Four Black Scholars Who Are Taking on New Assignments at Major Universities

Deval L. Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts, was appointed professor of practice and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1994 to 1997, Patrick served as assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Clinton administration.

Professor Patrick is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Kristie Soares has accepted the position of co-director of LGBTQ studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Soares is an assistant professor of women and gender studies and has been on the university’s faculty since 2018.

Dr. Soares holds a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Colorado Boulder, and a doctoral degree in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kirsten Pai Buick was appointed director of the Africana studies department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Dr. Buick is a professor of art history, associate dean of equity and excellence, and special assistant to the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. She is the author of Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject (Duke University Press, 2010).

Dr. Buick is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she majored in history and Italian literature. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Michigan.

Jane Okech, currently associate dean for academic and faculty affairs and professor of counselor education in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, will be the next vice provost for faculty affairs at the university, effective July 1. She has taught at the University of Vermont since 2003.

Dr. Okech is a graduate of Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the United States International University-Africa and a Ph.D. in education and counseling from Idaho State University.

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