Three African Americans Women Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts

Vernese Edghill-Walden will be the inaugural vice president of equity and inclusive excellence at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, effective July 31. Edghill-Walden is currently vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Earlier in her career, she was the director of the Center for Black Culture and Multicultural Programs at the University of Delaware for 12 years.

Dr. Edghill-Walden earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with minors in counseling and human service systems from Bucknell University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in education from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in sociology from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

B. Afeni McNeely Cobham has been named the first associate vice chancellor and vice provost for equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. Dr. McNeely Cobham was the inaugural chief equity and inclusion officer at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, serving from 2018 to 2022. Earlier, Dr. McNeely Cobham served as an associate dean at Connecticut College, associate provost of student life and affiliate faculty at the University of Denver, and assistant dean at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Dr. McNeely Cobham is a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Indiana University.

Shawna Watkins is the new director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Tulsa campus of the University of Oklahoma. She was the director of workforce education at Texarkana College in Texas. Watkins has also been serving as the executive officer of the Northeast Texas Alliance of Black School Educators.

Watkins is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where she majored in criminal justice. She holds a master of public administration degree from Arkansas State University.


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