SC State Professor of the Year Installed as President of National Organization

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dr. M. Evelyn Fields, professor of early childhood education, was recently installed as the sixth president of the national conference for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE).  Fields, who has served on the AABHE National Board for the past seven years also served as chair of the national conference.

AABHE pursues the educational and professional needs of Blacks in higher education with a focus on leadership, access and vital issues impacting students, faculty, staff, and administrators. AABHE also facilitates and provides opportunities for collaborating and networking among individuals, institutions, groups and agencies in higher education in the United States and internationally.

Fields was installed at the 2017 annual  conference, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina from March 23-25.  Higher education faculty and staff came from across the nation to present over 60 sessions on various topics that affect African Americans in higher education including two dynamic panels.  The President’s Panel, sponsored by SC State University, consisted of presidents from various universities.  Those presidents included:  Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy from Shaw University, Dr. Randy Woodson, from NC State University, Mr. Algie Gatewood from Alamance Community College, Dr. Everett Ward from St. Augustine University, James E. Clark from SC State University.  Dr. Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, moderated the panel discussion.  The presidents discussed issues that African Americans find challenging in the higher education system ranging from financial challenges to retention concerns to graduation rates. 

The second panel focused on social justice.  Dr. Larry Watson, professor of history at SC State University, served on that panel along with State Rep. Justice Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg.  

Several awards were presented including the Harold Delaney Exemplary Leadership Award which was awarded to Dr. James Anderson, president of Fayetteville State University.  This award is given to those individuals whose lives and careers have advanced issues of access and opportunity for Black Americans in higher education.  Additionally, Rep. Bamberg received the President’s Advocacy Award for his avid representation of victims who allegedly suffered from excessive force by police.

Dr. Rosetta Dingle, associate professor of music education in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at SC State University, performed for the attendees and also presented at the AABHE National Conference. 

Fields, who is the 2017 Professor of the Year at SC State, is the immediate past chair of the Department of Teacher Education, the former associate provost for academic affairs and the former president of the faculty senate at South Carolina State.  She currently serves on the state board of the S.C. Association for the Education of Young Children and is the owner of the Seafood Academy of Columbia Restaurant and Bar in Columbia, South Carolina.  She holds a M.Ed. and a Ph.D. in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina.