Ron and Dr. Mary Neal Distinguished Associate Professor of Chemistry Education and the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion within the College of Science, Louisiana State University (LSU)
Zakiya S. Wilson-Kennedy, Ph.D., is the Ron and Dr. Mary Neal Distinguished Associate Professor of Chemistry Education and the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion within the College of Science at Louisiana State University (LSU). Formerly she has held faculty, administrative, and professional positions at the University of Delaware, Louisiana State University, and North Carolina A&T State University. Her research investigates the persistence of individuals from all backgrounds in STEM higher education and careers. Through these efforts, she employs mentoring models that integrate the theories of identity development, empowerment, social cognitive career theory, and community cultural wealth to create and test development structures that cultivate self-efficacy and agency, particularly for groups historically underrepresented in STEM. She was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2021 and a fellow of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineering (NOBCChE) in 2022. She served as the PI of the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) organizational recognition for the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives. Additional honors include the NOBCChE Winifred Burks-Houck Award (2019) and Henry C McBay Outstanding Educator Award (2014), the ACS Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences (2011), Woman of Color STEM Achievement Award for Promotion of Education at the Collegiate Level (2011), and the National Administrator Role Model Award from Minority Access, Inc. (2009). Dr. Wilson-Kennedy was appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Board on Higher Education and Workforce in 2023. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Jackson State University and her doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Louisiana State University.