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2017 AABHE Board Bios
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AABHE Board Bios  


M. Evelyn Fields

Dr. M. Evelyn Fields, President

Dr. M. Evelyn Fields is a full tenured professor of Early Childhood Education at SC State University. Dr. Fields is the immediate past chair of the Department of Teacher Education, a former associate provost and past president of the Faculty Senate at SC State University.

She currently serves on the state board of the SC Association for the Education of Young Children and is owner of the Seafood Academy Restaurant and Bar of Columbia, in Columbia, SC. She holds a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina.


Dr. Kenneth Monteiro,  Immediate Past President

Dr. Kenneth Monteiro is the Dean of the College of the College of Ethnic Studies, the only College of Ethnic Studies in the nation; former University Dean of Human Relations; and, Professor and former chair of the Psychology Department at San Francisco State University. Before teaching at San Francisco State, he was on faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. Dr. Monteiro received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Experimental Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive Psychology, and his bachelor’s degree (A.B.) in psychology from Dartmouth College.

Dr. Monteiro has published in a range of areas including emotion and memory, culture and thought; ethnic and racial identity; and academic and reading achievement for African American, Asian American and Latino youth.His edited text, Ethnicity and Psychology: African, Asian, Latino and Native American Psychologies, has been used nationally to bridge Ethnic Studies and Psychology courses addressing these communities. Among other local and national boards, he has served two terms as a national board member for the Association of Black Psychologists and he is a board member and President-elect for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE). 

Dereck Rovaris

Dr. Dereck Rovaris, Sr., Vice president/President Elect

Dr. Rovaris is the Vice Provost for Diversity at Louisiana State University. As the chief diversity officer of the university he is responsible for developing and implementing strategic initiatives that enhance institutional access and equity. Previous positions include Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic and Multicultural Affairs at LSU Health Sciences Center as well as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School and Director of Graduate School Placement at Xavier University.

Dr. Rovaris has completed an ACE fellowship at DePaul University and the Management Development Program at Harvard University. He has served as an educational consultant, conducted workshops, and been a featured speaker on the local, national, and international level. He also serves on a variety of educational and non-profit boards, including the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE), where he is a Charter Member and currently serving his second term on the board.

In addition to authoring several successful grant proposals, Dr. Rovaris has written a number of articles on graduate school placement, and has written several chapters in publications regarding Benjamin Mays. He also authored Mays and Morehouse, which tells the story of not only a phenomenal man and a great college, but also the story of African Americans' quest for higher education. Dr. Rovaris earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from Xavier University, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas with a triple major in Psychology, Human Development & Family Life, and Crime & Delinquency Studies.


Dr. Odelet Nance, Vice President – Administration

Dr. Odelet Nance is an Assistant Dean of Instruction at Vincennes University. She serves as the dean for Early College Programs in Northeast Fort Wayne, Indiana. For over two decades years she has worked as an administrator, researcher, and instructor. Her research agenda and scholarly publications examine the college experience for African American students, the intersection of the church and the educational process for students of color. Dr. Nance’s collegiate administration career provides a wealth of experience developing and managing programs at distinguished higher education institutions. In her roles at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and at Goshen College, she strategically designed, implemented, and evaluated recruitment and retention initiatives to increase the graduation rate of students of color. She has taught for the Malcom X College in Chicago, IL and Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana.

Nance serves on several boards and works with numerous community organizations. Currently, she serves as the Vice President for the Indiana Association for Blacks in Higher Education and co-chairs the Allen County College Success Coalition. She is an advisor for the BookStart Project and a consultant for the Greater Fort Wayne YMCA. For the past 8 years, she has been a dedicated member of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education. Since being elected to the board over 6 years ago, she has assisted faithfully as co-chair for several AABHE conferences and has been a key board member on the program committee.

Dr. Nance earned her B.S. from Indiana University and a M.S. from Purdue University. In 2006, she received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Education. Consulting for colleges and churches, Dr. Odelet Nance is fulfilling her life’s calling is to help others reach their goals and dreams.

