Five African American Faculty Members Who Have Been Assigned New Roles

Derrick R. Brooms was appointed professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He will also serve as a fellow in the Center for the Study of Social Justice. Previously, he served as a professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Brooms’s research explores Black boys’ and men’s lives and pathways to and through college and also investigates the collegiate experiences of Black and Latinx males. He is the author of several books including Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences (SUNY Press, 2017) and the forthcoming book Stakes is High: Trials, Lessons, and Triumphs in Young Black Men’s Educational Journeys (SUNY Press, 2021).

Dr. Brooms is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he majored in African and African American studies. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Loyola University Chicago.

Shona Tucker, professor and chair of the drama department at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, was appointed to the Mary Riepma Ross ’32 Chair at the college. Professor Tucker, who has served as chair of the drama department since 2017, began teaching at Vassar in 2008. She is an accomplished actor, director, and writer with credits in theater, television, and film. Most recently, she won rave reviews for her portrayal of Calpurnia in the cast of the Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Professor Tucker is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she majored in speech. She holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Christopher Schell is a new assistant professor in the department of environmental science, policy, and management at the University of California, Berkeley. He studies the intersections of society, ecology, and evolution to understand how wildlife (mainly mammalian carnivores) are rapidly adapting to life in cities.

Dr. Schell is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in sociology. He holds a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago.

Deidre Pierson, an associate professor of physical education at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, was appointed associate athletic director at the college with responsibilities as senior woman administrator, NCAA athletics diversity and inclusions designee, and director of compliance.

Pierson is a graduate of Boise State University in Idaho. She holds a master’s degree from the Cortland campus of the State University of New York.

D’Jaris Coles-White, has joined the faculty at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo as a Presidential Innovation Professor in the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences. She was a professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Her research focuses on multicultural issues in speech disorders and the development of social language skills in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Dr. Coles-White earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing sciences from Columbia College in South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in speech pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in communication disorders from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


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