Shaw University welcomed two new deans to the ranks, who joined the University at the opening of the Spring semester. Dr. Valerie A. Johnson will serve as Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, and Dr. Lynette I. Wood will serve as Dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies. The University recently reorganized its academic programs to “create synergy and stimulate innovation, applied learning and research” and to ensure that programs enable graduates’ outcomes which are aligned with the job market.
Dr. Johnson most recently was the Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and director of African Women’s Studies at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC. She previously had served as Director of Bennett’s Honors Program, adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and assistant professor of African & Afro-American Studies at UNC-CH. Dr. Johnson also has served as a visiting lecturer, education consultant, and faculty mentor at numerous institutions of higher education, and has volunteered her professional services extensively. Dr. Johnson states that her mission is to “engage in activities that promote the stewardship of the natural, historic, and cultural resources in North Carolina as part of the larger global community; foster scholarship and activism in the areas of women’s and girls’ health; and to actively participate in the support and growth of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” Her fields of graduate specialization included medical anthropology, chronic illness, women’s studies, the African Diaspora, alcoholism and substance abuse, family relations, and maternal-child health. Dr. Johnson has won numerous honors and awards, most recently having been named a Scholar-in-Residence, ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute for Curriculum Development in Critical Contemporary Antisemitism Studies at St. John’s College, Oxford University in Oxford, England. Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.A. in sociology from Atlanta University. She also is a magna cum laude graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, where she earned a B.A. in sociology.
Dr. Wood has 19 years of university experience, both in the classroom and in academic leadership roles. Before joining Shaw University, Dr. Wood served as a professor of accounting at Winston-Salem State University. She previously had served there as interim director of the Simon Green Atkins Scholars’ Society, chair of the Department of Accounting & Management Information Systems and associate professor. Dr. Wood also has served on the faculties of Virginia Tech and Howard University. She has utilized her leadership skills to support the success of various university functions, from fundraising, faculty and student recruitment, branding and communications, and faculty scholarship. Dr. Wood’s scholarship and service have earned her numerous honors and awards; among the most recent is the Teaching and Learning Development Grant from the Winston-Salem University Center for Innovative and Transformative Instruction. She is active in several professional associations and has volunteered her time to countless community service organizations, tutoring and mentoring youth, facilitating financial literacy workshops, coordinating schools’ fundraising programs, and providing financial advice to faith-based organizations and churches. Dr. Wood was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in accounting from Indiana University. She also holds an M.S. in management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and earned her B.S. in accounting from Oakwood University, where she graduated summa cum laude.