Dr. Assata Zerai

ZeraiStarting August 1, 2019, Dr. Assata Zerai begins service as the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico. Zerai’s research interests have included maternal and child health, health activism, safe water and sanitation, as well as diversity and LGBTQI inclusiveness in U.S. Protestant congregations, and making the work of marginalized scholars more accessible. She has published five books spanning these topics, the latest of which is African Women, ICT and Neoliberal Politics: The Challenge of Gendered Digital Divides to People-Centered Governance (Routledge 2019). Zerai’s work as an Associate Chancellor and Associate Provost at Illinois included multiple initiatives to diversify and enhance inclusivity of faculty, students, and staff from underrepresented groups there. For example, Zerai served as co-PI on a $1,000,000 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to increase proportions of graduate students of color underrepresented in STEM. Zerai received the Zenobia Lawrence Hikes Faculty Women of Color in the Academy, National Award for Outstanding Administrative/Professional Faculty of the Year (March 2018).