Morris Brown College Announces New Academic Leadership Team
ATLANTA (July, 2022)—Morris Brown College (MBC) has hired a new academic leadership team to help scale its efforts to become a premier liberal arts institution. MBC announced it had received full accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a Virginia-based accreditation agency in April, 2022. This monumental achievement came after nearly 20 years of effort, marking a historical achievement for the 141-year-old college.
Dr. Kristi Garrett has been promoted to Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs and Executive Director of Online Learning. Dr. Garrett’s educational mission is to improve and expand the accessibility of higher education to underserved and underrepresented students. A native of Childersburg, Alabama, Dr. Garrett’s family instilled the importance of hard work, education, and sharing strengths with peers to accomplish goals. These values laid the foundation that fostered her drive throughout her collegiate career, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership with a concentration in Instructional Technology from The University of Alabama, a M.S. in Management from Troy University, and a B.S. in Business Administration and Management Information Systems from Auburn University.
Dr. Garrett is currently a board member on the Greater Alabama Black Belt Region LSAMP and the Auburn University Office of Special Projects and Initiatives. She is also a former Whisenton Public Scholar Fellow, Kettering Associate, and NAACP affiliate in which the mission of these initiatives is geared toward making democracy work.
Dr. Garrett sought to expand opportunities to provide her talents to minority serving initiatives at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and joined forces with Morris Brown College Leadership team in June 2020 as the Executive Director on Online Learning. She successfully transitioned the MBC courses online and was a prominent asset throughout the TRACS accreditation phases. During the past two years, Dr. Garrett also served as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Interim Chair of General Studies.
Dr. Malcom W. Devoe serves as the new chair of the Department of General Studies and Liberal Arts. Dr. Devoe is a native of Covington, Georgia. He earned a Ph.D. in Computational Mathematics and Mathematics Education, a M.S. in Computational and Applied Mathematics with a focus in Scientific Computing and Bioinformatics from Georgia State University, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College. In 2021, he joined the Morris Brown College faculty as an adjunct professor of Mathematics and Computer Science. Dr. Devoe is the founder and director of STEM Connex organization, which is designed to motivate, inspire, and assist students in their perspective STEM fields and careers.
Dr. Devoe’s research focuses on designing and implementing Digital Game – Based Learning (DGBL) environments that are used to optimize student learning in computational and applied mathematics courses. His work in software development of DBGL environments intersects with multiple fields, including but not limited to, applied mathematics computer science, human computer interaction (HCI), and educational technology.
Dr. Daniel F. Upchurch serves as the new chair of the Department of Psychology. Dr. Upchurch is a native of Mobile Alabama and is an experienced researcher and psychologist who has taught as a professor at the University of Louisiana and Alabama A&M University (AAMU). He is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Positivity+, an Affordable Telemental Health App that provides coaching, counseling, and assessment. Dr. Upchurch was also the creator of TED x AAMU and founder of ABPsi Chapter at AAMU. In addition, he is an author of several publications focusing on innocence, psychological assessment, bullying and racial disparities. Dr. Upchurch has 15 years of experience in the mental health field and is currently working to become a board-certified medical psychologist.
Dr. Upchurch received a Ph.D. in School Psychology from Tennessee State University, a M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. Dr. Upchurch received an Online Instructor Certification from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He also holds a School Psychology Certification and is a License Psychologist.
Dr. J. Anthony Plenty serves as the new chair of the Department of Music. Dr. Plenty is a conductor and clergyman from Huntsville, Alabama. He is a multi-talented musician who is equally at home in sacred, popular, and classical music genres. Distinguished for his musical mind and spirited performances, Dr. Plenty frequently serves as a guest clinician, accompanist, and competition adjudicator. Dr. Plenty’s professional achievements include serving as a contributing composer in the recently published Total Praise Hymnal. Dr. Plenty is Co-Executive Producer of a music project titled Plenty Good News Presents…When Pastors Meet. Additionally, Dr. Plenty served as a guest lectionary liturgist for the African American Lectionary, a collaborative project of The African American Pulpit and American Baptist College of Nashville. Dr. Plenty is an established academician and authority in sacred music. His current research agenda explores the intersection of higher education program development and Black liturgical choral music.
Dr. Plenty received an Ed.D. in leadership, policy, and law from Alabama State University, a M.M. in church music from Lee University, and a M.M. in choral conducting from Butler University, and a B.A. in music technology from the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Dr. Yaw Amponsah Adoo serves as the new chair of the Department of Business. Dr. Adoo was born and raised in Ghana. Dr. Adoo comes to Morris Brown College with regional and international experiences as a proficient management professional with multidisciplinary skill sets covering collegiate instruction, 10-plus years of education, training, organizational leadership, and professional development. His research interests focus on how employee work motivation and wellbeing are affected by organizational change and uncertain employment relations.
Dr. Adoo’s body of work demonstrates his profound commitment to quality education, scholarship, advocacy, and mentorship. He has made numerous presentations at regional and national institutions and is the author of many publications.
Dr. Adoo obtained his D.B.A. in business administration from Argosy University/Atlanta’s College of Business, an ACBSP-accredited program, M.P.H. in Community Health Education, and a B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Business Management from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is a proud high school alumnus of Adisadel College and Ghana National College, both in the Central Region of Ghana.
All Department Chairs will lead all operations and strategies to continue advancing the mission of Morris Brown College in his/her respective discipline. Each leader brings a breadth of experience. Welcome to Morris Brown College!