Five Black Women Faculty Members Who Have Been Appointed to New Posts

Shannon Clowney Johnson, an assistant professor of languages and letters at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, was given the added assignment as associate vice president for academic affairs at the college. She began her career at the college in 2012 as an instructor.

Dr. Clowney Johnson is a graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she majored in Africana studies. She earned a master of public administration degree and a master’s degree in technical writing from the University of Arkansas at Little and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary leadership studies for community and social change from the University of Central Arkansas.

Tracy Heather Strain, co-director of the Wesleyan Documentary Project at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was named to the Corwin-Fuller Professorship of Film Studies. In 1999 Strain won a Peabody Award for her first two feature documentaries Bright Like a Sun and The Dream Keepers. Professor Strain is a graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Harvard University.

Muriel Poston, a national leader in science education and research who served on the faculty at Howard University for 20 years, has joined Claremont McKenna College in California as vice president of strategic initiatives.

Dr. Poston earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

Safiya Sinclair was hired as an associate professor of English at Arizona State University. She has been serving as a postdoctoral research associate in the department of literary arts at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

A native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Dr. Sinclair is a graduate of Bennington College in Vermont, where she majored in English literature. She earned a master’s degree in poetry from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California.

Charmaine Royal, was named the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University. Dr. Royal holds appointments in biology, global health, and family medicine & community health. She also directs the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

Dr. Royal obtained her bachelor’s degree in microbiology, a master’s degree in genetic counseling, and a doctorate in human genetics, all from Howard University.


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