Parent Page: What is NCORE id: 29285 Active Page: SWCHRS Executive Committeeid:29286
National Advisory Council
SWCHRS Executive Committee

Since its beginning in 1962, the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies has relied on the Executive Committee to review and recommend policy for governing the overall operation and management of the Center, and to serve as a liaison to the community on issues that may be controversial.

The committee is composed of university community members, business leaders, and members of the community at large. Membership is not limited to association with or residency in Oklahoma.


In Memoriam

Richard E. Hilbert, PhD 

Professor Emeritus and Former Chair, Department of Sociology
University of Oklahoma, Norman OK

After numerous teaching positions at other universities, Hilbert joined the faculty at OU in 1964. His specialty as a professor and most of his numerous publications are in two subject areas: the Sociology of Deviance and Social Control, and the Sociology of Religion. Most recently, Hilbert published "Adaptive Structures and the Problem of Order" in A Collection of Essays in Honour of Talcott Parsons: Midrash Publication, 2009. Dr. Hilbert retired from full-time teaching at OU in 1988, but continued to work part-time at Oklahoma City University and at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma where he held the position of Regent's Professor of Sociology.

Dr. Hilbert was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies at OU, serving as the chairman for many years. Dr. Hilbert attended each annual NCORE conference since the launch in 1987.

Dr. Hilbert served in the armed forces of the US from 1943-1946, after which he settled in NYC to work as a jazz musician. The highlight of his career during this period was his association with the Red Rodney septet which worked briefly at the famous Three Deuces on Fifty-Second Street, NYC.

Hilbert's interests and activities varied widely. While a professor at the University of Oklahoma, he worked part-time as a jazz musician, lobbied for AARP at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. He was an official United Nations monitor for elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and in El Salvador in 1995. His commitment to his community continued as a Board Member and Treasurer of Common Cause, Oklahoma, and as a member of the Norman OK Election Commission.

Dr. Hilbert is survived by his wife, Lois, and numerous family members, friends, and colleagues. The Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies extends its heartfelt condolences and gratitude for his inspiring life of commitment to taking action in the service of community, human relations, and social justice. 


Executive Committee Members

Roksana Alavi, PhD

Associate Professor
Integrative Studies Program
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Dr. Roksana Alavi is an Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies, an affiliate faculty at the OU Philosophy department, and Women and Gender Studies department. Before teaching for OU, Dr. Alavi was an assistant professor of Philosophy in South Texas College.

Dr. Alavi received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Kansas and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. Her research focuses on identity formation, race, gender, rights, stereotyping, and oppression in the field of social and political philosophy, as well as issues of human trafficking, both locally and globally. Her most book titled, Iranian Identity, American Experience: Philosophical Reflections on Race, Rights, Capabilities, and Oppression, published in 2021 focuses around Iranian American experience and identity.

Dr. Alavi has been teaching both online and on-campus courses for OU since 2011. She has developed and taught courses on ethics of leadership, diversity, women of Middle East, and human trafficking. She also developed the Diversity minor and graduate certificates. She is actively engaged in both OU community and beyond in promoting social justice and creating a more inclusive environment. 

Amy C. Bradshaw, PhD 

Professor of Learning Design & Technology|
Educational Psychology
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Amy C. Bradshaw is a Professor of Learning Design and Technology in The University of Oklahoma's Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education with expertise in visual communication for teaching, learning, and problem solving, and critical pedagogy. Since committing to centering equity and inclusion in all aspects of her professional responsibility, her teaching, research, and service efforts have become tightly interwoven. Her recent work at the intersection of culture, learning, and technology has been recognized with four national-level publication awards, a Presidential Session designation at her primary annual conference, a Presidential Award from her primary professional organization, a Leadership Award from OU's Jeanine Rainbolt College of Education, and The Robert D. Lemon Social Justice Award from OU's Women and Gender Studies Center for Social Justice. These acknowledgements bring her awards totals since joining OU to nine awards for publications, five awards for leadership and service, and an award for teaching and advising.

T. Elon Dancy II, PhD 

Director, Center for Urban Education 
Helen F
aison Chair in Urban Education
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

T. Elon Dancy II, PhD is the Helen S. Faison Endowed Chair and Director of the Center for Urban Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. He comes to this role from his position as Professor and Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Academic Inclusion in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to the associate deanship, Dancy served as Fellow in the OU Office of the Senior Vice-President and Provost. He also held affiliate faculty appointments in African and African American Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Center for Social Justice.

