National Institute on Aging

Four African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions

Gregory E. Triplett Jr. has been selected to serve as the inaugural dean of the School of Science and Engineering at Saint Louis University, effective July 1. Dr. Triplett is the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering in Richmond. He joined the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 as a professor and associate dean for graduate studies. Dr. Triplett began his academic career in 2011 at the University of Missouri, where he was the James C. Dowell Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of the Compound Semiconductor Research Lab, and associate director of the university’s honors college.

Dr. Triplett is a graduate of Florida A&M University. where he majored in electrical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Denise Taliaferro Baszile has been selected to serve as the next dean of the College of Education at Wayne State University in Detroit. She will take office on July 1. Dr. Taliaferro Baszile comes to Wayne State from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she currently serves as a professor of curriculum and cultural studies and associate dean for diversity and student services in the College of Education, Health, and Society. She is the co-editor of Black Women Theorizing Curriculum Studies in Colour and Curves (2020).

Dr. Taliaferro Baszile is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in communications studies. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University.

Viola L. Acoff has been named dean of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering. When she takes office on July 1, Dr. Acoff will be the first female and first African American to serve in this position. Since 2014, she has been the associate dean for undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Acoff earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in materials engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Leon Geter was appointed interim dean for the School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. He has been serving as chair of the department of criminal justice administration and social sciences and director of the Center for Cybersecurity at the college. Prior to joining the Benedict College faculty in 2014, Dr. Geter chaired the department of criminal justice at the New York City campus of Berkeley College following eight years of industry experience as an associate program manager at Lockheed Martin in Rockville, Maryland.

Dr. Geter is a graduate of Benedict College. He earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, a master’s degree in cybersecurity operations and leadership from the University of San Diego, and a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix.


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