Three African Americans Who Are Taking on Roles Relating to Diversity at Universities

Sofiya Alhassan is the new associate dean for inclusion and engagement for the Graduate School of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A professor of kinesiology, she has served as the graduate program director of the kinesiology department since 2015. She joined the faculty at the university in 2007.

Dr. Alhassan holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and psychology from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. She earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in exercise physiology from Auburn University in Alabama.

Jacquez Gray is the assistant director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety. He was serving as a community director and strategic integration manager at the university. Earlier, Gray was community director for housing and residence life at the University of Arizona.

Gray was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and justice administration from Western Illinois University. He earned a master’s degree in leadership and student affairs from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Keona Lewis has been named assistant provost for academic diversity and inclusion at the University of Notre Dame, effective February 1. She has been serving as the associate director of research and evaluation for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Dr. Lewis taught in the anthropology and criminology departments at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Dr. Lewis earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology and her doctorate in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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