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Clinton Announces New Academic Appointments

September 22, 2022

Over the past several months, the Department of Academic Services has welcomed several new hires. 

With the start of the new academic year, we would like to take this opportunity to formally announce the appointments of division chairs and directors for the department.

Division Chairs

Dr. Ugboaja

Division of Business and Leadership/Associate Dean of Academic Services

Dr. Ugboaja serves as the Associate Dean of Academic Services, as well as the Division Chair for Business and Leadership. He has been in higher education for over a decade, serving as a member of the faculty, as well as a faculty leader at Keller Graduate School of Management and Southern New Hampshire University. His roles have comprised curriculum development, faculty development, and student advising. His research interests center on the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment and Emerging Economies of Africa to aid in Economic Growth and Sustainability. Additionally, he has research interests in Cross-Cultural Marketing and Cross-Cultural Leadership.

Dr. Ugboaja has held various progressive leadership positions in industry, both domestic and international, giving him the unique perspective of relating academic concepts and material from a practical perspective. 

Dr. Lara Rann

Division of Liberal Arts

A Charlotte native, Dr. Lara Diane Rann completed her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at UCLA and earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Davidson College. She is also a proud Spelman College alumna of one year. Rann's academic and professional background reflects a long-standing interest in the intersection of race, ethnicity, and healing within the context of African diasporic music and dance. The writer and vocalist is the Liberal Arts Division Chair at Clinton College in Rock Hill, SC.  

Dr. Cheneir Neely

Division of Science and Technology

Dr. Neely graduated in 2006 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science from South Carolina State University located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she went on to graduate from Sherman College of Chiropractic as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 2010. Neely is board certified by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the South Carolina Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Dr. Neely has co-authored 3 peer-reviewed publications which are located within: The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, The Journal of Chiropractic Education, and The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine

Born in Rock Hill, SC, Dr. Neely has taught Health Science secondary education in Rock Hill School District 3. She has also taught Anatomy and Physiology at the college level in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Nickeysha Jones

Division of Education

Professor Nickeysha Jones joins Clinton College with more than 25 years of experience in education. She has a long-standing commitment to excellence in research and is a champion for education. She has held various roles within the public and private school sectors. She comes from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, where she held the position of Certified Teacher K-6 and PLC Coach.

Mrs. Jones holds her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University and is also currently completing her EdD. in Educational Leadership from Liberty University (ABD). Her research examines recommendations for solving low EOG assessment scores in Title I schools. She earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC Greensboro.


Tammy Hayes

Associate Dean of Work Program/Career Services

Tammy B. Hayes is the Associate Dean of Work Program and Career Services at Clinton College. She is a certified Career Coach and leader with diverse and extensive experience in higher education, particularly in Career Services.  

Tammy is a native of Durham, North Carolina, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Production from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She did not begin her career in higher education. Ms. Hayes worked in television and film before changing careers to higher education. It was the transferable skills gained in the entertainment industry that led her to a successful tenure within the higher education realm. 

Ms. Hayes’s approach to career coaching is to coach with care, passion, and curiosity. This approach provides individualized coaching methods to prepare students and alumni with getting on the right path for career success in his/her chosen career. 

Sonja James

Director of Records and Registration

Sonja James currently serves as the Director of Records and Registration where she oversees the management and leadership of the Registrar's office. She is also responsible for maintaining the integrity of academic records and documenting the excellence of our students. Sonja has worked in Academics for 17 years in various capacities such as student affairs and activities, student retention, adjunct faculty, and career services. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Fayetteville State University and her master’s degree in Educational Management from Strayer University. She is currently a student at Aspen University working on her Doctorate in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Organizational Psychology.

Chris Walker

Instructional Technology Coordinator/ Interim Director of IT

Mr. Walker joins Clinton College with years of experience in instructional technology and higher education serving as an asset in multiple roles surrounding Information Technology at the collegiate level. Before Clinton, Walker served as the Academic Technology and Media Coordinator, Online Champion, and the sole IT member at the Memphis campus of Concorde Career College in Memphis, TN.

During his time with Concorde Career College, Mr. Walker was responsible for moving the whole college online to prepare for virtual instruction during the pandemic. Mr. Walker took on this initiative by preparing a LMS platform for use, and quickly getting faculty and students up to speed on training, processes, steps to be successful, and most of all resolving the early pains of something so new to many with online learning.

Mr. Walker earned his B.A. & M.A.Ed. at Bethel University as a Scholar Athlete during his tenure.

Keisha Parris

Director of Digital Library and Learning Commons

Keisha Parris is the Director of Digital Library and Learning Commons. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Augustine's University and a master’s degree in Library Science with a concentration in Academic Library from North Carolina Central University. Before joining the Clinton College team, Ms. Parris served as the Educational Technology Librarian at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC for almost five years before which she served as the Digitization and Serials Control Technician.

As the Director of Digital Library and Learning Commons, Ms. Parris is charged with ensuring adequate resources and services are available in print and electronic format to support Clinton College’s curriculum, research, and leisure information needs. Some of her duties include establishing and maintaining learning communities on campus and online and facilitating collaborative initiatives with the community, and academic and support units across campus that foster best practices in teaching and learning.

Ms. Parris is focused on facilitating quality library services online and in-person and fostering an inclusive learning environment where students, faculty, and staff are excited to be creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers.