Donald ‘DJ Mitchell, Jr. Ph.D., vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,
DJ Mitchell, 38, serves as the inaugural vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Molloy University in Rockville Centre., joining Molloy in February 2022.
In his role, he serves as the senior diversity, equity and inclusion advisor to President James Lentini and the President’s Cabinet, the university’s senior leadership team.
He also chairs Molloy’s DEI Committee and works across the university to develop DEI initiatives, programs, and policies.
Before joining Molloy, DJ served as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer and professor of Education at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky.
As an advocate for equity, inclusion, and justice, DJ strives to leave his workplaces, communities, and those he interacts with better than he found them.
As a senior DEI officer, DJ often draws on his research and scholarship, which focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education contexts, primarily using qualitative research methods.
More specifically, his work explores race and racism, gender and sexism, and identity intersections and intersectionality within higher education contexts. With over 50 scholarly publications and counting, DJ’s research and scholarship have received national recognition.
He is the recipient of the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’s 2020 Emerging Scholar recognition; the Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference’s 2016 McGraw Hill Distinguished Scholar Award; the American College Personnel Association’s 2015 Emerging Scholar Award; and the Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association’s 2014 Dr. Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Emerging Scholarship, among other honors and awards.
A native of Portsmouth, Va., DJ earned his Ph.D. in educational policy and administration with a concentration in higher education from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities by the age of 27.
He also earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Shaw University, the first historically black college or university in the South. DJ also holds a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University and the Certified Diversity Executive credential from the Institute for Diversity Certification.
DJ is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and a member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York.
DJ is married to Dr. Jakia Marie, assistant professor of Integrative and African American Studies, and they have one son, Donald “Tre” Mitchell, III. DJ enjoys traveling with his family, watching sports, diverse foods, and Jeopardy!
DJ contributes his success to having a strong support network in his family, friends, mentors, colleagues, and students. He also contributes his success to faith, Kairos moments, keeping his head down at work, and aligning his work, purpose, and passions.