Six Black Scholars Who Are Taking on New Faculty Assignments

Bevlee Watford, professor of engineering education and associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is taking on a new role as associate dean of equity and engagement for the College of Engineering.

Dr. Watford has been associate dean at Virginia Tech since 1997. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research, all from Virginia Tech.

Oladele “Dele” Ogunseitan, professor and founding chair of the department of population health & disease prevention at the University of California, Irvine, has been selected to serve as a University of California Presidential Chair. During his five-year nonrenewable term, he will help advance campuswide goals of encouraging new or interdisciplinary program development and enhancing the quality of existing academic programs. His appointment marks only the second time a Univerity of California, Irvine faculty member has held the distinction.

Dr. Ogunseitan joined the faculty at the university in 1992. He holds a master of public health degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Tennessee.

Camellia Okpodu, a professor of biology, has been appointed to the Xavier University of Louisiana /State of Louisiana Endowed Chair in Science. This is the sixth endowed chair at the university. Dr. Okpodu has served as dean of arts and sciences at Xavier since July 2018. Previously she had been a professor of biology, director of the Group for Microgravity and Environmental Biology, and director of a Designated IC Center of Academic Excellence at Norfolk State University in Virginia.

Dr. Okpodu earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and Ph.D. degree in plant physiology/biochemistry at North Carolina State University.

Berneece Herbert has been named the new chair for the department of urban and regional planning at Jackson State University in Mississippi. She previously served on the faculty at Alabama A&M University for 13 years.

Dr. Herbert holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and a Ph.D. in natural resources management from Alabama A&M University.

Anthony Donaldson Jr. is a new assistant professor of history at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. His research focuses on the civil rights movement and Black Power organizations. Dr. Donaldson is working on a book manuscript entitled, Waiting is Not an Option: The Quest for Black Political Power in North Carolina, 1963-1981.

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Dr. Donaldson earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in history at North Carolina Central University. He recently completed a Ph.D in history at the University of Florida.

Ethlyn McQueen-Gibson has been appointed associate professor at the Hampton University’s School of Nursing in Virginia. For the past two years, she served as an advanced practice nurse and clinical researcher for the Richmond Health & Wellness Program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dr. McQueen-Gibson holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of nursing practice degree from Ursuline College in Ohio. She also earned a master’s degree in nursing at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

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