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The HBCUs Educate Webinar Series

Virtual Engagement Events Region III

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kellie Dixon "Dr. K", our HBCU Division Chair is back with HBCUs Educate (formerly HBCU Webinar Series) for spring 2021!

The purpose of the HBCUs Educate is to provide professional development intentionally designed for HBCU professionals and practitioners seeking to work at these institutions. The series include a variety of topics led by panelists who work, research, and collaborate with HBCUs. With the positive response from the fall 2020 series, it was only right to continue the conversations with our HBCU scholars!

The first historically Black college or universities (HBCU) was founded in 1837, Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, because of Blacks being denied the opportunity to purse a higher education at colleges during that time. Soon after, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (1854) and Wilberforce University in Ohio (1856) were established. Soon after, more HBCUs were founded; however, it was in Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that defined HBCUs as institutions (established and accredited prior to 1964) of higher learning whose primary mission was the education of African Americans.

HBCUs continue to have an important contribution to higher education, especially in Region III where nearly 75% of our nation's HBCU institutions are located. In recent years, Region III has made a commitment to better serve these important colleges and universities and continues to explore ways to center the work of professionals at HBCU institutions in our conversations as a region and within the field of Student Affairs. This webinar series is an important part of our commitment.

Sessions for the Spring 2021 series include:

February 17, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs are Black History

March 3, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs and The First Year Experience

March 31, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs, Title IX and Student Engagement

April 7, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs, Accessibility Services and Student Engagement

April 21, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs and Barriers Facing Underrepresented Minorities: A Call to Action

May 5, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs, Senior Leadership and Professional Development

May 19, 2021 | 12pm EST - HBCUs, Intersection of Student Affairs and Development/Advancement

We look forward to seeing you and your colleagues at some of these webinars!

Presented By

Region 3

Webinar 1: HBCUs are Black History

HBCUs Educate Webinar February 17

Date: February 17, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the Presenter:

R. Wayne Woodson, Managing Partner for Woodson and Associates, Executive Director of The Woodson Fund, and Owner of RWYN Inc. Woodson has over 18 years of experience in the non-profit and higher education sectors. As a highly sought-after consultant, his primary focus areas are fundraising, institutional effectiveness/strategic planning, leadership training, and enrollment management. Woodson's academic research has primarily focused on two areas: the impact of financial aid on persistence at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Black male student success. He currently provides consulting services to higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations.

 Mr. Woodson received his undergraduate education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, which culminated in a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (Voice Performance and Choral Conducting). He has done graduate study in voice performance at New England Conservatory and graduate study in choral conducting at the University of South Florida. Woodson earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting and an Artists Diploma in orchestral conducting from Georgia State University. His Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership research focused on the impact of financial aid on the persistence of Black males at HBCUs. As the Great Grand Nephew of Carter G. Woodson, the pioneer of Black studies and labeled the "Father of Black History," Woodson has dedicated himself to educating the public on the contributions of Black Americans. He is a national spokesperson on the importance of educational access and affordability for underrepresented populations. Woodson believes that education is a crucial tool in the revitalization of urban communities and the upliftment of the next generation. He is dedicated to making education accessible and affordable to all members of society.

View Recording

Webinar 2: HBCUs and The First Year Experience

Date: March 3, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenter:

Ala ’Torya V. Cranford is a native of Hartsville, South Carolina. She attended Paine College and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She also holds master's degree in Higher Education with a concentration in College Teaching and Learning and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. She has over 10 years of experience in higher education in a variety of areas. She has served as an Admissions Recruiter, Director of Alumni Relations, Director of Student Activities, and an Assistant Softball Coach; with each developing her professionally and personally to better serve today’s student. She currently serves as the First and Second-Year Programs Director at Fort Valley State University and oversees the New Student Orientation Leaders. Her ability to lead and develop future leaders is reflective in the creation of her company, To Inspire One; an educational-based consulting company committed to exposing individuals to positivity, possibility, and purpose through several engaging programs. Ala ’Torya is an Augusta New Leaders Council (NLC) Fellow, a Higher Education Leadership Foundation (HELF) Fellow, presently serves on the board of directors for Creative Impressions, Georgia Shift, and Up Next Initiative. A young lady of many accolades: academically, athletically, within the community and church. She enjoys music, laughter, family, being a sense of hope for young people and traveling. She strongly believes, she may not have gone where she intended to go, but she thinks she has ended up where she intended to be with her faith and trust in GOD.

