Three African Americans Who Are Taking on New University Administrative Duties

Erick Harper is the new director of athletics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He has served as interim athletics director since August. Earlier, he served for nine years as senior associate athletics director for development at the university. Prior to coming to Las Vegas in 2012, Harper was associate athletics director for football operations at the University of Arizona from 2003 to 2011.

Harper received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, where he was a four-year starter at defensive back for the university’s football team. He earned a master’s degree in organizational management and leadership from what is now the University of Arizona Global Campus.

Demetrius D. Smith has been named associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Georgia, effective February 1. He has been serving as special assistant to the vice chancellor for equity, diversity, inclusion, and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Earlier, Dr. Smith served as director of the African American Initiative Program and residence life coordinator at Middle Georgia State University.

Dr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in sport management and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University. He earned a doctorate in student affairs leadership at the University of Georgia.

Joanne L. Smikle is the new program facilitator for the Professional Leadership Program for Women in the Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute at Towson University in Maryland.  She is a former faculty member at Saybrook University in Pasadena, California.

Dr. Smikle is a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She earned a Ph.D. in human and organization development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California.


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