Albany State University names interim deans to lead new academic colleges

Albany State University names
interim deans to lead new academic colleges

ALBANY, Ga. – Albany State University (ASU) has appointed three interim deans to lead the university’s new academic college structure. The deans will fill positions in the Darton College of Health Professions, the College of Professional Studies, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The appointments became effective Aug. 7, 2018.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of our interim deans,” said Raj Parikh, ASU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Our final candidates exemplify outstanding professionalism and expertise. They are fully committed to providing a quality learning experience for all ASU students.”

Parikh announced the following appointments:

  • Sarah G. Brinson, interim dean of the Darton College of Health Professions
  • Alicia J. Jackson, interim dean of the College of Professional Studies
  • Zephyrinus C. Okonkwo, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

The work is currently underway to launch national searches for three permanent deans with the anticipated appointment date of Jan. 1, 2019. A search committee comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students will be appointed to identify candidates. Parikh will lead the search committee for the selection of permanent deans. 


Brinson previously served as the interim assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and the chair of the ASU Health Sciences Division. She has served as the clinical coordinator and program director for the physical therapist assistant program at ASU since 2004. Brinson received a doctorate degree in higher education from Columbus State University. She also received a master’s degree in adult education and a bachelor’s degree in education, both from Valdosta State University. She received an associates degree in physical therapist assistant education from Darton State College.

Brinson has extensive knowledge in health sciences and leadership. In 2013, she was named a “Top 40 under 40” honoree for Dougherty County. In 2012, she received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award for outstanding teaching and service. Brinson enjoys bridging the gap between the classroom and the clinic for students. 


Jackson has served as the dean of the ASU College of Business since July 2015. Prior to ASU, she was an associate professor of management in the Sigmund Weis School of Business at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. She served as Susquehanna’s business school dean from 2007-2013 and dean of the College of Business and Information Science at Tuskegee University in Alabama from 1999-2007. She began her academic career as an assistant professor of accounting at The Ohio State University. Prior to her academic career, Jackson was a financial professional. During this 12-year period, her positions included auditor, financial analyst, accounting services accountant, manager of special projects, and finance manager. For the past two years, she has served as site coordinator for the VITA/TCE free tax service in Albany. Jackson received a Ph.D. in accounting from The University of Texas in Austin, an MBA in accounting from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Knox College in Illinois.

Her teaching and research interests are in accounting and particularly the impact of financial reporting on managerial and investor decision making; and financial fraud investigation. She currently serves as the chair of the University System of Georgia Regents Advisory Committee for Economics and Business, treasurer of the HBCU Business Dean’s Roundtable and a board member of the business accreditation body, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. 


Okonkwo currently serves as a professor of mathematics and the director of the ASU Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR). He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas-Arlington. He also earned a Master of Philosophy in engineering analysis and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education, both from the University of Lagos in Nigeria. He has worked as a member of the ASU faculty for 19 years and has operated in a variety of roles. In 2001, he was named ASU Researcher of the Year. From 2003–2008, Okonkwo served as chairperson for the department of mathematics and computer science after previously serving as the interim chairperson.

He has published more than 40 scholarly papers and has presented more than 70 papers at scholarly meetings and conferences. He has also presented numerous workshops and training sessions for university instructors and K-12 students and school teachers. Okonkwo has worked closely with the Dougherty County School System to enhance teacher quality in both content and pedagogy.


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