An education sociologist, Dancy studies educational settings as sites of hegemony and identity negotiation. His research concerns issues of equity and justice in the educational pipeline as informed by race, gender, class, and other sociopolitical locations. More specifically, Dancy’s scholarship is driven by questions related to masculinity formations, historical context, and how collegiate praxis affects students’ academic and social outcomes. Publications appear in highly visible journals including Equity and Excellence in EducationTeachers College RecordAmerican Behavioral ScientistUrban Education, and Journal of Negro Education (among others).

Dancy is the author/editor of six books and monographs – Managing Diversity: (Re)visioning Equity on College Campuses (2010), The Brother Code: Manhood and Masculinity among African American Males in College (2012), Educating African American Males: Contexts for Consideration, Possibilities for Practice (2012), African American Males and Education: Examining the Convergence of Race and Identity (2012), Black Male Collegians: Increasing Access, Retention, and Persistence in Higher Education (2014), and Black Colleges across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification in Postsecondary Education (2017). He is the author or co-author of over 70 journal articles, book chapters, and publications related to education and society.  Dancy is also past editor of The College Student Affairs Journal.

Dancy holds research awards and citations from the American Education Research Association (AERA) Division J, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation, and several other national research institutes. In 2014, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named him Top Emerging Scholar for his contribution to the study of race and gender in higher education and society.  Dancy’s professional service includes Chair of the AERA Research Focus on Black Education, Executive Board Member for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, and editorial board member for several journals and handbooks in education research. He has served as a primary investigator on research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, among several agencies.

Dancy has served as subject matter expert for highly visible periodicals including Ebony magazine, The, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Jeanette R. Davidson, PhD, ACSW 

Professor Emerita of the University of Oklahoma



Jeanette Davidson is Professor Emerita of the University of Oklahoma, where she taught African and African American Studies and social work, serving as Director of African and African American Studies for fifteen years. Prior to teaching at the University of Oklahoma, Jeanette Davidson was Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, and at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Jeanette Davidson was born and raised in Scotland.

Davidson has a BA (Hons) in English literature from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and an MSSW and PhD in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to beginning her career in the academy, Davidson worked in clinical practice, and has continued her practice focus with many years of engagement as a consultant and trainer for child welfare supervisors and practitioners.

Jeanette Davidson has published extensively in the areas of African and African American Studies, and on race and competency in social work practice and education, and on ethical issues related to managed care. She is the editor of African American Studies (1st and 2nd editions) published by Edinburgh University Press in 2010 and 2021 respectively, and is currently writing a book, Black Lives in Scotland: Telling Our Stories, to be published also by Edinburgh University Press.

Jeanette Davidson is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) and is a member of the Executive Board of the Southwest Center for Human Relations in Education, home of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). She has also served on numerous Boards in Oklahoma and Texas and at present is a member of a working group for Glasgow City Council, in Scotland. Currently she also serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Africana Studies, and previously on the editorial boards of Health and Social Work; Journal of Childhood and Religion; Rural Caregiving: (Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving/Johnson & Johnson Caregivers Program); The Southwestern: The Journal of Aging in the Southwest; and Clinical Sociology Review. Davidson is a faculty member of the Annual Summer School on Black Europe, Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues, Amsterdam, Netherlands and is a Fellow of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute, Philadelphia, PA.  She was selected by the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 outstanding women in higher education in 2018. She was also highlighted as one of nine women in “Inspiring Stories of Women Empowerment” by Knowledge Review in 2018.

Robert Con Davis-Undiano, PhD 

Executive Committee Chair, Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies
Executive Director, World Literature Today
Neustadt Professor and Presidential Professor
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Robert Con Davis-Undiano is a playwright who focuses on the Mexican-American experience.  At the University of Oklahoma, he is Executive Director of the World Literature Today organization and the Latinx Studies Program. Students credit him with changing their thinking, their attitudes, and their lives. He received the Rufus G. Hall Faculty Achievement Award in 1993, the Kenneth E. Crook Annual Faculty Award in 1994, and the Sullivant Award for Perceptivity in 2004. He has been faculty of the year several times, and his most recent book Mestizos Come Home! Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity won the International Latino Book Award in 2018. In 2017, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. 

