BOSTON—January 13, 2021— Cengage, an education and technology company, today announced that Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and CEO of Beyond 12, have joined Cengage’s Board of Directors.
“Both Dr. Lomax and Ms. Bernadotte are experienced education leaders who are dedicated to transforming the system and increasing access to education for all students, especially underrepresented, lower-income and first-generation learners,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “They bring a wealth of firsthand, operational experience, as well as an appreciation of our mission at Cengage: to help all learners enrich their lives and pursue their dreams through education. We are incredibly pleased to add them both to our Board of Directors.”
Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as the president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students, since 2004. During his tenure, UNCF has raised more than $3B and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. In addition to overseeing the 10,000 scholarships UNCF awards annually, under Dr. Lomax’s leadership, UNCF has fought for college readiness and education reform to further advance historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with Congress, the administration and the Department of Education.
“I’m excited to be joining the board of an experienced, proven education leader who is also a true innovator,” said Dr. Lomax. “Cengage’s approach to education content –combining quality learning materials with innovative delivery methods – is cutting edge, not just for HBCUs and other colleges and universities, but for every level of education.”
“Many lower-income, first-generation college students are not able to afford college,” Dr. Lomax continued. “UNCF shares Cengage’s belief that our education system today must adapt to reach a broader audience, and that cost barriers make access to education prohibitive for many of these students. For these students, a college degree is absolutely essential as an engine of social mobility. I’m excited to support the important mission of Cengage to make a quality education accessible for every student.”
Alexandra Bernadotte is the founder and CEO of Beyond 12, a nonprofit focused on increasing the number of traditionally underserved students who earn a college degree and who translate their degrees into meaningful employment and choice-filled lives. Ms. Bernadotte is an accomplished social entrepreneur who has more than 18 years of executive management and strategic development experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. At Beyond 12, intelligent technology and personalized coaching are paired together to propel underrepresented students forward and support their pursuit of a postsecondary degree. Beyond 12 currently works with nearly 100,000 students each year, with the goal of supporting one million students annually by 2025. The organization’s graduation rate for students who are coached for four years is double the national average for similar students.
“I’m thrilled to join a company whose mission aligns with my core belief in education as foundational to an equitable, just and prosperous society,” said Alexandra Bernadotte. “The pandemic has shone a light, and in many cases, exacerbated, the inequities that exist in education. But it also presents an opportunity for us all to be bold, and create a system that is more accessible, affordable, relevant and just for all students, allowing them to succeed and thrive.”
Bernadotte continued to say, “Cengage is a demonstrated, innovative solutions provider that puts students first. Whether it is developing solutions to support the move to digital, or introducing new content models at affordable price points to expand accessibility, Cengage centers its business on the student experience. I’m proud to work with a company that puts an emphasis on student needs and recognizes that solutions built with, rather than imposed on, students are always going to be more successful and lasting.”
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher ed, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service. We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” ® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.
About Beyond 12
Beyond 12 is a high-tech, high-touch coaching platform that helps high schools, college access programs, and colleges provide their students with the academic, social, and emotional support they need to succeed in higher education. Founded by Alexandra Bernadotte in 2009, Beyond 12 works to dramatically increase the number of historically under-represented students who graduate from college. For more information about Beyond 12, visit www.beyond12.org.