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Mr. Karl White of Boston, MA, Chair
Dr. Spurgeon McWilliams of Tallahassee,FL , Vice-Chair
Dr. Narayan Persaud of Tallahassee, FL, president of the Faculty Senate
Mr. Michael Jefferson of Indianapolis, IN, president of the FAMU Student Government Association
Mr. Torey Alston of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Member of FAMU BOT
Atty. Belinda Reed Shannon of Wake Forest, NC, Member of FAMU BOT
Mrs. Marjorie Turnbull of Tallahassee, FL, Member FAMU BOT
Mr. Tommy L. Mitchell, Sr. of Tallahassee, FL, president of the FAMU National Alumni Association
Dr. Manoj Chopra of Orlando, FL, member of the SUS Board of Governors
Dr. Solomon L. Badger, III of Jacksonville, FL, chairman of BOT ex officio member
Karl E. White is the managing principal of Gracián & Co., a boutique advisory and consulting firm specializing in the hedge fund and private equity industries. He was previously appointed to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees where he served as vice chairman of the board and chairman of several committees. He received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Florida A&M University and received an MBA from the University of Chicago. His previous experience includes service as executive director of the MBTA Retirement Fund, Pension Fund and he has also held investment management positions with Putnam Investments, Scudder Kemper and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Spurgeon McWilliams has maintained a private practice in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology in Tallahassee since 1975. He has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Tallahassee Community College Board of Trustees. McWilliams was the first state consultant to the Florida Medicaid Program. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society since 1966. In 2002-2003 he served as president of the Florida Obstetric and Gynecologic Society and simultaneously served as president of the Florida State Medical Association. McWilliams earned a bachelor’s degree from FAMU, and graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Torey L. Alston serves as Chief of Staff to Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief. He previously served as executive director for Florida's Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) and interim executive director for the state's Council on Efficient Government. In 2009, he served as vice-chair of the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. Alston, a FAMU graduate, received his bachelor’s degree and an MBA with a concentration in marketing and management. While at FAMU, he served in various roles including class president (two terms), student senator and president of the FAMU Student National Alumni Association. Alston is a life member of the NAACP and the FAMU National Alumni Association. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Tommy Mitchell, Sr., is president of the FAMU National Alumni Association. This organization is a group of dedicated Rattlers who joined together to celebrate their alma mater. He is one of FAMU’s most notable graduates in the Class of 1961, spending three years as a member of the internationally renowned Harlem Globetrotters. He has served as director of the Alumni Affairs Office and served 17 years as the director of the Black Male College Explorers Program at FAMU. He was the founding member and past president of the 100 Black Men of Tallahassee. He was the former president (1988-1991) of the Council of National Alumni Associations, a national organization of HBCU Alumni Associations. Although he is a retired educator, currently, he serves as a student case specialist for the Leon County School District at the Second Chance School located in Tallahassee.
Narayan Persaud is professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Florida A&M University (FAMU). He received his education at the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico, Ohio University, Kent State University and Florida State University. Prior to joining the faculty at FAMU, he taught at the University of Guyana and the University of the Virgin Islands. He also served as a senior policy analyst with Florida’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability, and as the higher education analyst with the Florida Senate. From 1996-2004, he served as director of FAMU’s Juvenile Justice Role Model Development Program, and he is a founding advisor for the Progressive Black Men on campus. Currently, Persaud serves as president of the FAMU Faculty Senate.
Belinda Reed Shannon serves as vice president of compliance, EEO, diversity and employee relations for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). She is based in GSK’s Research Triangle Park, North American headquarters. In her current role, Shannon leads the company’s efforts in the areas of employment compliance, employee relations, diversity and inclusion, and other EEO-related matters. Previously, Shannon managed all U.S. based employment litigation for GSK. As in-house counsel, she provided strategic employment advice and counsel to the company’s executives for matters related to employee conduct and performance, internal investigations, restructurings and reductions in force, and human resources processes and communications. Shannon served as chair of the GSK Legal Functions Global Diversity Steering Committee. Shannon belongs to a number of professional and civic organizations and is a founding member of the Next Generation of African-American Philanthropists. She is a Florida A&M University graduate with a degree in marketing and a MBA. She earned her juris doctor from Wayne State University Law School.
Marjorie Turnbull is a consultant specializing in working with non- profit organizations in the areas of board and staff development and fund raising. Turnbull previously worked with Penson Associates, Inc. as a specialist associate. Turnbull chairs the Community Advisory Committee of the Knight Foundation as well as a founding director of the Prime Meridian Bank and serves on the institutional review board of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. She was recently awarded the Lifetime Leadership Award by Leadership Tallahassee. Turnbull received her master’s degree in international relations from the University of Georgia, a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Florida, and an associate of arts degree from Agnes Scott College.
Dr. Manoj Chopra currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates of Florida and represents the statewide university faculty as a member of the Board of Governors. He is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida. He received his PhD and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and his BE (Honors) in civil engineering from India. He joined the University of Central Florida in 1993 as an Assistant Professor. He served as the Chair of the UCF Faculty Senate from 2005 to 2009 and was a member of the UCF Board of Trustees.
Michael Jefferson is the president of the Student Government Association (SGA) at Florida A&M University. Originally from Indianapolis, Ind., he is a graduating senior majoring in environmental sciences. He has served as the vice president of SGA, 2012-2013; SGA chief of staff, 2010-2011; SGA secretary of Academic Affairs and the 2011-2012 president of the Presidential Ambassadors. He is a 2009 Life-Gets-Better Scholar and a member of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He is the son of Michael Sr. and Tammie Jefferson and a proud big brother to three sisters: Mikailah, Mikiyah and Miyah Jefferson.
Solomon L. Badger, Ed.D., a retired educator, currently serves as chairman of the FAMU BOT. During his career he worked as a community college counselor, campus dean of Student Affairs and District Dean of Student Affairs. He has also served as an adjunct professor for graduate research at Nova Southeastern University and as a professor in the School of Teacher Education at Edward Waters College. In 2003, Badger was selected by the Florida Supreme Court from a list of three candidates to fill one of two seats reserved for public members on the Florida Bar Board of Governors. After completing an enlistment in the United States Air Force he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from FAMU in 1963 and 1969, respectively. In 1975 he earned a doctorate in Higher Education/Behavioral Studies from Nova Southeastern University. He lives in Jacksonville, Fla.