Kimberly Smith

Dr. Kimberly Smith, Secretary

Dr. Kimberly S. Smith joined Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as an administrator where she serves as the Director of the University Academic Advising Center. Dr. Smith’s primary responsibility in this position involves directing the University Studies department which is the academic "home” for students who are undecided about a major or want to explore a variety of degree programs before selecting a major. In this role Dr. Smith also provides leadership and coordination for university-wide programs and initiatives related to enhancing academic advising. She is responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing academic advising activities throughout the university community through administrative collaborations with the academic colleges, theUniversity Academic Advising Center, and various other university stakeholders in support of undergraduate education. In 2010, she served as the university's interim associate vice provost for academic support services where she provided university leadership for institutional support programs and services for students.Dr. Smith earned her B.A. degree (1993) in Psychology from the University of Richmond, M.A. degree (1996) in Counselor Education from Radford University, and Ph.D. degree (2009) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Marilyn Sutton-Haywood, Treasurer

Marilyn Sutton-Haywood has thirty-six years of experience in higher education. Eleven and one-half years have been spent in executive management where her skills in leadership, administration, strategic planning, program review, assessment, reaffirmation, faculty credentialing, junior faculty recruitment and development, new faculty orientation, and Learning Communities were refined.

She has held administrative roles at Johnson C. Smith University, Bethune-Cookman University, Shaw University, and Pfeiffer University. She holds a B.S. from North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology from Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, and a Certificate in Educational Management from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

During her time as Vice President for Academic Affairs, she was involved in three Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation processes. All three institutions received no recommendations from the accrediting agency. She has also led ATS, NCATE, CAATE, CAAHEP, and CSWE reaffirmations.

Marilyn has been associated with AABHE since 2010 when she volunteered on the Dissertation Committee. She was elected to the Board in 2013, reelected for a 2015-2017 term, and was a member of the Nomination and Program Committees.

Dr. Sutton-Haywood presently serves as Dean of Arts and Sciences as Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina.


Dr. Anita Hawkins, Financial Secretary

Dr. Hawkins is a charter member of AABHE and was one of the doctoral graduate awardees when AABHE was the Black Caucus of AAHE. Dr. Hawkins was nominated and appointed to the AABHE board in March 2008. In her early years on the board she served on both the Leadership and Mentoring Institute (LMI) Committee and on the Program Committee. She is also an alumnae of LMI (2011). In 2011, Dr. Hawkins was elected as Treasurer for AABHE and currently serves in that capacity. In addition to AABHE, Dr. Hawkins’ other professional associations include the American Public Health Association (APHA) for which she chaired the Equal Health Opportunities Committee (2008/2010), the American Evaluation Association and Academy Health.

Dr. Hawkins has thirty years of experience working with institutes of higher education holding adjunct faculty positions with the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC) and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania before accepting a full time faculty appointment with Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Currently she is the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University and Director of the Public Health Graduate Program an the Equity in Health Professions Education Initiative. Before assuming the position as Assistant Dean, Dr. Hawkins was the Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at Morgan State University. Dr. Hawkins received her B.S. in Psychology from Georgetown University and a Masters of Human Services Degree from Lincoln University in PA and her Ph.D. in Community Health Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Barbara J. Johnson, Leadeship & Mentoring Institute Director

Dr. Barbara J. Johnson, Leadeship & Mentoring Institute Director

Dr. Barbara J. Johnson is currently Vice President for Accreditation Relations at the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditor for colleges and universities. Dr. Johnson has extensive experience in higher education as both an administrator and faculty member. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, she served as a Senior Vice President at Meharry Medical College and Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Her previous professional experience includes student affairs administration, community college and adult education, marketing research and consultation in both higher education and corporate environments at Wake Forest University Medical School, Vanderbilt University, and CB&A Market Research Group. Dr. Johnson has held faculty appointments at the University of New Orleans, Jackson State University, Volunteer State Community College, and Peabody College Vanderbilt University. Her publications address the recruitment, development, retention and experiences of students and faculty in a variety of post-secondary institutions.

Dr. Johnson received a B.S. in accounting from Winston-Salem State University, an M.B.A. with a marketing focus from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development (emphasis in Higher Education) from Vanderbilt University. 

