Four African American Women Appointed to New Administrative Posts in Higher Education

Traevena Byrd was appointed vice president and general counsel at American University in Washington, D.C., effective April 9. She has been serving as vice president for legal affairs and human resources and general counsel at Towson University in Maryland.

Byrd earned a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate at the University of Iowa.

Darrylinn Todd was named interim associate vice chancellor of student affairs and enrollment services at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She has been serving as executive administrator in the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs and will continue in this role.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Todd holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned a master’s degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and an MBA and a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University.

Meshea Poore was appointed vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at West Virginia University. Poore is president of the West Virginia State Bar and has been practicing law in the state capital in Charleston.

Poore is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in political science. She earned a juris doctorate at the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Sheila Johnson-Willis was appointed associate vice president, chief opportunity officer, and Title IX officer at Syracuse University in New York. She has served in these posts on an interim basis since June 2015. From 2012 to 2015, Johnson-Willis was director of equal opportunity and inclusion at the university.

Johnson-Willis is a graduate of Albion College in Michigan, where she majored in sociology. She earned a juris doctorate at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan.


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