View Recording

Webinar 3: HBCUs, Title IX and Student Engagement

Date: March 31, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenters:

Breona Hayes, CEO/Founder at The Hayes Solution Group | breona@thehayessolutionsgroup.com

  • Breona is a certified Title IX Administrator with additional certifications in Civil Rights Investigations, Hearing Officer and Decision-Maker and Campus Survivor and Victim Services. A lover of imparting knowledge, Breona has presented professionally nationally on the topic of Title IX compliance, Sexual Assault prevention and trauma-informed campuses. Breona has devoted her life to the passion of aiding communities of color and has a strong desire to create pathways to educational attainment through engagement and advocacy. Breona completed her undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science- Physical Therapy. She also obtained her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling and a Master of Arts in School Counseling from Webster University. Breona is currently completing her Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. She has served in several leadership capacities in her professional and social organizations to include BRIDGES Leadership for Women in Higher Education, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a fellow in the Higher Education Leadership Foundation.

Zakiya Brown, Title IX Coordinator/Green Dot Prevention Strategy Project Director at Lincoln University of Missouri | brownz@lincolnu.edu 

  • Zakiya Brown has served higher education student affairs for over a decade. She’s held roles within residence life and student housing, student engagement and campus life, diversity and inclusion, and student conduct. She was previously an interim dean of students at Central State University, having the honor to serve her Alma Mater. However, presently she serves as the Title IX coordinator at Lincoln University of Missouri. She is an advocate for all things HBCU, where the African Proverb, Ubuntu, guides her work. A native of Cleveland, OH, Zakiya received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Central State University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Concordia University-Portland. She is currently working on a doctorate in educational leadership with a higher education administration concentration from Northcentral University. Her research examines how racial loyalty and cultural betrayal trauma impact sexual violence reporting behaviors among Black undergraduate women at historically Black institutions.

View Recording

Webinar 4: HBCUs, Accessibility Services and Student Engagement

Date: April 7, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenters:

Lori Davis, Esq., Business and Employment Law Instructor at Midway University | loridavisesquire@gmail.com

  • Lori Davis, J.D., is the CEO and Chief Navigator of Mortarboard and Tassel Collegiate Consulting LLC (MTCC). MTCC is an all-inclusive enterprise for college planning, career coaching, and educational consulting services. The primary focus of this consultancy is upon assisting aspiring and current students of all ages to attain their higher education and career goals. MTCC also supports college and career readiness initiatives of educational institutions and non-profit organizations. An attorney, Lori has over a decade of senior-level higher education experience encompassing collegiate teaching, governmental affairs, legal affairs, and student affairs. Lori currently serves as Business and Employment Law Instructor at Midway University, a private liberal arts institution in Kentucky.

Tiffany Tuma, Assistant Dean for the Center for Academic Success and Accessible Education/Title IX Coordinator at Saint Augustine's University | tctuma@st-aug.edu

  • Tiffany Tuma is an experienced Higher Education Professional, with 10 years of experience in various areas such as Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and now Academic Affairs. Mrs. Tuma serves as the Assistant Dean for the Center for Academic Success and Accessible Education and Title IX Coordinator at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC also known as the Miracle on Oakwood Ave and the Soul of South Raleigh. Tiffany believes that student success is achieved by assisting students in a holistic manner and by building a co-curricular bridge between academic affairs and student affairs. Tiffany Tuma is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Executive PhD Program studying Urban Higher Education at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS #TheeILove. Mrs. Tuma is also a devoted wife and loving mother.

Dr. Jovany Felix, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff at North Carolina Central University | jfelix@nccu.edu

  • Dr. Jovany Felix currently serves as the Associate Vice-Chancellor and Chief of Staff at North Carolina Central University. He has more than 20 years of experience in program implementation, university admissions policies, retention strategies, grant writing/reading/management, recruitment, program planning, personnel management, marketing, and program evaluation in large and small university settings. Jovany has additional experience in consultation regarding ADA and 504 regulations, grant writing, program development and evaluation through non-profit organizations. He also has experience in distance learning environments and information management. Dr. Felix also serves as the Chair of the ENABLE Association and The Agency for Access & Development.

View Recording

Webinar 5: HBCUs and Barriers Facing Underrepresented Minorities: A Call to Action

Date: April 21, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenters:

Dr. July Coleman, Program Manager of Special Projects for UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) | july.coleman@uncf.org

  • Dr. July P. Coleman serves as the Program Manager of Special Projects for UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB). In her role, she supports and coordinates multiple projects and various stakeholders at ICB. Dr. Coleman has professionally worked in higher education since 2011 in numerous positions to support retention, progression, and graduation through different grants, scholarships, and endowments. She has experience engaging students through leadership development with the use of student success initiatives through innovative practices. She also brings a wealth of understanding working with underrepresented students from 2-year and 4-year public institutions. Dr. Coleman graduated from the University of West Georgia with a B.A. & M.Ed. and from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse with an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership.

