Two Black Scholars Who Have Been Named to Dean Positions

Brett C. Woods was appointed vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Salem College, an educational institution for women in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He previously served as an associate professor of biology and interim dean of the Wanek School of Natural Sciences at High Point University in North Carolina. Earlier, he spent nearly 14 years on the biology faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“I am excited to work at an institution that prides itself on celebrating the relationships built with students. There is a reason that so many alumnae of Salem College maintain a relationship with the college well beyond graduation,” Dr. Woods said. “I am excited to join this tight community and build my own lifelong relationships with faculty, staff, and students. I can make a difference at Salem College, but more importantly, I am joining a community that wants to make a difference in young students’ lives.”

Dr. Woods received a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas.

Mary Simmons is the new dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences at Florida A&M University. She has been serving as interim dean. Before being named interim dean in 2022, Dr. Simmons was the director of the Division of Cardiopulmonary Science in the School of Allied Health Sciences at the university. She joined the faculty nearly 20 years ago.

“I am eager to embark on a journey of innovation, collaboration, and excellence as the newly appointed dean of the School of Allied Health Sciences,” Dr. Simmons said. “I look forward to empowering our faculty and staff as we advance student success in the areas of experiential learning, licensure pass rates, and employment security upon degree completion.”

A native of Troy, Alabama, Dr. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in cardiopulmonary science and a master of public health degree from Florida A&M University. She earned a doctorate in public health/community health from Walden University.

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