Five African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions

Kerry L. Haynie was named dean of social sciences for the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He is a professor of political science and African American studies. Dr. Haynie is the co-author of Race, Gender, and Legislative Representation: Toward a More Intersectional Approach (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Professor Haynie joined the faculty at Duke in 2003. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Henrietta Williams Pichon is the new dean of the College of Education at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. She most recently served as the interim dean of the College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation at New Mexico State University. She is the co-editor of African American Leadership and Mentoring Through Purpose, Preparation, and Preceptors (Information Science Reference, 2021).

Dr. Pichon holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in secondary English education from Louisiana Tech. She earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of New Orleans.

Kenneth E. Carter was appointed interim dean of Oxford College at Emory University in Georgia. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Psychology and chair of the Division of History and Social Sciences at the university. Dr. Carter joined the faculty in 1996 as an assistant professor after serving as a senior assistant research scientist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. He is the author of Buzz!: Inside the Minds of Thrill-Seekers, Daredevils, and Adrenaline Junkies (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Dr. Carter is a graduate of Emory University. He holds a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah is the new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Union University in Richmond. Since 2016, she has been an associate professor of environmental science and ecology at the university. In 2018, Dr. Cobb-Abdullah was appointed to serve as the founding director of the university’s Center for STEM Diversity.

Dr. Cobb-Abdullah holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee University in Alabama. She earned a master’s degree in molecular biology and a doctorate in environmental science from Florida A&M University.

Vicki Williams was named dean of students and associate vice president of engagement at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She had been interim dean since February 2021.

Originally from Cleveland, Dr. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in individual and family studies and a master’s degree in community counseling from Kent State University in Ohio. She earned a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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