Zollie Stevenson, Jr., vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Philander Smith College, will give the School of Education’s graduation address on May 11.
Since earning his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the School of Education in 1984, Stevenson has led a career in which he has served in a variety of college and university administrative positions, and by leading several federal and state government education programs.
Stevenson is a North Carolina native, growing up in Greensboro and earning his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Asheville and his master’s degree from North Carolina A&T University before coming to Carolina for his doctorate. He serves on the School of Education’s Board of Visitors, and was on the School’s Foundation Board since 2010.
“I’m delighted that Dr. Stevenson has agreed to give the address at our graduation ceremony,” said Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick. “Dr. Stevenson has served in roles that have placed him on the front line of making educational opportunity more equitable for students across this country. I look forward to hearing some of his insights.”
Stevenson joined Philander Smith College, a historically black college in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2015 as associate vice president for academic affairs before rising to his current position last year. Previously, Stevenson worked at Howard University in Washington, DC., where he was an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and coordinated the doctoral program in Educational Leadership. He has also been on faculty at Bowie State University in Maryland.
In his federal government service, Stevenson served as the program director for Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs in the U.S. Department of Education, managing the $14.5 billion Title I program for economically disadvantaged youth and the Title III program for English learners as well as school improvement/turnaround programs.
Stevenson also has 17 years of state education agency/school district experience as a supervisor of federal programs, school reform, research and evaluation, accountability, assessment and educational support programs.
In 2017 he ended a three-year term as a vice president and Executive Board member of the American Educational Research Association. He has also served as the president of the National Association of Assessment Directors. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the National Center for Innovative Learning and the Mid-Atlantic Equity Center.
Stevenson has been honored at Carolina, in 2008 receiving the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UNC-Chapel Hill Black Alumni Reunion. He was the recipient of the School of Education’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003.