Nia Lane Chester
Program Manager

Nia Lane Chester is Program Manager for the Yes We Must Coalition, responsible for research, facilitation, and management of coalition projects and initiatives. Dr. Chester has spent more than 30 years in the field of Higher Education, with primary interest in learning outcomes measurement and programs that promote student success among under-served and non-traditional student populations. She has particular expertise in qualitative research methodology especially as it relates to student learning and development. In her most recent academic position as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Pine Manor College, Dr. Chester oversaw their assessment and institutional research endeavors and was centrally involved in the conceptualization, development and implementation of the College's student portfolio assessment program.

Dr. Chester has been the recipient of several NIMH grants, and worked as a research consultant to the Henry Murray Research Center at Radcliffe College, and as a Research Associate affiliated with the Department of Psychology at Boston University. She has served on several regional higher education accreditation teams and has authored numerous papers in her discipline, as well as in the area of teaching and learning. Dr. Chester holds a BA from Smith College, an MA in the Teaching of Social Science from Columbia University Teachers College and a PhD in Psychology from Boston University.

Barbara Kirby
Operations Manager

Barbara Kirby is the Operations Manager for the Yes We Must Coalition and brings to this position over 26 years of experience supporting senior academic administrators at the college and secondary school level. She has helped to author and organize accreditation self studies, grant proposals and reports; scheduled site visits for accreditation teams, campus visits for job candidates and appointments for college presidents with key donors and influencers; served as liaison to and acting secretary for Boards of Trustees; participated on search committees and commencement planning committees; done editing and proofreading for publications; and has Development experience that includes a 4-month assignment as Interim Director of Development. Her employment history includes: Executive Assistant to the President, Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, MA; Assistant to the Head of the Upper School, Thayer Academy, Braintree, MA; and Assistant to the Head of School, Oakwood Friends School, Poughkeepsie, NY.  She holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Certificate with Merit from the Special Course for College Women at the Katharine Gibbs School.