Six African American Scholars Appointed Deans at Colleges and Universities

Robert N. Garner was appointed dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. He was chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

A native of Starkville, Mississippi, Dr. Garner received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Jackson State University. He earned a doctorate in chemistry at Ohio State University.

T. Camille Martin-Thomsen was named dean of faculty and vice president of academic affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was the acting associate provost for academic affairs at Pratt Institute in New York, where she also taught interior design and art and design education.

Dean Martin-Thomsen is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She earned a master of architecture degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

Marvin Lynn is the new dean of the School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver. He was a professor of education at Portland State University in Oregon and is the former dean of the School of Education at Indiana University South Bend. Dr. Lynn is the co-editor of The Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education (Routledge, 2021, 2nd Edition).

Dr. Lynn is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, where he majored in elementary education. He holds a master’s degree from Teachers College at Columbia University and a doctorate in social sciences and education from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Amani Jennings is the new dean of students at Bowie State University in Maryland. Jennings was the dean of students and Title IX coordinator at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Jennings earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in basic and urban education from Jersey City State College. He is a Ph.D. candidate in educational management at Hampton University in Virginia.

Celeste M. Watkins-Hayes was appointed interim dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She has been serving as the associate dean for academic affairs. Dr. Watkins-Hayes is the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy and a professor of sociology at the university. She is the author of Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality (University of California Press, 2019).

Professor Watkins-Hayes is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.

Mary M. White has been promoted to dean of students at South Carolina State University. For 14 years she served as student service program coordinator in the Dr. Emily E. Clyburn Honors College at the university.

White received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice administration from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She earned a master’s degree in transportation and civil engineering from South Carolina State University.


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