Six Black Scholars Taking on New Assignments at Colleges and Universities

Cordara Harper has been named assistant professor of music education and director of university choirs at Grambling State University in Louisiana. A native of Cove City, North Carolina, Harper has served as an instructor, teaching assistant, research assistant, and choral graduate assistant at the University of Memphis. 

Harper holds a bachelor’s degree in music from North Carolina Central University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. He earned a master’s degree in music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a second master’s degree at Amberton University in Garland, Texas. He is currently studying for a Ph.D. in music education.

Karen Cook-Bell, an associate professor and chair of the department of history and government at Bowie State University in Maryland, was appointed to the Wilson H. Wilkins Professorship. She is the author of Claiming Freedom: Race, Kinship, and Land in Nineteenth-Century Georgia (University of South Carolina Press, 2018) and Running from Bondage: Enslaved Women and Their Remarkable Fight for Freedom in Revolutionary America (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Professor Bell is a graduate of Savannah State University in Georgia. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Joseph C. Phillips has joined the faculty at Clark Atlanta University as a professor in theatre and communication studies. He has appeared in multiple roles on television and film and for many years wrote a syndicated newspaper column. He is the author of  He Talk Like a White Boy (Running Press, 2006).

Phillips received a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from the acting conservatory at New York University after transferring from the University of the Pacific where he was a communications major.

Iheoma Nwachukwu is a new assistant professor of English at the Mississippi University for Women. He teaches classes in creative writing.

Dr. Nwachukwu is a graduate of the University of Calabar in Nigeria. He holds a master of fine arts degree from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University.

Brittany A. Holloman was appointed deputy athletic director and director of the Scholar Athlete Program at Talladega College in Alabama. She will also serve as an assistant professor of education in the Division of Social Sciences and Education. Dr. Holloman was the interim associate vice president of student affairs and judicial appeals at Alabama A&M University.

Dr. Holloman earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a concentration in environmental planning from Alabama A&M University and a Ph.D. in higher education from Jackson State University in Mississippi.

Lewatis McNeal, an associate professor of public health and associate dean for administration and diversity in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, has been named vice provost for regional higher education and partnerships at Ohio University. Earlier, in his career, Dr. McNeal served as an associate dean, clinical associate professor of public health, and acting dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Northern Kentucky University.

Dr. McNeal is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he majored in nutrition and dietetics. He holds a Ph.D. in health promotion and behavioral sciences from the University of Lousiville.


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