Dr. Wilson Okello Selected as a 2022 ACPA Emerging Scholar

Thursday, February 03, 2022

Dr. Wilson Okello, an assistant professor of higher education in Watson College of Education, has been named a 2022 Emerging Scholar by the American College Personnel Association.

The Emerging Scholars Program honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship and are pursuing research initiatives that align with the mission, interests and strategic goals of ACPA.

“The award is as much a celebration of my village – mentors, family, colleagues, collaborators, friends – as it is me,” said Dr. Okello. “I’ve had the privilege of working with people who believed in my ideas and gave me permission to explore them. In return, I have tried to be a good steward of the opportunities I have to produce research that matters, a work of consequence, which I understand as the commitment to affecting the material lives of people within my reach and those with whom I will never meet.”

Emerging Scholars serve a two-year term. As part of the award, Okello will receive a $3,000 grant to support his research, which examines how theories of Blackness might intervene on and remake higher education curricula across four areas: ways of knowing/epistemology; research/inquiry, environment/organizations, and pedagogy and curriculum.

Dr. Okello, who joined UNCW in 2019, is co-editor of a forthcoming New Directions for Student Services volume on trauma-informed practice in higher education and student affairs, and author of the forthcoming text, Loving Black Flesh: Self-Defining Praxis in the Wake of Anti-Blackness. He received the Coalition on Men and Masculinities Outstanding Research Award (American College Personnel Association), was appointed as a faculty affiliate with Project MALES at the University of Texas at Austin, was named a William T. Grant Foundation Writing Fellow and is a Diversity Scholar Network featured scholar at the University of Michigan.

His teaching, research and service explore Africana/Black, literary, feminist and performance studies to press upon education and simultaneously enrich communities. Dr. Okello will be honored during the ACPA’s annual convention in March.

--Venita Jenkins