VUU Appoints Dr. Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

July 19, 2022

[RICHMOND - July 15, 2022] — Virginia Union University is announcing new leaders in its academic and administrative teams.  

“Accomplished people build top-tier universities,” said Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO. “Virginia Union University is welcoming experienced new leaders who make great things happen and who will help propel us toward our goal of becoming Best in Class.”

Dr. Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah serves as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Cobb-Abdullah worked in higher education for over 15 years prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Union University in 2016 as an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Ecology., In 2018, Dr. Cobb-Abdullah was appointed to serve as the founding Director of the VUU Center for STEM Diversity.  She serves as a research mentor to undergraduate and graduate students through the center.  Through her work as PI of the NSF Funded S-STEM grant, Community Culture Research Scholarship program, she provides scholarships, mentors STEM students, facilitates a career seminar series, and collaborates with the Department of Natural Sciences to host a STEM Expo, which showcases undergraduate student's research. She is also Co-PI on several research projects, including collaborating with Florida A&M University. 

Cobb-Abdullah's work with the VUU Green Team, helps to bring programs, such as Earth Day celebrations and the RVA Environmental Film Festival, to VUU. She manages the Virginia Union University Greenhouse in collaboration with the Department of Natural Sciences Staff and VUU Facilities personnel. She has facilitated community urban gardener partnerships and plant education workshops in the VUU greenhouse. In partnership with community organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Girl Scouts of America, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Renew Richmond, and the Richmond Math and Science Center, Dr. Cobb-Abdullah works  to facilitate opportunities for VUU students.  

Dr. Cobb-Abdullah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Tuskegee University and both a Master's of Molecular Biology and a Doctorate of Environmental Science from Florida A&M University. She is a Higher Education Leadership Fellow, advisory board member of SEM Link, Inc., board member of the American Council on Education’s Virginia Women's Network, a devoted wife and proud mother of two children.