Joseph H. Silver, Sr., International Travel CoordinatorDr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr., International Travel Coordinator

Dr. Joseph H. Silver, Sr. is the President of Silver and Associates, a full service higher education consulting firm. The firm has a fifteen year track record of assisting colleges and universities solve complex problems, accreditation issues, and developing sound strategic planning. Dr. Silver was an Advisor to the firm for many years and recently assumed the position of President. Dr. Joseph H. Silver Sr. served as President of Alabama State University. A dynamic and innovative educator and leader, Silver was described as having the "expertise, background and vigor to continue the University's important Vision 2020 Plan and its academic and physical transformation, well into the 21st century.” He previously served as Provost/VPAA at Clark Atlanta University and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Savannah State University and Asst. Vice Chancellor for AA for the University System of Georgia. 

Over his career, he has developed the reputation of a transformational and innovative leader with great vision and principled ethics. He has sound strategic planning skills and is championed as a strong academic thinker who is well positioned throughout the academy and in the community. His work is recognized on the regional, national and international levels. In March 2012 Dr. Silver received the leadership award from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education’s (AABHE) and, going forward, the award has been named the "Joseph H. Silver, Leadership and Mentoring Award" in his honor. A native of North Carolina, Silver earned the B.A. degree in political science (summa cum laude) from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C., and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). He also engaged in summer study at Oxford University, APS- Stanford University and the American Judicature Society. Silver is married with two children.


Roland Smith, PartnRoland Smith, Partnership Directorership Director

Roland Smith, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Rice University since 1996, teaches ethnographic research methods. Before Rice he served as executive assistant to the president and concurrent associate professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He began his career in higher education leading TRIO programs in Notre Dame’s Institute for Urban Studies.

Smith, a member and Chair of the AAHE Black Caucus, served as transitional and charter president of the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) after AAHE closed it doors in 2005. He was in the first cohort of Graduate Student Awardees in 1986 and has been a faculty member of the Leadership and Mentoring Institute (LMI) since it started in 2003. He served as board chair of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education, receiving its distinguished achievement award in 2013. In Texas, he is past board chair of the Education Foundation of Harris County and LifeGift Organ Donation Center. He has been a board member of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education, Houston Area Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He is a member of the 100 Black Men of Houston.

Born in Washington, DC, Roland holds a BA degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Bowie State University, a MPA degree from Indiana University and an Ed.D degree from Harvard University. He is married to Valerie Peyton Smith, the proud father of daughter, Rovelle (deceased), son, Roland III and grandsons, Roland IV and Jaxon.

Dr. Fred A. Bonner II, Research & Graduate Programs

Dr. Fred A. Bonner II, Research & Graduate Programs

Dr. Fred A. Bonner II is Professor and Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership and Counseling and Director of the MACH-III Center in the Whitlowe R. Green College of Education at Prairie View A&M University Prior to joining Prairie View, he served as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education at Rutgers University as well as previously serving as Professor of Higher Education Administration and Associate Dean of Faculties at Texas A&M University-College Station. He earned a B.A. in chemistry from the University of North Texas, an M.S. Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Baylor University, and an Ed.D. in higher education administration and college teaching from the University of Arkansas. Bonner has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Association for Higher Education (AABHE) Black Caucus Dissertation Award and the Educational Leadership, Counseling and Foundation's Dissertation of the Year Award from the University Of Arkansas College Of Education. His work has been featured nationally and internationally.


Linda Blake - AABHEDr. Linda Blake 

Since 2006, Dr. Blake has been working in the field of higher education, teaching both at Rust College in the Political Science Department as well as Southern Arkansas University in the Masters of Public Administration Program. Dr. Linda Blake is an associate professor of public administration. Her achievements include Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award, Marquis Who’s Who in America, and National Endowment for the Humanities Institutes at Harvard, University of South Carolina, and Massachusetts College of Liberal and Performing Arts. Dr. Blake earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in agency counseling from Southern Arkansas University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Arkansas. She was the first graduate of the Ph.D. Program.

Blake attended the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education Leadership and Mentoring Institute (LMI) in 2013. Her research focuses on cultural diversity, conflict resolution, and school reform and social justice policies. She is also an avid genealogist who traces her family back to the Combahee Ferry Raid in South Carolina involving Harriet Tubman and links her family to Governor Joseph Blake of South Carolina. Currently, she is working on a book about her family’s history in South Carolina.

Vicki L. Bonds, M.S., M.Ed.

