A Trio of African Americans Are Retiring From High-Level Posts in the Academic World

Melissa Thomas-Hunt, vice provost for strategic initiatives in the Office for Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has announced she is stepping down from her role and has accepted the position of head of global diversity for Airbnb. As vice provost, she established the Office for Inclusive Excellence which forged ties across all schools and colleges at Vanderbilt. She also developed the Faculty IMPACT leadership development series, various gender-based initiatives, and monthly student roundtables. She was also a professor of management in the Owen Graduate School of Management and served as faculty director for Moore College.

Dr. Thomas-Hunt is a graduate of Princeton University where she majored in chemical engineering. She holds a Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Andre Patillo is stepping down as director of athletics at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He started his career at Morehouse in 1979 as an assistant football coach. From 1986 to 2000, he worked in the admissions office, including five years as director of admissions. Patillo was named director of athletics in 2000.

A a native of Decatur, Georgia, Patillo is a 1979 graduate of Morehouse College, where he majored in business administration and played varsity football and baseball.

Filomina C. Steady, professor and chair of the Africana studies department at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, is retiring. A symposium entitled “African(a) Feminism and Women’s Leadership in Global Context” was held at Wellesley College, honoring the lifetime of work and retirement of Dr. Steady. She joined the college’s faculty in 1997. Earlier, she taught at California State University, Sacramento, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and Boston University.

Professor Steady is a graduate of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she majored in government. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology and African studies from Boston University and a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Oxford in England.


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