Biography: Shawnboda Mead
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement
Named interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement in July 2020, Dr. Shawnboda Mead is responsible for advancing institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Mead provides leadership and coordination of UM's strategic efforts to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the community. Established in January 2017, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DCE) supports the mission of UM by transforming people, institutions, and communities through partnership, access, and engagement that fosters belonging, enriches learning and development, enhances research, and creates equitable opportunities for all. DCE has a responsibility to ensure that all people have the awareness, opportunity, and support to benefit from the transformative power of a college education.
Mead joined UM in July 2014 as the inaugural director of the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement and most recently served as the university’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity. In her time at UM, she has enhanced our capacity to recruit and retain a more diverse student body, and played a key role in moving strategic initiatives involving faculty and staff. In addition to a previous role as Associate Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Mead served in various roles at Western Kentucky University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Texas A&M University.
Mead earned a bachelor's degree in educational psychology from Mississippi State University and a master's degree in student affairs/higher education administration from Western Kentucky University. She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from UM and has over 16 years of experience in higher education. Recently elected to serve as President-Elect of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA), Mead is professionally engaged in regional and national organizations. She is the past recipient of SACSA’s Bobby E. Leach, New Professional, and Mid-Level Professional Awards.
A native of Prentiss, MS, Dr. Mead and her husband, Neal, have two young sons.