Vicki L. Bonds is the Director of Health Professions and Pre-Doctoral Programs for the Indiana University School of Medicine. Ms. Bonds has more than 20 years of extensive experience devoted to higher education student affairs. In her work, Ms. Bonds creates and implements innovative inquiry-based learning programs and experiences that integrate research and education in the health professions. This work provides effective pathways for lifelong active learning and professional development in support of college students. Ms. Bonds’s research interests include diverse college students’ experiences, learning, retention, post-baccalaureate achievement, success and leadership development. She has managed several government funded training programs targeting historically under-represented and diverse populations in higher education. She holds Master's degrees in Higher Education and Student Affairs and in Counseling and Counselor Education.

Ms. Bonds is currently a doctoral student in the Urban Education Studies PhD program at the Indiana University School of Education Indianapolis.

Lonnie Booker, Jr.

Dr. Lonnie Booker, Jr. 

Dr. Lonnie J. Booker, Jr., is originally from North East Texas, Texarkana, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University-College Station where he received his Ph.D. in Higher Education

Administration and a certification in Homeland Security from the Bush School of Public Policy. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M University-Texarkana and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Jarvis Christian College. He has amassed over 13 years of law enforcement experience ranging from serving as a police officer and detective in narcotics, gang unit and property crimes, Special Weapons and Tactic (SWAT) hostage negotiator and adult probation officer. During Dr. Booker’s law enforcement career he was certified as a police office in the states of Texas and Arkansas.

Dr. Booker’s research and scholarly interests include campus safety and institution crisis management planning, generational students of color, and academically gifted student athletes of color. To put into practice his crisis management skill set, he completed a practicum at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was responsible for drafting and implementing crisis management plans for the Division for Student Success, which included: student affairs, student activities, enrollment management, counseling services and residential life. He also drafted and implemented an emergency plan and guide for the Dillard University residential life community. Dr. Booker is a published author and has presented at numerous national, regional and international conferences. Additionally, Dr. Booker served as the first assistant professor of homeland security and emergency management program at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Currently, Dr. Booker is the Director/Assistant Professor of emergency management programs for Kansas Wesleyan University.

Richard Bray

Richard Bray serves as the Community Partnerships Manager for IUPUI Family School and Neighborhood Engagement.   He develops and strengthens strategic partnerships with community organizations to equip, empower, and engage persons to transform communities where people live, learn, work, worship and play.   With over twenty years of combined community engagement and higher education experiences, he works to deepen IUPUI’s involvement with underrepresented groups through economic development activities, community relations and alumni programs.  Richard mentors college students, serves on various committees on the IUPUI campus and in the Central Indiana community.  He earned Bachelor of Science (1990) in Communication and a Master of Education (1997) in College Student Personnel from Ohio University, and a Master of Divinity (2013) from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN.  An ordained Baptist minister Richard research interests are on transitional leadership in faith-based organizations.

Constance Brooks


Crystal Rae CoelDr. Crystal Rae Coel

Dr. Crystal Rae Coel (pronounced like Noel but with a "C”) (Coleman), M.A., J.D., (Esquire), is the Director of Speech and Debate in the Organizational Communication Department within the College of Business. She has been at Murray State University for over fifteen years. She also enjoys serving as the Head of Elizabeth College. It is one of the eight residential colleges, with each one having over 1200 students, staff, and faculty members. She is Murray State’s first African-American College Head. She is an independent contractor for the Talent Trek Agency as a Voice Over Artist. In addition, she was recently appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to serve as a member of the Public Advocacy Commission.

Dr. Coel (Coleman) has appeared in Who’s Who in Education and Who’s Who in American Law. Her expertise is in public address, debate, mediation, broadcast performance, team communication, and leadership. She’s an active and licensed Pennsylvania attorney, a certified mediator, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. Her clients have included but are not limited to the National Weather Service, Kroger subsidiaries Ken Lake Foods, Inc. and Delight Products, Inc. and The American Baptist Extension Corporation. She recently traveled to Taipei, Taiwan where she conducted a three-day workshop/seminar for the Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Centerat National Taiwan University.

