Three African Americans Who Have Been Named to Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Jonathan A. McElderry was appointed dean of student inclusive excellence at Elon University in North Carolina, effective July 5. In this role, he will be responsible for leading student-centered initiatives to advance a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. He has been serving as assistant dean of students and executive director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. McElderry is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in college student personnel from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Missouri.

Trachette Jackson was named the inaugural assistant vice president for research for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the University of Michigan. She is a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and professor of mathematics at the university. Dr. Jackson has taught at the university since 2000.

Professor Jackson is a summa cum laude graduate of Arizona State University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Washington.

Risë Nelson will leave her role as director of the African American Cultural House to take the position as the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Yale University Library. Before coming to Yale in 2015, Nelson was director of student success programs in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives at Cornell University.

Nelson is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, where she majored in English and multiethnic American studies. She holds a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College at Columbia University.


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