Dr. Deshawn Preston, Program Manager, Institutional Knowledge for UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) | deshawn.preston@uncf.org

  • Dr. DeShawn Preston serves as the Program Manager, Institutional Knowledge for UNCF's Institute for Capacity Building (ICB). Within this role, DeShawn manages multiple programs to support institutional-self-awareness and the development of strategic approaches to increase the institution's capacity through institutional data. As an active member in the field of higher education, DeShawn serves as a young scholar for the editorial board for the Journal of Negro Education and the Vice-Chair for the Council of Public Policy in Higher Education for the Association for the Study of Higher Education. DeShawn considers himself to be an advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and those who are often forgotten in the field of higher education. He has an edited book and authored several reports, articles, book chapters, and blogs on HBCUs' advancement. Before joining UNCF, DeShawn served as the institutional effectiveness program manager at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Preston holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership from Clemson University, an M.A. in History from Howard University, and a B.A. in History from Oakwood University.

Dr. Nadrea Njoku, Senior research associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) of UNCF | nadrea.njoku@uncf.org

  • Dr. Nadrea R. Njoku is a senior research associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) of UNCF. Njoku conducts empirical research related to guided pathways and student success and supports the evaluation of projects within the Institute for Capacity Building. She brings a critical race and feminist framework devoted to disrupting race and gender issues within the post-secondary education context to FDPRI's research agenda. She has worked across multiple functions of higher education—housing, student affairs, fraternity and sorority affairs, alumni relations, and evaluation. Dr. Njoku is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and holds a master's and doctorate from Indiana University.

View Recording

Webinar 6: HBCUs, Senior Leadership and Professional Development

Date: May 5, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenters:

Dr. Pernella Deams | Interim Vice President for Student Engaegment and Campus Life at Kentucky State University 
Dr. Pernella Rowena Deams is an academic administrator, currently serving in the role of Interim Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. She previously served in the role of Dean of Student Leadership, Conduct, and Health at Kentucky State University. Additional administrative experience includes Department Chair/Associate Professor of Psychology at Talladega College, in Talladega, Alabama and Department Head/Associate Professor of Sociology & Psychology at Grambling State University, in Grambling, Louisiana. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge), completing dual Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Sociology. Her Master of Science degree was completed in the CACREP-Accredited Program in Counseling Psychology at University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg). Dr. Deams earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in the APA-Accredited Program in Counseling Psychology at Tennessee State University (Nashville).  Her clinical education includes internships at Vanderbilt University Psychological and Counseling Center, Vanderbilt Adult Psychiatry Center, and University of Memphis Center for Counseling, Learning, and Testing. As a life-long learner, she recently completed the Certification in Post-Crisis Leadership through the University of South Florida, Muma College of Business and the Women In Education Leadership Program through the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Pernella Deams is a Fellow of the Iota Cohort of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, Leadership Institute and an Academic Leadership Academy Fellow of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium. Dr. Deams engages in many areas of academic service; she previously served as a Tennessee Board of Regents Academic Auditor. Deams currently serves as a SACSCOC evaluator and also served as a member of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Substantive Change, representing all colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.   

With a background as a two-time Historically Black College and University graduate, Dr. Deams is drawn to serving within the HBCU Community and supporting the professional development of HBCU students. Deams considers herself to be an HBCU “Enthusiast-Advocate”; she is passionate about student mentorship and encouraging students to pursue graduate school. Professional accolades include: Kentucky State University Division of Student Engagement and Campus Life, Shining Star of the Semester (2019), Southern University Alumni Federation, Forty Under 40 Award (2019), Talladega College Student Choice Award–Favorite Professor (2019), Grambling State University Certificate of Excellence in Research Mentorship (2014), and Nashville State Community College Professional Service Award (2013). Pernella Deams was initiated in the Alpha Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is a member of the Frankfort Alumnae Chapter. Together with her husband, Dr. Verontae L. Deams they are raising their four children Kyra Milan-Elizabeth, Micah Isaiah-LaJon, Rhien Matthew-Reese, and Lauryn Elise-Michal in Smyrna, Tennessee.  

Dr. Takeem Dean | Dean of Students at Johnson C. Smith University

Dr. Takeem L. Dean, currently serves as the Dean of Students at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black college and university, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He provides leadership to various areas within the Division of Student Affairs to include Student Leadership and Engagement, Educational Enhancement Services, Student Conduct, Counseling Services, Title IX, and the Student Grievance Process. A product of Passaic Public Schools, Dean graduated from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Business Education and M.A. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Adult and Organizational Leadership and Higher Education.  Moreover, Dean completed his educational specialist and doctoral degrees at Wingate University. Nationally, Dean has served on networks within the Association for College Personnel Administrators (ACPA).  Within ACPA he has served as co-chairperson of the PAN Mentoring Foundation and Awards Committee.  He’s also been involved in NASPA earlier in his career.  Dean is an active and proud Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  

Dr. RoShaun Bailey | Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life at Mississippi Valley State University

