Five African Americans Faculty Appointed to New Posts in Higher Education

Sherilynn Black, an assistant professor of the practice of medical education and the director of the Office of Biomedical Graduate Diversity at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has been given the added duties of associate vice provost for faculty development. Dr. Black joined the Duke faculty in 2012.

Dr. Black is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in psychology and biology. She holds a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Duke University.

Aaron A. Bellow Jr. is a new assistant professor of nursing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Dr. Bellow is a graduate of McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He holds a master’s degree in emergency nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and a Ph.D. in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Daphne A. Bascom was appointed professor of biomedical and health informatics at the School of Medicine of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She had been serving as senior vice president of community integrated health for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.

Dr. Bascom is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She holds a Ph.D. in physiological sciences from the University of Oxford in England.

Rhonda Williams was named the inaugural holder of the John L. Seigenthaler Chair in American History at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a professor of history and the founder and director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She joined the faculty there in 1997. Professor Williams is the author of The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women’s Struggles Against Urban Inequality (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century (Routledge, 2015).

Professor Williams is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the first African American to be salutatorian in the university’s history. Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Rashida Atkins is a new assistant professor of nursing at the Camden campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her research focuses on the relationship between depression and physical activity in disadvantaged mothers.

Dr. Atkins was valedictorian of her high school class. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in nursing from Rutgers University.


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  1. Dr. Melvin Murphy says:

    Congratulations to all of you. I know the struggle and you did it! All the best…

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