Two African American Women Who Have Been Appointed to Endowed Professorships

Robin R. Means Coleman was named the inaugural Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor in the department of communication studies in the School of Communication at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She will also serve as vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. She has been serving as vice president and associate provost for diversity and a professor in the department of communication at Texas A&M University. Dr. Coleman is the author of several books including Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present (Routledge, 2011).

Professor Coleman received her bachelor’s degree in communications from what is now Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She holds a master’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in mass communications from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Whitney Pirtle was named to a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced. Dr. Pirtle is a sociologist with interdisciplinary expertise in race and nation, racial identity constructions, racial/ethnic disparities in health, and Black feminist sociology.

Dr. Pirtle is a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.


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