National Institute on Aging

A Handful of African American Scholars Taking on New Assignments

William H. Robinson, a professor of electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, was assigned new duties as vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence. Most recently he served as interim vice provost for strategic initiatives. He is co-editor of Diversifying STEM: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Race and Gender (Rutgers University Press, 2019).

Professor Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. He went on to earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering and a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Morgan D. Kirby was appointed an assistant professor of journalism in the School of Communications at Texas Southern University in Houston. She was an assistant professor at Norfolk State University in Virginia.

Dr. Kirby holds a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University in Virginia, where she majored in public relations. She holds a Ph.D. in mass communications and media studies from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Shearon Roberts, assistant professor of mass communication at Xavier University in New Orleans, will take on the new role of Xavier Exponential Director. Xavier Exponential is an honors program designed to help high-performing and high-achieving students “power-up” their Xavier experience through interdisciplinary, collaborative, and innovative approaches to learning that also effect positive social change.

Dr. Roberts is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans. She holds a master’s degree from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Artel Great was appointed to the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in African American Cinema Studies, in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. He has held academic positions at New York University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Spelman College. Dr. Great is the editor of the forthcoming book Black Cinema and Visual Culture: Art and Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2021).

Dr. Great earned a bachelor’s degree in film and television production and a master’s degree in cinema and media studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his Ph.D. in cinema studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Herman Beavers, a professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, has been given the added duties as faculty director of Civic House and the Civic Scholars Program. Dr. Beavers has taught at Penn since 1989.

Dr. Beavers is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio. He earned a master’s degree at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at  Yale University.


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