Hernandez Named Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications – Elizabeth City State University


Ayana D. Hernandez

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) has named Ms. Ayana Davis Hernandez as the interim associate vice chancellor for Strategic Communications. She begins on July 1, 2022.

In this role, Ms. Hernandez will serve as the chief communications and marketing officer for the university, leading and managing marketing, media, social media, brand management strategy and internal and external communications, execution and evaluation. She is charged with creating the vision for and leading the implementation of a proactive, innovative, and comprehensive marketing, communications, and branding strategy that highlights the university’s strengths, bolsters its ambitions, expands its regional and national profile, and engages and informs internally constituents and external audiences.

“Ms. Hernandez is an award-winning communications and marketing strategist who comes to ECSU with a wealth of diverse experience in higher education, agency and non-profit settings,” said Dr. Derrick L. Wilkins, vice chancellor and chief of staff. “Her unique and expert skillset will assist ECSU in continuing to elevate our brand and tell our rich story of student success as defined in our strategic plan, Forging Our Future.”

Prior to joining ECSU, most recently Ms. Hernandez served as a special assistant to the Chancellor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a role she began in May 2022. Ms. Hernandez joined NCCU in 2012 as director of public relations before being promoted to associate vice chancellor for Communications and Marketing. During her tenure, she coordinated and oversaw internal and external communications activities that support the university’s strategic priorities and goals, including engagement initiatives.

Before coming to NCCU, Ms. Hernandez was a vice president at FleishmanHillard International Communications in Raleigh. She and her team won a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Chapter of PRSA and on the American Association of State College and Universities’ (AASCU) Chief Communications Officers Advisory Council.

Previously, Ms. Hernandez served as the manager for communications and media relations at Episcopal Relief and Development. She started her career in the magazine publishing industry, serving as associate beauty editor at Essence magazine and beauty editor for Heart & Soul magazine.

Ms. Hernandez earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College.


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