Dr. Tonjia Coverdale has a passion for and dedicated commitment to the establishment of a diverse technology workforce. With three academic degrees in Information Systems, Dr. Coverdale is an IT executive, professional, and scholar who has cultivated her unique perspective of the field through the combination of academic theories, applied research, industry practices, and strategic focus. She received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she earned the distinction of being the first African-American and woman to receive a Ph.D. in Information Systems from any of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and an MBA from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Coverdale has 21 years as an IT professional including roles with IBM, HP, Accenture, and immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network, a $118M federally funded 100% fiber-optic broadband network where she completed the construction of one of the first fiber-optic networks in the United States to cover an entire State/Territory. Having pursued a dual career path in both industry and academia, Dr. Coverdale also has 17 years of experience in higher education as a University administrator and IT professor.
Currently, Dr. Coverdale is the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Central State University and serves on the Cabinet of President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. In her role, Dr. Coverdale is focused on the strategic implementation of information technologies for operational efficiency and institutional effectiveness with an emphasis on innovative technologies for student success and retention.