Five Black Scholars Who Are Taking on New Roles at Major Universities

Judith Green McKenzie has been hired as a professor of medicine and executive director for health, safety, and environment for Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System beginning December 1. She has been serving as a professor of emergency medicine at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. McKenzie is a graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in biology. She holds a  master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a medical doctorate from Yale University.

Frederick Evans, dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at South Carolina State University, was named acting provost and vice president of academic affairs at the university.

Dr. Evans holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Sarasota in Florida.

Jennifer Swann, professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has been named an ombudsperson at the university. Dr. Swann has been on the faculty at the university for more than a quarter century after teaching a Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Dr. Swann is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where she majored in psychology. She holds a master’s degree in physiological psychology and psychobiology from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in reproductive neurobiology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in negotiation and conflict resolution from Columbia University.

Ruth Opara is a new assistant professor of art and music history at Syracuse University in New York. She was a Mellon postdoctoral teaching fellow in the department of music at Columbia University.

Dr. Opara holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She earned a master’s degree in pan-African studies from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Bocar Ba is a new assistant professor of economics at Duke University in North Carolina. He had been teaching at the University of California, Irvine. His research is focused on the economics of crime and labor.

Dr. Ba is a graduate of the University of Quebec, where he majored in economics and finance. He holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of British Columbia and a master of public policy degree and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago.


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