Five African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

Tacquice Wiggan Davis has been named assistant vice president for inclusive excellence at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. She has worked for the last 10 years in the Office of Student Leadership at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. She most recently served as the associate director for the department of intercultural affairs.

Dr. Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ramapo College in New Jersey. She holds a master’s degree in behavioral sciences from Kean University in Union, New Jersey, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Carolina University.

Phillip Cockrell was appointed vice president for campus engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion at Cleveland State University in Ohio. He was vice president for student affairs and vice provost at the University of Toledo in Ohio. Earlier in his career, Dr. Cockrell was dean of students at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Dr. Cockrell holds a bachelor’s degree in family studies from Mississippi University for Women. He earned a master’s degree in educational leadership/student affairs administration from Florida International University and a doctorate in urban higher education from Jackson State University.

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences recently welcomed Felysha Jenkins as its first diversity, equity, and inclusion program manager. Previously, she was a program associate for the graduate school at North Carolina State University and an early college outreach coordinator at Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee.

Dr. Jenkins earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. in psychology from North Carolina State University.

Nickey Woods is the inaugural assistant dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California. She previously served as a director in student affairs and as an assistant dean in the Graduate Division at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UCLA, where she was an all-conference member of the women’s basketball team. She earned a master’s degree in education at National University and a doctorate in educational leadership, with a concentration in educational psychology, at the Rossier School of Education a the University of Southern California.

Shawnboda Mead has been promoted to vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Mead joined the staff at the university in July 2014 as the inaugural director of the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. Since then, she has served as assistant vice chancellor for diversity, and for the past year as interim vice chancellor for diversity and community engagement. Earlier in her career, Dr. Mead was the associate director of diversity and multicultural education at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Mead earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in student affairs/higher education administration from Western Kentucky University. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi.


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