Kalenda Eaton, PhD

The Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies
Associate Professor
The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Dr. Kalenda Eaton is an Associate Professor in The Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma and Director of Oklahoma Research for the Black Homesteader Project funded by the National Park Service in partnership with the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Dr. Eaton is a humanities scholar focused on African American western studies, intersections of Black literary studies and feminist criticism; African American social and cultural history; and Black Diaspora studies. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, and B.A. from Dillard University. She is the author of Womanism, Literature, and the Transformation of the Black Community, 1965-1980 and additional scholarship on representations of African Americans in American western history, literature, and popular culture. She is known for her teaching and public scholarship on what African American regional experiences can tell us about American cultural and national politics. Recent publications include “Black Women Writers Reclaiming Western Literature,” the co-edited New Directions in Black Western Studies, and “Teaching the Black West” (with Michael Johnson in Teaching Western American Literature).  

Dr. Eaton is a Fulbright scholar, SSRC Mellon-Mays Fellow, and held the Steinbrucker Endowed Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at Arcadia University from 2017-2019, where she also founded and directed a Humanities Research Lab. She has been appointed to key leadership positions at several universities and has over two decades of administrative experience in academic program management, graduate studies, undergraduate research, global studies (including international education), and digital humanities scholarship.

Courses frequently taught: The Black West; Africa and the Diaspora; Black Feminism and Womanism; Black Film; The Black Arts Movement; Major Black Writers; and The African Aesthetic.

Eugenia Fuenzalida, PhD

Director, Behavioral Neuroscience and Performance Center
Faculty, Cellular & Behavioral Neurobiology
Senior Fellow, Center for Intelligence and National Security
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Dr. Fuenzalida serves as the Director of the Behavioral Neuroscience and Performance Center (BNPC) and a Senior Fellow of the Center for Intelligence and National Security. She is also a faculty member in the Cellular and Behavioral Neurobiology Graduate Program, and an Associate Professor of Psychology. Periodically, she also teaches courses for Human Relations (Clinical Mental Health Track), Organizational Dynamics, and Liberal Studies Graduate Programs. 

As a multi-disciplinary scholar, Fuenzalida's research is interdisciplinary and combines the study of stress, resilience, individual differences, and cognition. For the last 25 years her research team has focused on the study of individual differences and the emotional, psychological and physical impact of stress. Specifically, her team has been interested in the identification of risk factors that enhance or degrade performance and recovery from physiological and psychological stressors. This innovative research has leveraged state-of-the-art computer-based technology for assessing neurocognitive performance. Fuenzalida has also studied the behavioral aspects of personality (traits with biological and perceptual bases) and individual 
differences and their mediating effects on performance in response to stress. 

More recently, she and her students have focused on optimizing learning and resilience in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The results of their work have aided in developing a program proposal that fosters confidence and teaches problem-solving and decision-making strategies to support life-long learning, self-determination, social engagement, and independence.

Jeff L. Hale, PhD 


President, Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College
Miami, OK

Jeffery L. Hale is currently serving as President of Northeastern Oklahoma A and M College. President Hale has worked closely with the 9 federally recognized tribes of Ottawa County to establish the first American Indian Center for Excellence on the campus of NEO A and M College and has established Native American education as a top priority for the College.

Hale has served in public higher education for nearly 25 years. His service includes stints at Miami University, the University of Oklahoma, Southeastern Oklahoma State and NEO A and M College. During his career, Hale has served as a Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Director of the Center for Student Life and Vice Chancellor for Administration. Hale has led efforts on several campuses to improve student performance and raise both retention and graduation rates on each of the campuses he has served. Over the past decade, Hale has helped lead and coordinate campus improvements that total nearly $100,000,000.

Hale was recognized by Dr John Gardner and the National Resource Center with the Outstanding First Year Student Advocate award in 2004. That same year Noel Levitz recognized Hale and Southeastern State with the outstanding Retention program. In 1995, the University of Oklahoma recognized Hale with the outstanding staff award and most recently (2012) Hale was recognized by the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce with their Citizen of the Year Award.

During Hale's 31 year career in public education, he has been a strong advocate for access to affordable, quality public education with a strong emphasis on student completion. President Hale has led several efforts, on multiple campuses, to improve academic support efforts and increase student engagement. Hale believes that educational attainment is the key to closing the inequality gaps that plague or nation today.

