Three African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts in Higher Education

Stephanie Akunvabey has been named associate vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Pace University in New York. Most recently, she served in a similar role at Roger Williams University campuses in Bristol and Providence, Rhode Island. Earlier, she served as interim assistant dean of academic affairs at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.

Dr. Akunvabey earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology and Africana studies at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in higher and postsecondary education from New York University.

Alton M. Standifer was appointed vice provost for inclusive excellence and chief of staff to the provost at the University of Georgia, effective October 1. As vice provost for inclusive excellence, Dr. Standifer will direct the university’s Office of Institutional Diversity. He has been serving as deputy chief of staff to the president of the university. He joined the University of Georgia in 2014 as assistant director of new student orientation. Earlier, Dr. Standifer served in a variety of student-centered roles at Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Standifer earned a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Georgia Southern University. He earned a doctorate in public administration and policy at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Ashton Murray is the inaugural chief diversity officer and vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Rockefeller University in New York City. Earlier, he served as director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Previously, Dr. Murray developed training programs in cultural competency and diversity for leadership at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Murray is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a master’s degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University.

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