Dr. Roshaun Bailey has over 13 years of progressive leadership experience in higher education. He has worked with students from various backgrounds and has a wealth of experience working with first generation college students and students from disadvantage backgrounds. He is currently employed by Mississippi Valley State University as assistant vice president for student affairs and campus life. He is also an instructor at the University within the Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health and serves on several committees. Ro’Shaun prides himself on being an advocate for the student body.  He is heavily involved in the local community via community service.  He serves on the board for the United Way of Leflore County, advisory board for the MVSU Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the MS Delta, he supports the Itta Bena Recreation Summer Baseball League, and he has served as the president of the Parent Teacher Association at MVSU’s Child Development Center. In 2019, Ro’Shaun was the first African American male and youngest person elected to the Board of Trustees for the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District; he currently serves as vice president of the board. A native of Itta Bena, MS, Ro’Shaun attended Mississippi Valley State University on an athletic scholarship. In 2007, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.  Ro’Shaun furthered his studies at MVSU, obtaining a Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics.  He earned the Ph. D. degree in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD.


Webinar 7: HBCUs, Intersection of Student Affairs and Development/Advancement

Date: May 19, 2021

Time: 12p ET

About the presenters:


Reshunda L. Mahone | Assistant Dean for Advancement and Alumni Engagement with the Goizueta Business School at Emory University

Dr. Reshunda Mahone is the Assistant Dean for Advancement and Alumni Engagement with the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. With over 21 years of advancement and development experience, she has supported every aspect of higher education fundraising. Dr. Mahone has previously held fundraising roles at Virginia State University, Spelman College, the University of Miami, Georgia State University, and the University of Central Florida. She began her career in advancement at her alma mater, the University of Florida. She has expertise in campaign fundraising, data analytics, leadership development, and operational optimization. She is an active member of the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education (CASE) and was appointed to the Commission on Philanthropy, the Minority Serving Institution Advisory Board, and the District III Boards. Dr. Mahone also serves on the African American Development Officers (AADO) Network board and previously served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) boards for the Central Virginia, Greater Atlanta, and the Miami chapters. Dr. Mahone earned holds an Ed.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MBA from the University of Central Florida, a B.S. in Decision and Information Sciences from the University of Florida, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive. 


Dr. DeShanna Brown | Higher Education Consultant 

Dr. DeShanna K. Brown, graduated from Kennesaw State University, and received her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She started her higher education career in the Office of Undergraduate Studies Dual Enrollment & Honors Program at the Kennesaw State in 2003 and began her career in development at Georgia State University in 2005. She continued to progress in her career, holding positions at private and public institutions, including Spelman College and Louisiana State University (LSU), eventually becoming Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Development, Marketing and Communications at Edward Waters College, in 2018. During her Vice Presidency at Edward Waters, Dr. Brown continued to demonstrate how she is an authentic, servant leader who has an understanding and appreciation of the nature of higher education and the issues important to the academy. Dr. Brown’s commitment to creating pathways for under-represented students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds is apparent in all that she accomplished as Edward Waters’ Vice President. Some of her achievements included raising nearly $15 million dollars during her tenure and the securing of $7.4 million dollars in state funding for the Fiscal Year 2021, and this funding was a 72% increase over the prior years. She was also integral in the establishment of the inaugural Honors College at Edward Waters and secured a total investment of $250,000 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Additionally, she was instrumental in securing funds to support the College’s food security initiatives, resulting in the establishment of the College’s first ever Food Pantry. Prior to Edward Waters, Dr. Brown served as director of annual giving for Spelman College---one of the most selective women’s college in the nation and a global leader in the education of women of African descent. During her tenure she led her team in raising more than $8 million against a $150 million comprehensive campaign goal to support scholarships, academic initiatives, and campus renewal during the college’s largest ever fundraising effort, The Campaign for Spelman College.

In tandem with supporting the success of the student body, Dr. Brown highly values the work of higher education faculty and administrators. Throughout her 18 years in higher education, she has been involved with the academy through her research and service. To that end, she has been dedicated to improving higher education, through the development of student success programs and services in order to improve the retention rates of first-generation and under-represented students. Additionally, she has taught and developed undergraduate level orientation and transition courses at public and private institutions to include Spelman College and Georgia State University. Dr. Brown’s civic and community engagement is equally impressive. She has served as a board member for the Health Moves Initiatives Inc., board of directors for the Minerva Foundation, Inc., and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Dr. Brown is highly sought for her expertise and training in the areas of external relations and diversity, equity & inclusion and has been recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for best practices in advancement and was selected by the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a thought leader on HBCU Alumni Giving Rates. In 2019, Brown was a featured author in the Student Affairs Staff: Raising Funds to Raise the Bar for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) publication. Most recently Brown was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as a 2020 Woman of Influence.