Melvin C. Hall, JD 

Partner at Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison, and Lewis
Norman, OK

Mr. Hall brings his perspective as a practicing attorney to the Executive Committee.  He served has in the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office and as Executive Director of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission.

Hall is an “AV rated” attorney, signifying years of practice with the highest levels of skill and integrity. His career has earned him multiple honors:

  • The A.C. Hamlin Tribute of Appreciation and Commendation from the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus
  • Yearly Scholarships in his name at the University of Oklahoma and Langston University awarded to students who exemplify leadership and aspire to become lawyers.
  • The Trailblazers Award from the University of Oklahoma Black Alumni Society
  • The Distinguished Alumnus Award from Langston University
  • The Oklahoma Bar Association Diversity Committee’s Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award

Hall says, “Throughout my professional career, whether it be in the Court Room, Board Room, or Class Room, I have advocated for genuine diversity and equality, and fought against all forms of discrimination, repression, and unequal access to opportunities in law, business, and academia.  I sincerely believe that this approach enhances the realization of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream that someday we will be judged not by any particular characteristic, but by the content of our character.” 

Thomas L. Hill

Senior Vice President Emeritus
Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Thomas L. Hill retired from Iowa State University on December 31, 2017, after 20 years of service. Eighteen years as Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and two years as Senior Policy Advisor to the President. Hill came to Iowa State from the University of Florida, where he had been Dean for Student Services. In that position, he worked for former ISU Dean of Students Art Sandeen, then Vice President for Student Affairs at Florida. Hill viewed his role as the university's senior student affairs officer in terms that Sandeen outlined: the leader of the Division of Student Affairs, acting as "keeper of the mission and vision"; chief manager of the division's personnel and resources; a member of the university's leadership/management team; mediator among students, among student groups, and sometimes between administrators and students; and educator. While serving as Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, he created the NCORE/ISCORE Project in 1998. In March 2016, President Steven Leath accepted the planning committee's recommendation to rename the conference "Thomas L. Hill ISCORE: Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity" to reflect his role and commitment to the conference and the university. Prior to accepting the position at Florida, Dr. Hill had served as Assistant Athletic Director for Student Life, first at Tulane University and later at the University of Oklahoma. 

Hill is active with the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE); NCAA Committee on Infractions; Mattie Hill Memorial Scholarship Foundation, President; and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity My Brothers Keeper Mentoring Program, Dallas, TX.

Hill received a B.S.E. in Physical Education from Arkansas State University in 1972, and an M.S. in Counselor Education from C.W. Post-Long Island University in 1976. He earned his Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Florida, and has written articles on student-athlete development and minority identity development. 

Before pursuing a career in higher education, Hill excelled on athletic fields and earned a number of honors. He was twice named Arkansas Amateur Athlete of the Year, and he was ultimately inducted into both the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. He competed in the 110-meter high hurdles competition in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, winning the Bronze Medal.

Tom Hill grew up in New Orleans, one of five sons of the late Mattie Hill. SHe is now honored by a scholarship fund, administered by Hill, which he set up with his brothers. He and his wife, Billye, have two sons, Thomas and Lamont, a daughter-in-law, Carol, and two grandsons, Alexander and Nicholas.

wesley long  Wesley Long, PhD

Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences
Human Relations
Department Chair
Associate Professor

Teresa (Teri) Mora, EdD

Educational Consultant
Edmond, Oklahoma

Teri Mora is an educator focusing on Latino student issues and recently graduated from West Texas A&M University with a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. She is a past recipient of the OK Governor's Arts Award in Education, the Oklahoma Multi-Cultural Teacher of the Year and Citizen of the Year of Guymon, Oklahoma. She was selected as the Oklahoma representative for the State of Latinos in Education as well as for the Governing in the Global Age Educational Summit, both held in D.C.

Dr. Mora served on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Latin American and Hispanic Affairs for seven years and has been a member of the Executive Committee for the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies for 13 years. She also currently serves as a board member for the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma (WFO) and the National Association for Folkloric Groups (ANGF) where she serves as the Director for Culture and Education. Dr. Mora previously served for 16 years as the Director of Hispanic Student Services at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Oklahoma’s first designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) where she also taught Diversity in Education courses for pre-service teachers. Teri and her husband have recently relocated to Edmond, Oklahoma to be closer to family. She currently serves as an educational consultant for Latino educational issues across the state.


