Alfred Tatum, Ph.D., is the provost and executive vice President of Academic Affairs and professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has over 18 years of higher education experience and is passionate about relationship building and inclusive leadership. He is a leading authority and one of the nation’s prominent education scholars of African American boys’ literacy development.
Tatum currently oversees academic activities throughout MSU Denver, with direct responsibility for developing, delivering and evaluating academic program policies and procedures. He is also responsible for the promotion, tenure, retention processes as well as other faculty related plans within the university.
Prior to becoming provost at MSU Denver, Tatum was the dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2013-2020 and directed the UIC Reading Clinic from 2007-2020. Also during that time, he hosted Boys College for three years aimed to advance the literacy development of Black boys in elementary school. Additionally, he led two Post-Release Education and Preparation projects for young men on intensive probation with Cook County after convincing the juvenile court judges to assign the young males to the UIC Reading Clinic instead of jail. Tatum’s most recent research project, focused on the roles of texts and writing to advance the literacy development of African American males in elementary school. His most recent scholarship focuses on moving U.S. students to advanced levels of reading, writing and intellect development across the academic disciplines.
Tatum has co-authored three books, four major reading and writing programs and 77 academic papers and publications. He authored the award-winning book, “Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap” in 2005. His second book, “Reading for Their Life: (Re) building the Textual Lineages of African American Males” was published in 2009. His third book, “Fearless Voices: Engaging a New Generation of African American Adolescent Male Writers” was published in 2013. A fourth book, “Teaching Black Boys in the Elementary Grades” is scheduled to be released by Teachers College Press in November 2021.
Tatum received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago and his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
Ann Obermann, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of social work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since 2016 she has taught courses in direct family practice, family therapy, trauma, mental health assessment, trauma interventions and child maltreatment. In addition, she enjoys training child welfare and mental health professionals on topics such as trauma, adolescent development, leadership and supervision as well as family engagement.
Obermann is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Colorado and has extensive social work practice experience working in human service management, community mental health and with at risk families and adolescents in both child welfare and mental health environments. She also managed an intensive evidence based program where she created and facilitated different trainings for online social work instructors to prepare them for socially just educational experiences. Obermann is also the coauthor of the book, “101 Careers in Social Work”.
Obermann received her Ph.D. in social work from the University of Denver in 2017, her master’s in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 and her bachelor’s in social work from St. Olaf College in 1997.
Amy Dore, Ph.D., is a professor of health care management at Metropolitan State University of Denver teaching both undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Health Professions. For more than 18 years Dore has taught courses in health disparities, human resources, practice management, research and leadership. Her expertise includes long term care/aging services, health disparities and workforce development.
Dore’s research interests are varied and include aging services, senior and caregiver health, rural health and diversity issues as well as student competency assessment and outcomes. During her academic career Dore authored and co-authored several case study responses, book chapters and original case studies. She is co-author of the textbook Cultural Learning in Healthcare: Recognizing and Navigating Difference.
Dore received her Doctor of Health Administration from Central Michigan University in 2009 and received her master’s degree in health care administration/management from the University of Denver in 2001. She received her bachelor’s in health care administration/management from the Metropolitan State University in 1996.
Michael Benitez, Ph.D., is the vice president for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a nationally acclaimed scholar practitioner and educator in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Benitez has a critical perspectives on social and cultural issues on topics related to leadership and identity development, intersectionality, race and ethnicity, knowledge production as well as critical and inclusive pedagogy/practice in higher education.
Prior to his current role at MSU Denver, Benitez served as director of diversity initiatives at Dickinson College, director of intercultural development and the black cultural center at Lafayette College, affiliate faculty in the Graduate School of Leadership and Professional Advancement at Duquesne University, director of intercultural engagement and leadership at Grinnell College, and chief diversity officer/dean of diversity and inclusion, and Title IX and EEO officer at the University of Puget Sound.
Benitez’s deep knowledge and practice of innovative equity and inclusion-based strategies has helped to address some of higher education’s more pressing campus climate issues of today, including the Diversity Monologues- a critical spoken work initiative he helped implement and shape at multiple institutions, the campus climate community participatory framework and the Northwest 5 Consortium for supporting faculty of color.
He has authored book chapters and articles on student identity, hip hop culture, cultural centers, cultural and ethnic studies, institutional research and campus climates as well as faculty development. Benitez has also been featured in educational documentaries such as “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” and has appeared on talk shows such as “Worlds Apart,” “Hard Knock Radio” and “Speak out with Tim Wise.”
Benitez received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy with a focus on social justice in higher education from Iowa State University, a master’s in counselor education and a bachelor’s in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University.