Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions in Higher Education

Ashton Cleveland has been named chief operating officer for historically Black Lincoln University of Missouri. He comes to his new position from historically Black Shaw University in North Carolina, where he served as vice president for student affairs. Earlier in his career, he was dean of student affairs at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Cleveland holds a master of education degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, a juris doctorate from the University of Florida, and an educational doctorate from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Freda Coleman-Jackson has been appointed assistant dean of career strategy for the Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. She has been with the university since 2020, and has served as interim assistant dean for the past six months. She has previous higher education administrative experience with the law schools at Indiana University, Barry University in Miami, and Florida A&M University.

Coleman-Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University, a master’s degree from the University of Florida, and a juris doctorate from Mercer University in Georgia. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education and student affairs through Indiana University.

Crystal W. Boyce has been named associate vice chancellor for the Office of Alumni Relations at her alma mater, historically Black North Carolina A&T State University. She has over 15 years of experience with the university in admissions and alumni relations positions. Her previous positions include director of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the inaugural director of alumni programs.

Boyce received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in adult education with a concentration in higher education from North Carolina A&T State University.

Derrick Gragg has been appointed as the inaugural vice president for athletic strategy at Northwestern University in Illinois. He currently serves the university as the Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation. He will remain in this role as the university’s athletic director until his successor is appointed.

Dr. Gragg is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where he majored in human development. He holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas.

Chancellor Mills has been named director of bands in the Office of Choirs and Bands at the Howard University Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. He has over two decades of music education experience, currently serving as assistant band director of the Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band.

Mills is a graduate of historically Black Southern University A&M College in Louisiana, where he majored in music education. He holds a master’s degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix.

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