County, Kansas. Her work in the community earned her recognitions including a “Women of Influence” award and a citation from the City Council of Philadelphia. She also received numerous leadership awards such as Bank of America’s Excellence in Teaching and Advising award, a University of Texas at Austin’s Continuing University Fellowship, and the Ada Frances Miller Excellence in Journalism award.  

Dr. Ugochukwu earned a Ph.D. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on race, ethnicity, gender, and international communication. She received a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Arts and a master’s degree in mass communications at the University of Nigeria. She also completed Master of Philosophy coursework in Media, Culture and Communication at Coventry University in England.  

Dr. John McLaughlin first joined Anna Maria College in December 2021 as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. He then was promoted to Associate Vice President of Undergraduate and was named Vice President of Enrollment in July. John Hamel, who previously served in this role, is transitioning to a position supporting the growing number of international students at Anna Maria College.  

Dr. McLaughlin has over 20 years of enrollment experience and previously served institutions such as Rocky Hill Country Day School, Bristol Community College, Rhode Island College, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In his new role, McLaughlin wants to continue growing enrollment by building pipelines through dual enrollment and expanding community partnerships.  

Dr. McLaughlin earned his bachelor’s in English from Merrimack College, his master’s in education from Cambridge College in Psychological Studies, and his Doctorate in Education from Liberty University in Higher Education Administration: Educational Leadership.