Dear Department Chair: Letters from Black Women Leaders to the Next Generation

(Afterword by) (Editor)
& 10 more
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Product Details
Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
5.09 X 7.95 X 0.51 inches | 0.53 pounds

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About the Author

Stephanie Y. Evans, PhD , is Full Professor in the Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and affiliate faculty of the Department of Africana Studies at Georgia State University. She served twelve consecutive years as department chair, from 2010-22. Her research and previously published works focus on Black women's intellectual history, memoirs, and mental health. She is the founder and co-chair of the Chair at the Table peer mentoring research collective. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stephanie G. Adams, PhD , is Dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas and served as President of the American Society for Engineering Education in 2019-20. Her research in broadening participation, team effectiveness, and quality control have been funded by the National Science Foundation for almost two decades and has been published widely in related scholarly journals. She lives in Plano, Texas.

Stephanie Shonekan, PhD , is Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research and publications investigate race, identity, African American music, and movements of resistance. She was a founding co-director of the Michael A. Middleton Center for Race, Citizenship, and Justice at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She lives in College Park, Maryland.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD , became Spelman College's seventh president in 1987, and the first Black woman to lead this college founded specifically for the education of women of African descent. Later, after serving as president of Bennett College in North Carolina from 2002-7, she retired and continued to serve as chair of the Johnnetta Betsch Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute in Atlanta. She has been the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art since 2009.


Exemplifying a key maxim in Black women's survival and achievement, 'lifting as we climb, ' this collection demonstrates to sister-scholar administrators and their non-Black colleagues that collaboration, commiseration, and celebration are strategic tools, meaningful service, and sources of strength for Black women leaders in higher education today. These thought-provoking essays are essential reading for all who seek to create academic excellence that is both inclusive and humane.

--Bonnie Thornton Dill "University of Maryland"

Dear Department Chair is a welcomed collection that builds on the tradition of 'lifting as we climb.' Kudos to the editors who took it upon themselves to offer a readable collection about leadership in the academy. Colleagues, both women and men, of all hues will learn something from this work. I wish that it had been available when I became chair!

--Joye Bowman "Senior Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, University of Massachusetts Amherst"