New Assignments for Five Black Women Faculty Members

Shanen M. Sherrer was recently promoted to associate professor of biochemistry with tenure at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her research is focused on studying the biological outcomes of DNA damage caused by environmental sources.

Dr. Sherrer is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she majored in biochemistry. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Ohio State University.

Daphne Penn has joined the faculty of Peabody College of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville as an assistant professor of education policy and inequality. Her research aims to understand and address the root causes of educational inequality by examining schools as microcosms of society. Her forthcoming book, The American Dream Deferred, examines the politics of immigration-related demographic change when unaccompanied minors from Guatemala are introduced into a historic African American high school in the U.S. South.

Dr. Penn earned a bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a Ph.D. in education from Harvard University.

Lorelle Semley was named director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at Boston College. Dr. Semley’s research in African history spans a multiplicity of disciplines, source materials, and political and social subject matter. Her current project examines the evolution of Black citizenship in the former French colonial empire. Before coming to Boston College, she was a professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Professor Semley is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in French. She earned a master’s degree in African studies at Yale University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Stacy-ann Robinson was promoted to associate professor of environmental studies at Colby College in Waterville Maine. She is a specialist in international environmental policy, with a particular focus on climate justice in the Global South. Her interdisciplinary research explores the intersections of environmental security, climate adaptation, climate mitigation, climate justice, and loss and damage, with a focus on small island developing states. She joined the Colby faculty in 2019.

Dr. Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations and political science from the University of the West Indies. She holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Manchester in England and a Ph.D. in global environmental change from the Australian National University.

Tesa Leonce, an associate professor of accounting at Columbus State University in Georgia, was given the added duties as associate dean of the Turner College of Business and Technology at the university. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbus State in 2014, Dr. Leonce taught at Wake Forest University, Eastern Illinois University, and the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Leonce holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in finance and business computer information systems from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming.

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