Wayne D. Riggs

Professor, Philosophy Department
The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Wayne Riggs is a Professor of Philosophy and affiliate faculty of the Women’s & Gender Studies Department at the University of Oklahoma. His primary area of expertise is epistemology, with a recent emphasis on intellectual virtues. His inter-disciplinary edited volume titled “Open-Mindedness” will appear from Oxford University Press in 2024. He has also published articles on the value system inherent in our evaluation of people’s beliefs and knowledge, and has recently begun to work on “social epistemology.” This is a body of theory focused on the ways in which our individual ability to know and understand the world is dependent on our maintaining healthy and robust communities of trust and knowledge.

Riggs received his MA and PhD degrees in philosophy from the University of North Carolina and his BA in philosophy from Texas A&M University. In addition to his scholarly work, he has been active in university shared governance. He was chair of the philosophy department from 2012-2022 and served on the OU Faculty Senate Executive Committee for six years, including one year as Faculty Senate Chair.

Heather Shotton, PhD

Vice President for Diversity Affairs
Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

Dr. Heather Shotton is a citizen of the Wichita & Affiliated Tribes and is also of Kiowa and Cheyenne descent. She is the Vice President of Diversity Affairs for Fort Lewis College. In addition to her work in DEI at Fort Lewis, she leads the College’s reconciliation work with Indigenous communities. Prior to joining Fort Lewis, Dr. Shotton served as an Associate Professor and Chair for the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies and the Director of Indigenous Education Initiatives in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma. As a scholar of higher education, her scholarship and practice have been dedicated to bringing visibility to Indigenous people and issues in higher education and transforming higher education as a site of reclamation for Indigenous communities.

She served as a co-editor for four critical books that address Indigenous Higher Education; Beyond the Asterisk:  Understanding Native Students in Higher Education (Stylus), Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education (Rutgers University Press), and Beyond Access: Indigenizing Programs for Native American Student Success (Stylus), and Developments Beyond the Asterisk: New Scholarship and Frameworks for Understanding Native Students in Higher Education. Her contributions to the field of higher education have been recognized at the national level, where she has been awarded the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Mildred Garcia Senior Scholar Award (2020), Association for the Study of Higher Education Special Merit Award (2020), the National Indian Education Association Educator of the Year Award (2016).

Dr. Shotton is a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and justice in higher education and has spent her career advocating for marginalized students and communities in educational systems.

David L. Tan, PhD

Professor, Department of Higher Education and Learning Technologies
Texas A&M University - Commerce, Commerce, TX

Dr. Tan is currently Professor of Higher Education and Learning Technologies at Texas A&M University-Commerce, a member of the Texas A&M University System. His department represents one of the largest doctoral higher education programs in the nation. As a department chair for five years, he also innovated and administered the State of Texas first competency-based baccalaureate program at a public institution, resulting in working adult learners being able to complete an affordable, accessible, and engaging learning experience.

Prior to his A&M appointment, Professor Tan spent 27 years at the University of Oklahoma where he retired and currently holds the title of professor emeritus. At OU, he developed and led nationally-visible and destination academic programs as professor and department chair. He trained graduates who proceeded to serve as college presidents (six of them did), student affairs vice presidents, and directors of intercollegiate athletics. Additionally at OU, for five years (from 2005 to 2010), he was the Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies that runs NCORE and has continuously served as Executive Committee member for over 32 years (since 1993). In the State of Texas and the Dallas metroplex, he collaborates with large community college districts and the corporate sector dealing with organizational, educational, workforce learning and development, and diversity matters.

At the national level, Professor Tan is a peer evaluator-consultant for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He has interacted with numerous board members, presidents, provosts, faculty, staff, and students in a variety of institutional settings in their formal peer review processes and has been recognized as a contributor to member institutional decision making and improvements.

Man Fung Yip, PhD

Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences
Film and Media
Studies, Department Chair and Associate Professor
ity of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Man-Fung Yip is Chair and Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Oklahoma. His research and teaching interests focus on Chinese-language and East Asian film studies, the juncture of cinema, mass culture, and modernity, and the cinematic/cultural Cold War. He is currently working on two projects, one on Chinese American cinema and the other on the cinematic representations of Vietnam from both the local and global, non-American perspectives during the Cold War era. 

