Colleges and Universities Announce the Appointments of Five African Americans Deans

Edward Thomas Jr., professor of physics and associate dean for research and graduate studies at Auburn University in Alabama, has been appointed interim dean of the university’s College of Sciences and Mathematics. He is a prominent scholar in the field of experimental and computational plasma physics. Dr. Thomas joined the faculty at Auburn in 2000.

Professor Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. He earned a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate from Auburn University.

Katherine Whitaker was appointed dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. She joined the Voorhees College family in 2001 and most recently served as chair of the department of business and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Whitaker is a graduate of Voorhees College, where she majored in organizational management. She holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Webster University in Missouri and a doctoral degree in business administration from Northcentral University.

John Guns was named dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond. Dr. Guns is the senior pastor of the St. Paul Church of Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, Florida. He is the former dean of the School of Theology for Knoxville College in Tennessee.

Dr. Guns earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Norfolk State University in Virginia. He holds a master of divinity degree and a doctorate of ministry degree from Virginia Union University.

Allyssa L. Harris is the new dean of nursing at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. Most recently, she was department chair and program director in the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She also served as the faculty nurse scientist in the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Harris holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in nursing, all from Boston College.

Takeem L. Dean is the new dean of students at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. Dr. Dean has been serving dean of students at Johnson C. Smith University, the historically Black university, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in business education and a master’s degree in educational leadership with a concentration in adult and organizational leadership and higher education, both from Montclair State University in New Jersey. He earned a doctorate in community college leadership from Wingate University in North Carolina.


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