Six African American Scholars Who Have Been Assigned New Roles in Academia

Nefertiti Walker has been named interim associate chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She currently serves as a faculty member in the university’s Isenberg School of Management and as associate dean for inclusive organization.

Dr. Walker holds a bachelor’s degree and MBA both from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in sport management from the University of Florida.

Desmond U. Patton, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Columbia University in New York City, will take on additional responsibilities as associate dean for curriculum innovation and academic affairs. Dr. Patton is the founding director of SAFElab, a research initiative focused on examining the ways in which youth of color navigate violence on and offline.

Dr. Patton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he majored in anthropology and political science. He holds a master of social work degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in social services administration from the University of Chicago.

Lolita Buckner Inniss has been named senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas. Her appointment makes her the law school’s first Black associate dean. She is also the school’s first Black woman to serve at the rank of full professor.

Dr. Inniss is a graduate of Princeton University in New Jersey. She holds a juris doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles and a master of laws degree and Ph.D. in law both from York University in Canada.

Linda White has been named interim chair of the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee. She currently serves as an associate professor of English and has been a LeMoyne-Owen faculty member for 20 years.

Dr. White holds a bachelor’s degree in English and theatre and a master’s degree in creative writing both from the University of Memphis, and a Ph.D. in African American literature from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Jean Beaman has been named an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was a faculty member at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, with affiliations in African-American studies, global studies, and American studies. She is the author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France (University of California Press, 2017).

Dr. Beaman holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. all from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Wayne Brewer has been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of physical therapy at Texas Woman’s University. He previously served as an assistant professor at TWU where he teaches courses in cardiopulmonary, health promotion and wellness, and exercise testing/prescription.

Dr. Brewer holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and a master of public health degree both from the University of Pittsburgh. He earned a Ph.D. in physical therapy at Texas Woman’s University.

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