Almost a year ago Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher agreed to return to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her beautiful family. In April 2014, OCCRL hosted a presentation by Dr. Zamani-Gallaher as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration, and we announced her return to the faculty and her future leadership of OCCRL. It is hard to believe a year has passed but it has, and OCCRL is blessed to have had this plan come to fruition. As founding director of OCCRL, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Zamani-Gallaher to lead OCCRL. As her former doctoral chair, I know firsthand that her vision is compelling and her energy is contagious. She offers OCCRL her deep expertise in African American student trajectories through college, minority serving institutions, STEM college and career readiness, and more. How exciting!
I am also pleased to share that Illinois has offered me the opportunity to retain OCCRL as my academic home, and I remain deeply committed to the many projects (e.g., Applied Baccalaureate, Trade Adjustment Act Evaluations, Transformative Change, Credit When It’s Due, Pathways to Results) that have started at OCCRL in recent years.
OCCRL is in very good hands. The researchers, graduate assistants, and staff are all incredibly talented and excited about the future. I’m proud of the work OCCRL has done in the past and even prouder that Dr. Zamani-Gallaher is providing leadership to move the organization forward. There is no doubt that the future is bright for OCCRL!
Dr. Debra D. Bragg is the founding director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership.