Nicole Hodges Persley was promoted to associate professor in the department of theatre at the University of Kansas. She was also granted tenure. Dr. Persley is the first African American woman to be granted tenure in the department. She also was named director of the graduate studies in the department. She is the first Black scholar to hold this position.
Recently, Dr. Persley was named the winner of the Byron T. Shutz Award for excellence in teaching at the university. She is only the seventh woman, and the first scholar from the theatre department, to receive the award since it was established in 1974.
Dr. Persley is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta. She earned a master’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.