New University Administrative Posts for Four African Americans

Shannon Frank Reeves, Sr. is the new vice president of government affairs and external relations at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. Since 2022, Reeves has served as associate vice president in the Office of Government Affairs at the university.

Reeves holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master of public administration degree from Grambling State University in Louisiana. He earned a master’s degree in political science and is completing work on a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Alabama.

Ayanna McConnell has been named the twelfth president and CEO of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. She has served as acting president since March. Previously, McConnell served as the association’s vice president for university relations.

A Detroit native, McConnell attended the University of Michigan before completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Eastern Michigan University.

Deborah Alston was appointed assistant vice president of stewardship at Virginia Union University. She has been serving as senior director for alumni relations and advancement services. Prior to this, she held several significant positions within the Division of Institutional Advancement, including director of prospect research and gifts management, director of the annual fund, and interim director of alumni affairs.

Alston holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Virginia State University.

Leon Lewis, Jr. is the new chief information officer at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Lewis has an extensive career of over 30 years in information technology and IT strategic development. Prior to joining Shaw University, Lewis served as the chief information officer at Illinois Wesleyan University. Earlier, Lewis worked as director of ITS Enterprise Information Systems at South Piedmont Community College in in Polkton, North Carolina.

Lewis is a graduate of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where he majored in computer information systems. He holds a master’s degree in computer engineering from Marlboro College in Vermont, which has now closed.

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