SPEAKER BIO

LaNitra Berger

LaNitra M. Berger is an award-winning scholar, educator, and social justice advocate working towards making higher education accessible to low-income, first-generation, and minority students. Her scholarly interests are in art and social activism in the African and Jewish diasporas. For over 15 years, her work as an educator focuses on creating and expanding education abroad opportunities for underrepresented students, particularly in international education.

Throughout her career, she has worked toward helping underrepresented students gain access to transformational educational opportunities. Since coming to Mason in 2010, LaNitra has helped secure more than 60 prestigious national scholarships and fellowships such as the Boren, Fulbright, Truman, and Critical Language Scholarship, many of whom are first-generation, low-income, or minority students. She has received the Spirit of King Award and the Margaret C. Howell Award for her work at Mason to diversify education abroad. LaNitra serves on several education abroad advisory boards, including NAFSA: Association of International Educators, where she is currently the Vice President of Public Policy and Practice, the AIFS Academic Advisory Board, and Globalize DC. She previously served as director of leadership and international programs at the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), where she organized three national dialogues on diversity in international education, bringing together historically black college presidents, federal agencies, and nonprofit leaders together to improve access to study abroad. LaNitra received her MA and PhD in art history from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in art and international relations from Stanford University.

LaNitra is the author of Exploring Education Abroad: A Guide for Racial and Ethnic Minority Participants (NAFSA, 2016) and the monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color (Bloomsbury, 2020). She is also the editor of Social Justice and International Education: Research, Practice, and Perspectives (NAFSA, 2020).