Three African American Men Who Have Been Selected to Serve as Deans

Joel A. Johnson was appointed dean of admission at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to being appointed dean of admission at Drake University, Dr. Johnson served as interim director of admission at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

A native of Chicago, Dr. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from North Central College in Illinois. He holds a master’s degree in higher education student affairs from Loyola University Chicago and a doctorate in higher education leadership and organizational studies from Bay Path University in Massachusetts.

Darren D. Kelly will be the next dean of the Office of African American Affairs at the University of Virginia, effective October 2. He has been serving as vice president at the University of Texas at Austin, where he oversees a 67-member team in the Division of Diversity and Community.

Dr. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in finance and marketing. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in kinesiology with a concentration in sports management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jimmie Smith has been named dean of aviation at Savannah Technical College in Georgia. He has been with an aviation maintenance instructor at Savannah Technical College since October 2017. Earlier, Dean Smith worked for 29 years in the aviation industry. He also served in the U.S. Navy for seven years.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics with a minor in management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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  1. Congratulations, Dr. Kelly, on your appointment as Dean of the Office of African American Affairs at UVA. As a “Double ‘Hoo” (Classes of 1987 and 1989), I hope the Office will become more visible and vocal on matters specific to African American access, diversity, equity, inclusion, and well-being at the university. It is also hoped that engagement with Black alums will be enhanced and increased. Much success and Wahoowa!

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