Six African Americans Appointed to Diversity Posts at Colleges and Universities

Sheldon D. Fields is the inaugural associate dean of equity and inclusion for the College of Nursing at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Fields has held faculty and administrative appointments at Binghamton University, the University of Rochester, Florida International University, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, New York Institute of Technology, and most recently Long Island University-Brooklyn.

Dr. Fields received a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in family nursing from Binghamton University. He holds a doctorate in nursing science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Deidre Hill Butler, an associate professor of sociology at Union College in Schenectady, New York, has been assigned a new role as director of diversity, equity, and inclusion and academic chief diversity officer.

Dr. Butler is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio. She earned a master’s degree at Cornell University and a Ph.D. at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Belinda Robnett was hired as the inaugural vice chancellor for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was the inaugural associate dean for faculty development and diversity in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Earlier she served as undergraduate director in the sociology department and as the African American studies program director at the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Robnett is a graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a master’s degree in psychology from Princeton University. Dr. Robneett earned a third master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Sonia Rucker, assistant to the president for equity and diversity and dean of students at Southeast Missouri State University, has been appointed vice president for equity, access, and behavioral health.

Rucker holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen.

Franklin Ellis Jr. has been named director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Dr. Ellis comes to Vanderbilt from Coastal Carolina University, where most recently he served as assistant director of intercultural and inclusion student services.

Originally from Florence, South Carolina, Dr. Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He earned a doctorate in marriage and family therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Westwood, California.

Nahomi Carlisle was named chief equity and compliance officer at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. She was the director of diversity & inclusion for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Carlisle is a graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She earned a juris doctorate from New England Law in Boston.


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