Nine African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Administrative Posts at Colleges and Universities

Nakia White Barr was selected as acting secretary of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees. She has been working at the Michigan State University Office of General Counsel in addition to teaching as an adjunct professor at the College of Law. Prior to this position, Barr served as chief municipal prosecutor for the City of Trenton.

Barr received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Gabrielle Simpson has been named vice president and director of communications at Barnard College in New York City. Before this appointment, she was the global director of communications and public relations at the marketing firm Foote, Cone & Belding. She also served as an adjunct professor of marketing and communications at New York University.

Simpson earned a bachelor’s degree in television and video production and film and a master’s degree in sports and entertainment public relations from Iona College in New York.

Joshua Moore has been named assistant dean of students and director of diversity and inclusion at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Previously, he was associate director of the Office of Inclusion at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Moore holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Kentucky University and an educational doctorate from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Zachary Shirley has been appointed assistant dean of student life and learning at Indiana University in Bloomington. Most recently, he was the director of fraternity and sorority life at the University of Cincinnati.

Shirley received a bachelor’s degree from Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas. He also holds a master’s degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a doctorate of education from the University of North Texas.

Jane Irungu has been named interim associate vice president for university community at the University of Oklahoma. She has been serving as the executive director for the Southwest Center of Human Relations Studies.

Dr. Irungu earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. She then went on to earn an a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is the author of Engaging College Students for Success: International Students in U.S Higher Education Institutions (LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2011).

Jeffrey T. Burgin Jr. has been appointed acting vice president for enrollment management and student engagement at Kentucky State University. He was the associate vice president and dean of students.

Dr. Burgin received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from Ohio University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

Mandrake Miller has been named vice president for student success and engagement at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. He was dean of students at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

Miller earned a bachelor’s degree from Morris College and a masters of science in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University. Currently, he is working on a doctorate in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University.

Hassel Andre Morrison has been appointed vice president for student life at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He was the associate dean of students at the University of Idaho.

Morrison holds a bachelor’s degree from Radford University in Virginia, a master’s degree from Virginia State University, and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

Jennifer Hunter has been appointed as Brown University’s first associate director of athletics for diversity and inclusion initiatives. She was the director of diversity, inclusion, and engagement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Hunter is a graduate of Howard University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and sports management. She also holds a juris doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.


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  1. victoria Hayes says:

    please take a look at the University of Cincinnati Law school. Our interim Dean, Assistant Dean of student affairs, Chief of Staff/head of our Center for Professional Development, and our communication Director are all Black women and doing a wonderful job. Write a story about us!

  2. El says:

    Congrats to the Black female leaders at the University of Cincinnati School of Law! You’re showing that even in this retrogressive times, we — and especially, Black women — are still making strides! As the saying goes, “Keep On Keepin’ On!”

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