“And Then A Hero Comes Along”: This is the title of what seems to be a lifetime of work dedicated to Diversity and Affirmative Action. Ernie Andrews joined MAPA (Middle Atlantic Placement Association) in June 1973 as a member from the University of MD/Eastern Shore and then again in December of 1984 from Virginia Tech and throughout his 12 year membership made a number of contributions to the organization, including:
June 1973 Member from University of MD/Eastern Shore December 1984 Joined from Virginia Tech
1985 Annual Conference Newcomers Committee Member
1986 Annual Conference Recreation Chair
1986-88 Nominating Committee Member; Research Committee Member
1987 ISTP Presenter
1987 Annual Conference Registration Committee Member
1987-88 AA/EEO Committee Member; Nominating Committee Member
1988-89 Research Committee Member
1989-90 College Member-at-Large
1989 Annual Conference Panelist
1990-91 AA/EEO Committee Member; Liberal Arts Network Steering Committee Member; Support Staff Workshop Committee Member;
1991 Annual Conference Exhibitors Committee Member; Registration Committee Member
1991-93 College Member-at-Large
1993-94 Diversity Advancement Committee Co-Chair
1993-94 Nominating Committee Member
May 1994 OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD
During that time, Ernie never hesitated to state his opinion particularly when it came to issues around diversity. In some ways, Ernie became MAPA’s consciousness on issues around recruitment, mentoring, nurturing and promoting people of color.
In 1987, Ernie was a member of MAPA’s AA/EEO Committee. He served on that committee several times before taking on the responsibility of Diversity Advancement Committee Chair in 1993.
During his tenure Ernie’s committee:
• Was active in making several policies around diversity advancement issues in the National as well as Regional level.
• Implemented a program which allowed free one year membership to HBCUs who were not involved in MAPA.
• Provided Annual Conference Scholarships to two HBCUs in the MAPA region.
• Held the first Diversity Advancement Interactive discussion at an Annual Conference addressing issues of concern.
• Served as the Nominating Committee introducing individuals of color for officership within MAPA’s Board.
• That year Ernie was offered the OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD, the first person of color to receive that distinction in MAPA.
Ernie’s pursuits should not be surprising since he was one of the first graduates of the Masters of Education Scholarship underwritten by CPS for underrepresented groups. He then because a board member of this organization, later known as CCDM. CCDM was dedicated to the attraction of people of color to the field of Career Development. As he looked as the demographics of college students in the future, he felt the need to be a role model, provide information and assist students within their endeavors. At Virginia Tech he:
• Served for a number of years as advisor to the Black Graduate Student Association.
• Assumed responsibility for the Career Enrichment Program formerly called the Minority Career Advancement Program.
• Served as the President of the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus (1985-86), and increased membership of the Caucus by 20 percent.
• Initiated a Black Church Visitation program which strengthened community relations and increased Virginia Tech visibility.
Certainly as we review Ernie’s initiative toward Affirmative Action and Diversity Advancements, MAPA can say he was a hero during his lifetime.
In 1995, MAPA changed its name to the Mid-Atlantic Association of Colleges and Employers (MAACE), to become more closely aligned with the other regional associations and national association. Over the course of time and by joining with another association, EACE, Inc. became an official regional organization on July 1, 1997.
Compiled by Yvonne Harrison in April 1995
Ms. Harrison is currently Director of the Career Development Center, WPI
Ernie was a person who you immediately liked. He had a wonderful sense of making you feel welcomed. Ernie had the gift of gab and was one of those people who was always on target no matter what the subject. He was thoughtful when the subject was serious but also playful when it was not. To me, Ernie was one of those people who lived his life with no regrets! He shared with others, he cared about his colleagues and he loved the profession he choose. Ernie strongly believed in diversity and the advancement of everyone. He was our conscience a lot of time in dealing with difficult subjects at Board Meetings. He was a true proponent of change. I feel very lucky to have known him the short time that I did. If I had to sum up my perception of Ernie, I would probably say he was a very special man, with wonderful vision, who cared about people.
Vanessa A. Singleton
Assistant Director for Recruitment and Special Projects, Personnel Services Branch, DOA
Ernie Andrews served as Associate Director of Career Services at Virginia Tech from 1983 to 1994. I had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Ernie during those years and thoroughly enjoyed our collegial relationship. I had a lot of admiration for Ernie Andrews. He was a colleague and a friend. If you knew him – you liked him – a lot!
As a young professional at the time, I learned much from Ernie. He usually thought outside of the box. He offered unconventional, yet thought provoking and challenging, ideas and approaches during staff meetings and conversations. When things were stressful, he would tell me, “Donna, keep cool. Nothing is worth fretting over.” His insights and ideas were based on years of experience, perspective, and wisdom.
Ernie was very positive minded and had a contagious laugh. During Ernie’s last days in the office, as he battled lung cancer, he kept that calm demeanor and positive spirit. He chose to move forward with optimism and kept a smile on his face. Ernie was a role model in many ways…to many people in our office and profession.
Donna Cassell Ratcliffe
Past President EACE, Director of Career Services, Virginia Tech