Meet the Instructors
Dr. Kim M. LeDuff
Kim LeDuff, Ph.D. is Vice President for Academic Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer at University of West Florida. The Division of Academic Engagement is dedicated to student support and high impact learning. The division houses Student Retention Initiatives, the Center for Academic Success, the Office of Equity & Diversity, Career Development & Community Engagement, International Affairs, and Kugelman Honors.
Dr. LeDuff is also a Professor of Communication. Prior to coming to UWF in Fall 2013, she was an Associate Professor, Associate Director and Acting Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at The University of Southern Mississippi. She also served as faculty at Hampton and Xavier Universities. She teaches courses on the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender and media and has published and presented research on these topics both nationally and internationally.
Under Dr. LeDuff’s leadership UWF has earned the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. In 2015 she was a recipient of the 40 under 40 Award from her alma mater, Xavier University of Louisiana. She was also honored by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning as Diversity Educator of the year in 2012.
Dr. LeDuff completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Indiana University, an M.A. from the University of Maryland-College Park and a B.A. from Xavier University of Louisiana.
Rachel Hendrix currently serves as Executive Director of International Affairs for the University of West Florida’s Division of Academic Engagement. She holds bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership, both from the University of West Florida. She’s also completed a specialist degree in curriculum and instruction and is in the final stages of completing her doctorate in education with a specialization in diversity studies and a research focus in multicultural competency. She has been active in the area of international education for over 13 years and is currently a regional leader with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, chair of the Florida Association of International Educators, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council.
Dr. Gregory Tomso
Gregory Tomso is Past President of the Southern Regional Honors Council and a professional member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, where he has led numerous workshops on developing Honors curriculum and Honors program administration.
Dr. Tomso joined the UWF faculty in 2004, served as Associate Director of Honors from 2009 to 2017, and as chairman of the UWF Department of English from 2014 to 2017. His published research explores the cultural and symbolic role played by HIV in the everyday lives of gay men in the USA and Europe. During his time in Honors at UWF, he has been exploring new interests, leading the development of UWF’s Community Garden and launching a number of other initiatives focused on sustainability and biodiversity. These include an Honors seminar called “The Politics of Food” and a study abroad course in Peru focusing on contemporary environmental issues.
Dr. Tomso holds a B.A. in English and History from the University of Virginia, where he earned membership Phi Beta Kappa, and a Ph.D. in English from Duke University. He has served as Interim Director of Honors since 2017.
Dr. Ben Stubbs
Ben assists program leaders in the areas of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Leadership Development, Service and Citizenship, Student Activities and Student Organizations. He also leads the department in strategic planning effort and serves as the co-chair of the Homecoming Steering Committee. Ben's professional interests include gender issues, citizenship, leadership, graduate student development, challenging/breaking everything and presenting or soapboxing generally. Ben's personal interests include hanging with his family, playing outdoor sports, reading, over analyzing film and television, playing video games and listening to NPR.
Dr. Vannee Cao-Nguyen
Dr. Vannee Cao-Nguyen currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Academic Engagement and the University’s Student Ombudsperson. Prior to her role as AVP, she served as Assistant Director and Director of the Student Disability Resource Center for eight years and was the Executive Director of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Access. In this role, she had oversight of policies, procedures and services associated with the Employee ADA Programs, the Testing Center, Equal Opportunity Programs and the Student Disability Resource Center.
Dr. Cao-Nguyen’s professional background also includes School Overlay Counseling, Psychiatric Treatment Programs, and Rape Crisis/Trauma Recovery Services. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology, master’s in counseling and a doctorate in diversity studies. Dr. Cao-Nguyen has also served as Faculty Associate in the Department of Psychology and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Research and Advanced Studies at UWF. Courses she has taught include Academic Foundations, Consultation Process, Psychology and Culture, and Counseling Foundations and Cultural Competency in Higher Education. She served on the President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion, Campus Care Team, Title IX Committee, Public Health Committee, Information Technology Planning and Advisory Council, and the Accessible Technology Work Group.
As the Associate Vice President for Academic Engagement, Dr. Cao-Nguyen is responsible for the oversight and management of the following units: Student Retention Initiatives, International Affairs, Career Development and Community Engagement, and the Center for Academic Success. As the University’s Student Ombudsperson, she is the designated neutral party and resource for students who may have University-related concerns or grievances.