Five African Americans Assigned to Dean Positions

Rochelle L. Ford was selected as the next dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina. Dr. Ford has been serving as a professor of public relations in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York. Earlier, she spent 16 years on the faculty of the School of Communications at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ford is a graduate of Howard University. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Emile M. Townes was appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School. Before coming to Vanderbilt in 2013, Dr. Townes was the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School. She is the author of Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

Dr. Townes holds a bachelor’s degree, a master degree in divinity, and a doctorate of divinity from the University of Chicago. She holds a second doctorate from the joint Northwestern University/Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary program.

Darryl Scriven has been selected as the next dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. He has been serving as an associate professor of philosophy and chair of the department of visual arts, humanities, and theatre at Florida A&M University.

Dr. Scriven is a graduate of Florida A&M University, where he double majored in philosophy and mathematics. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Tomiko Brown-Nagin was appointed dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Dr. Brown-Nagin is the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, a history professor in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and faculty director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. She is the author of the book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Professor Brown-Nagin is a summa cum laude graduate of Furman University in South Carolina and Yale Law School, where she was the editor of the Yale Law Review. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Laura Kohn-Wood was appointed dean of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami in Florida. She has been on the faculty at the university since 2009.

Dr. Kohn-Wood is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.


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