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DR. PERNELLA DEAMS


What does it mean to be a Southernite?

Southern University has molded a desire within me for life-long learning; I am honored to be product of an environment that nurtures scholarship.

Dr. Pernella's Bio:

Dr. Pernella Rowena Deams is an academic administrator, currently serving in the role of Dean of Student Leadership, Conduct, and Health at Kentucky State University. She previously served in the role of Department Chair/Associate Professor of Psychology at Talladega College, in Talladega, Alabama and Department Head/Associate Professor of Sociology & Psychology at Grambling State University, in Grambling, Louisiana. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge), completing Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Sociology. Her Master of Science degree was completed in the CACREP-Accredited Program in Counseling Psychology at University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg). Dr. Deams earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in the APA-Accredited Program in Counseling Psychology at Tennessee State University (Nashville).


Her clinical education includes internships at Vanderbilt University Psychological and Counseling Center, Vanderbilt Adult Psychiatry Center, and University of Memphis Center for Counseling, Learning, and Testing. As a life-long learner, she recently completed the Women In Education Leadership Program through the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE)/American Council on Education (ACE) endorsed Certification in Effective College Instruction, with a concentration in Career Guidance and Readiness, and participated in the New York University Faculty Resource Network Summer Seminar, Violent Energies: Extractivism and Women’s Struggles in the Americas. Pernella Deams is a Fellow of the Iota Cohort of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, Leadership Institute.


Dr. Deams is a three-time recipient of the Morehouse School of Medicine HBCU Center For Excellence Sub-Award Grant and has completed projects with student-led teams, focusing on enhancing behavioral health services. She is also a four-time recipient of SAMHSA planning grants, addressing underage drinking. Deams also served on the writing team for the Career Pathway Initiative Grant, in which Talladega College was awarded 1.25 million dollars. Dr. Deams engages in many areas of academic service; she previously served as a Tennessee Board of Regents Academic Auditor and currently serves as a SACSCOC Evaluator.


With a background as a two-time HBCU graduate, Dr. Deams is drawn to serving within the HBCU Community and supporting the professional development of HBCU students. Deams considers herself to be an HBCU “Enthusiast-Advocate”; she is passionate about student mentorship and encouraging students to pursue graduate school. Professional accolades include: Talladega College Student Choice Award–Favorite Professor (2019), Grambling State University Certificate of Excellence in Research Mentorship (2014), and Nashville State Community College Professional Service Award (2013). Pernella Deams was initiated in the Alpha Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Deams is originally from Napoleonville, Louisiana and together with her husband, Dr. Verontae L. Deams they are raising their four children Kyra, Micah, Rhien, and Lauryn in Smyrna, Tennessee.

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