Four Black Faculty Members Who Are Taking on New Assignments

Royel Johnson, a tenured associate professor in the Rossier School of Education and the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, is the new director of the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on issues related to student success like sense of belonging, college-going for systems-impacted youth and adults, and an expansive range of topics pertaining to racial equity in educational and social contexts. He is the co-editor of Racial Equity on College Campuses: Connecting Research and Practice (State University of New York Press, 2022).

Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government and a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Illinois. He earned a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs from Ohio State University.

Karen Keaton Jackson, a professor of English and director of the Honors Program at North Carolina Central University, was given the added duties of interim associate provost for academic programs and undergraduate research at the university. She joined the faculty at the university in 2004.

Dr. Keaton Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in English secondary education from Hampton University in Virginia. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Aaron Allen was appointed an assistant professor of dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was lecturer in dance and an artistic director at Middle Tennessee State University.

Allen holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in dance performance from Middle Tennessee State University. He earned a master of fine arts degree in dance performance and choreography from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Corcoran Holt was named an assistant professor of jazz bass at the Arizona State University School of Music, Dance and Theatre. Currently, Corcoran leads his own group and is the regular bassist in the Kenny Garrett Quintet, which received a Grammy nomination for the 2013 recording “Pushing the World Away.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Corcoran completed a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. He received a master’s degree in jazz studies from Queens College of the City University of New York.

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