Upperman African American Cultural Center


Our Staff

Sean Palmer

Mr. Sean Palmer, M.A., M.Div

Sean Palmer has served as Upperman Center Director since March 2016. Palmer earned his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, a master’s degree in African and African American Studies from Clark Atlanta University and a bachelor’s degree in English with double minors in African American studies and religious studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.


He previously served as the assistant director of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University. While at Duke, Palmer advised several student organizations, managed and advised the National PanHellenic Council, planned academic lectures and events, and was a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students. He has also served as director of student activities and residence life at Paine College in Augusta, GA.

Manny Lloyd

Mr. Manny Lloyd 
Program Coordinator for Cultural Enrichment Programming

Manuel Lloyd is the Program Coordinator for Cultural Enrichment. A 2017 UNCW alum with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he served as a temporary coordinator since August 2017, officially joining the center in February 2018.

As a cultural enrichment programs coordinator, Manuel designs programming to help individuals to better understand Africana and African American culture through art exhibits, lectures, cultural programming, foster a thriving social enviorment, and works closely with the greater Wilmington community.


Mr. Dione Reynolds, M.A.
Program Coordinator for Mentorship and Pre-Professional Programming

Dione Reynolds is the Program Coordinator for Mentorship and Pre-Professional programming. He is the the coordinator for the Excellence Project mentoring program as well as the Black Table Talk mental health series, Senior Sankofa graduation ceremony and the Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration programs. He has worked at UNCW since July 2020.

Hailing from Gary, Indiana, he is a double graduate of Indiana University Purdue University with bachelor and master degrees in Organizational Leadeship, Dione has worked in Multicultural spaces as well as Freedom Schools. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity incorporated. Dione enjoys hiking, cooking and is always down for a good laugh.


Ms. Sasha McKnight
Graduate Fellow


Serving as the Upperman Center Graduate Fellow for the 2021-22 school year, Sasha McKnight is a second-year graduate student in the Masters in Higher Education program. Sasha is from Charlotte, NC, and earned her bachelors' degree from East Carolina University in 2020. She is passionate about assisting students in the development of seeing and believing their greatest potential.