Skip to main content
Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Welcoming the New Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities

Headshot of Dr. Stephanie Shonekan

Dear UMD community,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Stephanie Shonekan has been named dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. She will begin her new role on July 1, 2022.

Dr. Shonekan joins the University of Maryland from the University of Missouri, where she currently serves as senior associate dean of the College of Arts and Science. In this role, her work has focused on guiding the college to meet the mission of a public institution, providing a well-rounded education to its students, promoting research productivity, and serving the college, campus, and all the various fields of the College of Arts and Science. She leads and manages the college's budget and administration, faculty affairs, hiring and facilities.

As senior associate dean, she has led initiatives to develop guidelines regarding faculty workloads; review and revise the staff support structure throughout the college; and find ways to uplift and highlight the value of the college's departments and colleagues in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Prior to her current position, she served as associate dean for graduate studies and inclusive culture, where she created a faculty mentorship initiative focused on meeting the intricate needs of graduate students and led cross-departmental work to make the college and campus a more inclusive space. Dr. Shonekan previously served for five years as a department chair, first at the University of Missouri and then at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and held several roles at Columbia College Chicago for eight years.

As a professor of music and Black studies, Dr. Shonekan's work focuses on race, culture, identity and history. A prolific ethnomusicologist, she is the author of Black Resistance in the Americas: Slavery and Its Aftermath, Black Lives Matter and Music, and Soul, Country and the USA: Race and Identity in American Music Culture . She is also co-founder of the national "Race and the American Story" project, dedicated to cultivating conversation, fostering understanding, broadening knowledge, and building community among people of different backgrounds and walks of life in the U.S. Dr. Shonekan is the recipient of various awards, including the Commitment to Diversity Faculty award at the University of Massachusetts and the Marian O'Fallon Oldham Distinguished Educator Award, the Excellence in Education Award and the Black Girls Rock Award, and she was named a Teaching Excellence finalist at the University of Missouri.

She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Jos, Nigeria, an M.A. in English from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Ph.D. in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Shonekan to the University of Maryland. She brings a wealth of experience advocating for the representation of arts and humanities, driving innovation in teaching and learning, and advancing work to create an inclusive culture in her college and beyond.

I would also like to thank Dr. Bonnie Thornton Dill for her 11 years of exceptional leadership as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Her commitment to ensuring the arts and humanities are embedded in everything we do will have a transformational impact on our campus for years to come.

I would also like to thank the search committee, led by Vice President for Research Gregory Ball, for their work to identify an outstanding group of finalists.


Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost