Belinda P. Biscoe, PhD
Interim Senior Associate Vice President, University Outreach
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
M.A., B.A., Fisk University
Dr. Belinda Biscoe is the Senior Associate Vice President for University Outreach at the University of Oklahoma. In her role, she provides leadership for more than 500 individuals in 18 departments within the Public and Community Services division. Dr. Biscoe’s colleagues and friends often refer to her as a renaissance woman because of her many talents and her ability to successfully juggle a tremendous workload that would drown most professionals.
Prior to her career in the College of Continuing Education, Dr. Biscoe served as an administrator in education and the non-profit arena. Dr. Biscoe served as a senior researcher in the Department of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Oklahoma City Public School District, and the Director of External Programs, federal, state, and, local.
A psychologist, an internationally certified preventionist, and a state certified drug and alcohol prevention director, Dr. Biscoe co-founded a community-based non-profit organization that now employs more than 150 individuals. She also founded a corporation whose mission is to garner funding to support programs that improve the quality of life for thousands of Oklahomans. During the course of her career, she has secured finding to support programs in excess of $100 million dollars.
Dr. Biscoe has received numerous awards at the state and national level for excellence in teaching, leadership, scholarship and continuing education. Her honors include:
Oklahoma Journal Record Woman of the Year
Adelle Robertson National Continuing Professional Educator Award from UCEA
Great Plains Regional Continuing Professional Educator Award from UCEA
Dr. Biscoe was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, in a family where education was promoted as the key to opportunity and quality of life. “I love making a difference. Growing up in a segregated world made me very resilient and determined to make whatever contributions I could to improving the quality of life for others.” Belinda is a risk taker, in a planned and intentional way. “I always tell my to take creative risks, and jump, knowing that a net will appear.”
Jane N. Irungu, PhD
Executive Director, Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies
Ph.D., University of Kansas
M.S., University of Kansas
B.Ed., Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr. Irungu has more than three decades of experience in the field of education, organizational management and intercultural relations. She has worked extensively with K-12, higher education, and other related private and public educational and state organizations in the U.S. and in Africa.
Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 2017, Dr. Irungu held different positions at the University of Oregon (UO): Assistant Vice President of Intercultural Initiatives in the Division of Student Life; Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and Director of the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence in the Division of Equity & Inclusion, Director of Graduation and Post-Graduation Success, and Associate Director, Office of Multicultural Academic Success.
During her tenure at UO, her portfolio included, among others: oversight of programs for historically underserved, underrepresented, first-generation, undocumented and international students' network of support; faculty and staff resource groups; leadership development and training; scholarship administration, community outreach and pipeline programs, ethnic organizations, social justice initiatives through the multicultural center, and post-graduation success. Dr. Irungu also served in numerous campus-wide committees, was an elected member of the Officers of Administration Staff Council and participated in strategic planning initiatives focusing on student success, campus diversity, equity and inclusion and many others.
Prior to joining the UO, Irungu worked at the University of Kansas for twelve years in many different capacities: Associate Director for the federally funded Title VI Kansas African Studies Center; Program Director with the Office of International Programs; Outreach and Foreign Languages Coordinator, and Lecturer in the Department of African and African American Studies. Irungu received her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Higher Education Administration and Policy Studies, Graduate Certificates in African Studies, and in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Kansas. She received her Bachelor’s in education with majors in Kiswahili, Philosophy and Religious Studies from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was a high school teacher and eventually principal. She migrated to the U.S. in 1997.
Irungu is multilingual and provides consultancy in curriculum design, translation and interpretation in her two native languages, Swahili and Kikuyu; diversity and inclusion initiatives, strategic planning, cross-cultural/intercultural communication, program evaluation; student engagement and success. She has been a member and contributor in several national organizations including Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education: NASPA, Association of International Educators: NAFSA, The Global Community for Academic Advising: NACADA, and the International Association of Student Affairs and Services: IASAS, among others. Irungu has received several awards for her outstanding work and leadership as an educator and a champion for social justice. She is also the author of "Engaging Students for Success: International Students in U.S. Higher Education Institutions."
Most recently, Dr. Irungu served as the Interim Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In this capacity, she led the diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for the OU system.
As a first-generation college student, Dr. Irungu believes education must be a transformational tool; transforming and improving the quality of life for individuals and communities at large.