Kerry Walsh Stockwell receives Yvette Milner Jones Award for 2024

The Office of Human Resources and Institutional Equity announced that Kerry Walsh Stockwell, assistant vice president for campus engagement and executive communications, has received the Yvette Milner Jones Award for 2024. 

The award is given every three years to a Tulane employee who advances the mission of the university through developing and growing relationships between the university and external constituents, exhibiting leadership and demonstrating innovation. The award is named after Yvette M. Jones, a longtime employee who exhibited dedicated service to Tulane through various positions over three decades. 

Stockwell was nominated by several Tulanians and university leaders who noted her exceptional and natural ability to develop authentic relationships. She’s built partnerships within the Tulane community — working closely with groups ranging from Student Affairs to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) — and in the greater New Orleans region, advocating for Tulane’s goals at every opportunity. 

“It’s more about finding those moments of shared humanity and common values. It’s about who we are as people and what we celebrate. Those are the moments I really love.”  

Kerry Stockwell

“She is a proud Tulane graduate, a tireless advocate for the university’s mission and a strong leader,” noted one nomination letter. “She’s institutionally minded, ensuring the betterment of Tulane and its community in all her work. I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is a more dedicated Tulanian and truly embodies the university’s values.”  

Originally from Rockland County, New York, Stockwell graduated from Newcomb College in 2005 where she studied political science. She went on to work in DC for many years on Capitol Hill, where she honed the relationship-building skills she’s known for today. Working for the Speaker of the House, she witnessed people coming together across all aisles for special ceremonies and events.  

“It’s more about finding those moments of shared humanity and common values,” she said. “It’s about who we are as people and what we celebrate. Those are the moments I really love.”  

Stockwell brought that ethos with her when she returned to Tulane in 2016, holding several positions in the President’s Office, including senior advisor to the president. In her current role within University Communications and Marketing, she brings Tulane’s rich traditions to life, leading the teams that plan University Commencement, Convocation, the State of the University and more, ensuring those events leave the community feeling inspired, energized and closer together. 

She’s also constantly innovating around these flagship events by keeping a laser focus on the stakeholder experience. For instance, she played a critical role in re-envisioning what virtual, live Commencement and Convocation ceremonies could look like in 2020, helping students mark these milestone moments. She’s also woven her partnership with the EDI office into these traditions, helping to place Tulane’s Land Acknowledgment into these events.

Behind Stockwell’s achievements stands her philosophy of listening actively, leading with sincere curiosity and always refocusing on the “why,” thinking big-picture about how an initiative or project will advance the university’s shared values.  

But most centrally, it’s simply being a part of the Tulane community that keeps her most satisfied, from getting to witness the university’s impact on the city, state, region and beyond, to supporting faculty members who are changing the world, to celebrating new and departing Tulanians each year. 

"Tulane’s such a huge part of my life and, at the end of the day, I’m just excited I get to work here. I pinch myself sometimes. I’m just really grateful.”