She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is upon her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
What does Women's History Month mean to you?
Women's History Month is a time of reflection, a time to pause and celebrate the contributions of women to our communities and society as a whole. As a woman, I am proud of the ability to look up to brave women who break barriers every day. Equally, I am proud to serve as a mentor to young women as they explore their purpose in life. Being a woman provides so many relational roles (mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend, aunt, godmother, grandmother) that specifically impact the lives of those we bond and connect with. This month is a time to reflect on the “sheros” that impact our forward movement. From the icons like Mary McLeod Bethune who changed the trajectory of higher education on her faith, to watching my oldest sister Dr. Mia Ben, who is the first African American female pediatrician from our hometown, to seeing young ladies on an HBCU campus take their rightful place as queens, women have shaped the course of our lives from the beginning of time. This month is a time of pride, celebration, remembrance, and honor.
Dr. Pernella Rowena Deams is an academic administrator, currently serving in the role of Interim Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. She previously served in the role of Dean of Student Leadership, Conduct, and Health at Kentucky State University. Additional administrative experience includes 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 dual 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 Certification in Post-Crisis Leadership through the University of South Florida, Muma College of Business and the Women In Education Leadership Program through the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Pernella Deams is a Fellow of the Iota Cohort of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, Leadership Institute and an Academic Leadership Academy Fellow of the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
Dr. Deams engages in many areas of academic service; she previously served as a Tennessee Board of Regents Academic Auditor. Deams currently serves as a SACSCOC evaluator and also served as a member of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Substantive Change, representing all colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
With a background as a two-time Historically Black College and University 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: Kentucky State University Division of Student Engagement and Campus Life, Shining Star of the Semester (2019), Southern University Alumni Federation, Forty Under 40 Award (2019), 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. She is originally from Napoleonville, Louisiana and has been a member of Living Truth Christian Center in Smyrna, Tennessee since 2003. She is the daughter of Lorraine Lang Singleton and the Late Joseph Singleton, Jr. Together with her husband, Dr. Verontae L. Deams they are raising their four children Kyra Milan-Elizabeth, Micah Isaiah-LaJon, Rhien Matthew-Reese, and Lauryn Elise-Michal.