Appointments, Promotions & Retirements

• Melanie Ragin was named assistant professor and coordinator of the public health program at Fort Valley State University in Georgia. She was the health commissioner for the city of Chester, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ragin is a graduate of Whittier College in California. She holds a doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

• Johnny Taylor III was named president of the Black Alumni Council at the University of Tennessee. A 2007 graduate of the university, he is employed as a commercial relations officer for SunTrust Bank.

• Jimmie James Jr., chair of the department of music at Jackson State University, has announced his retirement after service of 43 years to the university. He was the assistant director of the university’s marching band.

James is a 1959 graduate of Jackson State University. He joined the faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor of music. He was the first African American to earn a doctorate in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi.

• Sunni Green Tolbert, dean of multicultural affairs and associate dean of the college at Haverford College in suburban Philadelphia, has announced her retirement. She has been an administrator at the college for the past decade.

• Freddie L. Richards was appointed dean of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas. He has been an administrator at the university since 1976.

Richards is a graduate of Alabama A&M College. He holds a master’s degree from Tuskegee University and a doctoral degree in agricultural education from Pennsylvania State University.

• Stacyann P. Russell, a student at Ohio State University, was elected national chair of the National Society of Black Engineers. She is majoring in industrial and systems engineering and plans to pursue a master’s degree in engineering management. A native of the Bronx, New York, Russell will serve as chair through April 2010.