Six Women Scholars Who Are Taking on New Duties

Kanako Okuda was named director of field education at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Recently, she served as the director of field education and an assistant professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Earlier, she was the director of field education at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Dr. Okuda holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Lehman College of the City University of New York. She earned a master of social work degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in social work from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Imani N. S. Munyaka is a new assistant professor of computer science and engineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Munyaka’s research centers on security and privacy, in particular how these areas impact communities of color.

Dr. Munyaka is a graduate of the University of Dayton in Ohio, where she majored in electrical engineering. She holds a master’s degree in computer science from Kentucky State University and a doctorate in human-centered computing from the University of Florida.

Debora Halbert, a professor of political science and the current associate vice president for academic programs and policy was appointed vice president for academic strategy for the University of Hawai’i System. The appointment would be effective from April 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024.

Professor Halbert holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Western Washington University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Libby V. Morris was named a University Professor at the University of Georgia. She is the Zell B. Miller Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and director of the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education at the university.

Dr. Morris has been on the University of Georgia faculty since 1989. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Phillis Isabella Sheppard has been named inaugural faculty director of the James Lawson Institute for the Research and Study of Nonviolent Movements at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture at the university. She joined the faculty in 2014 after teaching at Boston University.

Dr. Sheppard is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in political science. She holds a master’s degree in theology from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York, and a Ph.D. from the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Julie A. Furst-Bowe was named interim vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech University. She will serve in this role through June 2023. She is a former faculty member and provost at the University of Wisconsin-Stoudt and former chancellor of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Dr. Furst-Bowe earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She holds a master’s degree in instructional media technology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a doctorate in work, family, and community education from the University of Minnesota.

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