Six African Americans Taking on New Administrative Duties in Higher Education

Nick Bates was appointed as the director of the Howard Thurmond Center for Common Ground at Boston University. He has been serving as the interim director. Earlier, he was assistant and associate director since joining the center in 2019.

Bates earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Reinell Thomas-Myers has been promoted to director of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Program at South Carolina State University. She has served as program manager for the South Carolina Program for the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Teachers at the university since 2009.

Thomas-Myers holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from South Carolina State University and a master’s degree in technology education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Joel Munza is the new vice president for enrollment management at Xavier University in New Orleans. He was the associate vice president for enrollment management at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Earlier, he was director of enrollment management operations at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Munza is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in aviation finance from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Alisia Kirkwood was named associate vice president of the Long Beach Community College District in California, where she will oversee the Pacific Coast Campus. Since 2018, she has seen serving as dean of student affairs for the Long Beach Community College District. Earlier, Dr. Kirkwood was interim dean for student affairs at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, California.

Dr. Kirkwood earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Riverside. She received a master’s degree in education and a doctorate in community college leadership from California State University, Fullerton.

Rashad Cockrell is the new director of the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. He was the coordinator for fraternity and sorority affairs at Oklahoma State University.

Cockrell earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University. He holds a master’s degree in college student personnel administration from the University of Central Arkansas. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Robert Raines is the new interim director of intercollegiate athletics at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. Since 2022, he was the associate athletic director for business operations.

Raines received a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation with a minor in math and science from Alcorn State University. He holds a master’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation and sports management with a minor in sports administration from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

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