New Jackson State University President Announces His Leadership Team

Jackson State University President Marcus L. Thompson, has announced the appointments of five African Americans to his cabinet and senior leadership team: Kylon Alford-Windfield, vice president of enrollment management; Alla Jeanae Frank, special assistant to the president and chief transformation officer; Onetta Starling Whitley, general counsel; ConSandra McNeil, interim vice president of research and economic development; and Mitchell Shears, as executive director of Title III programs.

Kylon Alford-Windfield comes to the university from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he served as vice president for enrollment management. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Alford-Windfield received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Mississippi Valley State University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the executive Ph.D. program in urban higher education at Jackson State University.

Alla Jeanae Frank was the assistant commissioner of operations for the board of trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Frank earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in public policy and administration with a concentration in environmental management planning and policy from Jackson State University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the executive Ph.D. program in urban higher education at Jackson State University.

Onetta Starling Whitley formerly served as deputy attorney general for the State of Mississippi, where she was the first woman and second African American to hold the position. Whitley received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Tougaloo College and a juris doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law

Mitchell Shears joined Jackson State University in 2017 and has served as associate vice president for student success since 2019. Dr. Shears graduated from Alcorn State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications and master’s degree in education. He earned his specialist and doctorate degrees in educational leadership from Mississippi College.

Consandra McNeil most recently served Jackson State University as assistant provost, focusing on research engagement; activity director of the Institute for Social Justice & Race Relations; and professor of sociology. Dr. McNeil earned her master’s degree in sociology, alcohol and drug studies from Jackson State University and a graduate certificate in homeland security-disaster management from Texas A&M University. She received her doctoral degree in sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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