Seven Black Faculty Members in New Roles in Academia

Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt was named a professor of management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She will also serve as the inaugural vice provost for inclusive excellence at the university. Dr. Thomas-Hunt has been serving as senior associate dean and global chief diversity officer for the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Professor Thomas-Hunt is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey, where she majored in chemical engineering. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois.

Charkarra Anderson-Lewis was appointed interim chair of the department of public health at the University of Southern Mississippi. She joined the faculty at the university in 2004.

Dr. Anderson-Little holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master of public health degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned a Ph.D. in health education and health promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Talitha Washington, an associate professor of mathematics at Howard University in Washington, D.C., was named program director for the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Washington is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut.

Charmaine Royal, associate professor of African and African American studies at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was appointed director of the Truth, Racial, Healing, & Transformation Center on campus. She is also the director of the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity Difference.

Dr. Royal received a master’s degree in genetic counseling and a doctorate in human genetics from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tara T. Green was named the Linda Carlisle Excellence Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She joined the faculty at the university in 2008. She is the author or editor of several books including From the Plantation to the Prison: African American Confinement Literature (Mercer University Press, 2008).

Professor Green is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, where she majored in English. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on African American literature from Louisiana State University.

Alwyn Leiba was named chair of the School of Health Sciences at Miami Dade College Medical Campus in Miami. He has been been serving as an assistant professor in the dental hygiene program in the School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Leiba holds a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from St. Petersburg College in Florida. He earned an MBA from American Intercontinental University and a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Northcentral University.

Enobong Branch, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been given the added duties of associate chancellor for equity and inclusion. She will also hold the title of chief diversity officer. Dr. Branch was named to the faculty at the university in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor in 2013.

Dr. Branch is the author of Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work (Rutgers University Press, 2011). She is a graduate of Howard University and earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the University at Albany of the State University of New York System.

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