Dr. Paul Frazier

Dr. Paul Frazier has received a Doctorate in Education Leadership, a Masters in Educational Mid-Management, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech University.Dr. Frazier currently serves as the Associate Vice President of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at Texas Tech University. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at Texas Tech University, teaching both undergraduate and graduate level education courses. He served in public education for 24 years as the Executive Director of Student Administrative Services, a high school principal, middle school assistant principal, and alternative school assistant principal. He has also taught History and English on the high school and middle levels, in addition to coaching several high school sports.

Dr. Frazier has served on various civic and community boards. He currently serves as the Region 1 Disportionality Texas Statewide Representative for Child Protective Services, is a board member of the Lubbock American Diabetes Association, is a part of the Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Alliance of Black School Educators, is a board member for the Lubbock ISD Athletic Hall of Honor and serves on the Athletics Diversity and Outreach Advisory Council for Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Diversity Council, member of Texas Association of Chicanos, a member of the Texas Diversity Council, a member of the Black Faculty and Staff Association at Texas Tech, a member of the Chinese Faculty and Staff, serves as the treasurer of the Latino/ Hispanic Faculty and Staff, serves on the Ethics Advisory Board at Texas Tech, Texas Tech Greek Life Advisory Council, International Affairs Council, Texas Tech Innovations Grants Award Committee and is a member of the 100 Black Men of West Texas.

John A. Gardner, II

John A. Gardner is the Deputy and Special Assistant to the President at the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Las Vegas, Nevada. The functions of the position are related to outreach and diversity and encompass the promotion of DRI diversity at state, national, and international levels.rsity of Illinois Chicago, College of Education.


Dr. Jody Thompson

Dr. Jody Thompson Marshall

Dr. Jody Thompson Marshall is currently the Director of the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) at Virginia Tech. Her responsibilities include managing the daily operations for the MAOP office and providing academic support for both undergraduate and graduate students who participate in MAOP. In her role, she is the Principal Investigator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Her work experience at Virginia Tech includes working as the associate director of MAOP, assistant director in the Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence and interim disability outreach coordinator for Multicultural Affairs. Previously, she worked as a high school teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina.

Dr. Marshall earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech.

Anthony Ross

Jack ThomasDr. Jack Thomas

Dr. Jack Thomas is the 11th President of Western Illinois University. He is the former Provost and Academic Vice President of this institution of higher learning as well as a former American Council on Education Fellow, a Kellogg-NAFEO Fellow and a Harvard Leadership Program graduate.



Dr. Jerrel WadeDr. Jerrel Wade

Dr. Jerrel Wade is the Dean of Administration at San Jacinto College – North campus in Houston, Texas. Prior to his role as Dean, he was the Director of Recruitment Initiatives for the San Jacinto College District covering Pasadena and parts of Houston. In previous professional roles, Dr. Wade served as the Coordinator of Student Life Prior at San Jacinto College – South campus and as the Assistant Director of Greek Affairs/Judicial Officer at Louisiana State University. His full scope of higher education experiences include budgeting, facility coordination, recruitment, student life, Greek affairs, judicial affairs, orientation, mentoring, and first year experience programs. He earned his B.S. in Education and his M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma, and received his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.

Outside of his work in administration, Dr. Wade has also served in a scholarly capacity. He teaches EDUC 1300: Learning Frameworks as a part-time instructor for San Jacinto College, and has taught multiple Administration and Supervision graduate courses at the University of Houston. Dr. Wade’s research endeavors were recognized in 2015 by the Community College Review, as work he co-authored on students’ assessments of the benefits of borrowing to finance higher education, earned publication.

Among his service oriented activities, Dr. Wade is as a fellow for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education Leadership and Mentoring Institute (AABHE-LMI), and is a lifetime member of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE). Locally, Dr. Wade serves as member of the North Shore Rotary Club, the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a founding member of the newly chartered Mu Mu Nu graduate chapter (Conroe, TX) of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.


James Wadley

Dr. James Wadley

Dr. James Wadley is an associate professor and Director of the Master of Human Services program at Lincoln University. Dr. Wadley has quickly emerged as one of the nation's best sexuality therapists and researchers with a focus on intimacy building in relationships, addiction, and values clarification. Dr. Wadley received his Doctorate of Philosophy degree from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Human Sexuality Education. Dr. Wadley maintains a private practice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Pennington, New Jersey. He has been a member of AABHE for three years and serves on the Advisory Board.

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