Ex-Officio Members

Belinda Biscoe, PhD

Senior Associate Vice President, University Outreach
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Belinda P. Biscoe, PhD serves as Senior Associate Vice President for Outreach at the University of Oklahoma. Trained as a research psychologist, she has nearly 30 years of experience with school- and community-based programs, including higher education as an administrator, researcher and program developer. Among her areas of expertise are research and evaluation, administration and program development in higher education and common education, including school improvement and reform and early literacy, grant writing, diversity in the workplace, youth development, and substance abuse prevention and treatment. As Interim Vice President, she bears responsibility for more than 31 program units employing close to 600 professionals. These departments focus on programs in higher education, common education, including early childhood, juvenile justice, disability education and training, social justice and human relations, executive training and team development, health and human services, public radio, social justice, American Indian education and health, research and evaluation, and substance abuse prevention.

Her strengths in working with large systems through partnerships and helping them to reform and build capacity are demonstrated in her work in education and the community and have been the hallmark of her career. She is a national leader in the quest to aid local communities in their school programs, especially those designed to aid disadvantaged For three decades she has performed heroically as an administrator, a researcher, and an advocate for reaching out to disadvantaged youth, families, and communities. She is truly a systems thinker who sees how concepts and ideas link together resulting in new learning and innovations.

Dr. Biscoe collaborative spirit has been acknowledged by her appointment to the Regional Educational Laboratory – Southwest (REL Southwest) Board of Directors (2005-2012), where she served as Chair from 2010-2011. Additionally, she was appointed from 2011-2013 to serve on ED’s National Advisory Board for the Office of Special Education (OSEP). She was appointed to an Educational Research Board for the Texas State Education Agency in 2008 by the Texas Commissioner of Education.

Prior to her time at OU, Dr. Biscoe worked for eight years in the Oklahoma City Public School District as a senior research associate and Director for Federal and State Programs focusing on areas such as bilingual education, homeless education, safe and drug free schools, Indian Education, Title I Community Education.As a researcher, practitioner, and competitive grant writer, Dr. Biscoe has been able to blend scientific rigor successfully to TA work resulting in numerous awards. Her grant writing skills have resulted in over $150,000,000 in funding to the State of Oklahoma. She is co-founder of Eagle Ridge Institute, a non-profit community-based drug and alcohol and treatment prevention agency and founder of Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless youth and their families. She has received numerous awards, including the 2004 University of Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Award for Continuing Education Professionals, Kansa City, Missouri recipient of the Journal Record Award for 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma, spring 2005, and the Adella Robertson National University Continuing Education Award, San Diego, California, spring 2006. In 2015, for her significant contributions in education and the community, Dr. Biscoe was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for Higher Education.

James P. Pappas, PhD

Dean Emeritus, College of Liberal Studies
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Dr. Pappas received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University and was a Psychological Fellow at the Veterans Administration Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Marion, Indiana and the West Tenth Street General Medical and Surgical Hospital in Indianapolis.  Additionally, he has completed the Executive Management Program at Stanford University, the Institute for Management of Lifelong Education at Harvard University (elected to serve on the MLE Advisory Board) and completed the Columbia Coaching Certificate from Columbia University.

Dr. Pappas has served as President of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, University Professional and Continuing Higher Education Association (UPCEA) and is currently Executive Director of the Association of Continuing Higher Education and the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of Academic Affairs Administrators and the Association for Counseling and Development.

He has received a Bittner Citation for service to the field and the Nolte Award for extraordinary leadership from UPCEA, has been inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame and been elected a Fellow in the Association for Graduate Liberal Studies Program.  His bibliographic entries include Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in Training and Development.

Dr. Pappas helped to create the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity after recognizing in the late 1980’s that higher education institutions needed to do a great deal more to ensure access and involvement of ethnic and racial minorities in the student, faculty and administrative areas.  Most recently, Dr. Pappas has been very concerned that many of our higher education institutions and many of our corporate and industrial settings do not understand the impact of the coming demographic changes in our society.  He feels it is incumbent upon NCORE and current academic administrators to work at educating our institutions of the need to prepare ethnic and minority students to fill the leadership requirements that will come with these demographic changes.