Celebrating Black History Month: Celebrating Black Excellence

The School of Business observes Black History Month this year by “Celebrating Black Excellence.” We’re honored to profile seven prominent executives from a variety of backgrounds on social media. We hope to expose minority students to the many role models who can serve as inspirations toward finishing their degrees and embarking on lucrative, rewarding careers. Follow our “Celebrating Black Excellence” role model series on our Instagram by clicking here.


Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston
  • President of Norfolk State University in Virgina
  • Previously, Sr. VP at Ohio State University
  • Recipient of numerous awards including The Pillar of the Profession from NASPA
  • M.A., Psychology from Loras College, and Ph.D., Psychology from Iowa State University


Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee
  • American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and tenured professor at NYU
  • Won an Academy Award, a Student Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and the Cannes Grand Prix
  • B.A., in mass communication from Morehouse College; MFA in Film & Television, NYU


Linda Goler Blount
  • President & CEO – Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Consulting epidemiologist to many nations
  • Speaker, published author and champion for the rights of Black women.
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Michigan and a BS, Comp. Eng./OP. Res., Eastern Michigan University


Dr. Keith E. Whitfield
  • President at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • (Co-) Authored over 200 publications
  • Earned nearly $20 million in funding from many agencies
  • First African American president in UNLV’s history


Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett
  • Lead scientist, Moderna Covid-19 vaccine team
  • Studied the spike proteins of other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS in order to design the vaccine
  • B.S. in Biological Sciences & Sociology, University of Maryland; Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina


Marvin R. Ellison
  • President and CEO of Lowe’s Copmanies, Inc.
  • BBA from the University of Memphis, and MBA from Emory University
  • “2017 Father of the Year” awarded by the National Father’s Day Council
  • Committed to serving communities, primarily underserved minority youth


Stacey D. Stewart
  • President and CEO, March of Dimes
  • Previously, U.S. President of United Way
  • Held senior roles at Fannie Mae, McClendon, Counts & Co, and Merrill Lynch
  • MBA, University of Michigan, and BA Economics, Georgetown University
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