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Administrative Profiles

The Graduate School administration is committed to scholarship and student success.

Dr. Dana A. Williams

Dana A. Williams, Ph.D. 

Dean, Graduate School

A specialist in contemporary African American Literature, Dana A. Williams earned her B.A. in English from Grambling State University in Grambling, LA in 1993, her M.A. in 1995 from Howard University, and her Ph.D. in African American Literature from Howard University in 1998. As a recipient of the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar award in 1999, she was a visiting research fellow at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she completed extensive research on her dissertation author Leon Forrest. Before returning to Howard as a faculty member in 2003, Dr. Williams taught at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge for four years. In 2008-09, she was a faculty fellow at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, and she assumed chairmanship of Howard's department in 2009. In 2019, she was named Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

In addition to an annotated bibliography, Contemporary African American Female Playwrights: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood, 1999) which she completed as her M.A. thesis at Howard, Dr. Williams has co-edited August Wilson and Black Aesthetics (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2004) with Dr. Sandra G. Shannon, edited African American Humor, Irony, and Satire: Ishmael Reed, Satirically Speaking (Cambridge Scholars, 2007), Conversations with Leon Forrest (UP of Mississippi, 2007), and Contemporary African American Fiction: New Critical Essays (Ohio State UP, 2009).  She is also the author of the first and only book-length study on Leon Forest, In the Light of Likeness--Transformed: The Literary Art of Leon Forrest (Ohio State UP, 2005).

In addition to her book projects, Dr. Williams has published articles in CLA JournalAfrican American ReviewBulletin of BibliographyLangston Hughes ReviewZora Neale Hurston ForumStudies in American FictionInternational Journal of the Humanities, and Profession. She is the past president of the Association of the Departments of English Executive Committee, former chair of the Black American Literature and Culture Forum for the Modern Languages Association, past president of the College Language Association--the oldest and largest professional organization for faculty of color who teach languages and literatures--president of the Toni Morrison Society, and a member of the executive council of the Modern Languages Association. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated her to be a member of the National Humanities Council, and she is the recipient a range of grant awards. 


Dr. Constance EllisonConstance Ellison, Ph.D. 

Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School

Dr. Constance M. Ellison earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University and a Master’s of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in Development Psychology from Howard University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Applied Developmental Psychology program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Ellison is Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Graduate School and Professor of Educational Psychology.  She has served the University in the capacities of Interim Vice President for Student Affairs; Associate Dean for Educational and Research Affairs in the Graduate School; Executive Director for the Office of Grants Management in the Office of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer; and as Interim Associate Vice President for Regulatory and Research Compliance. In addition, Dr. Ellison served for a number of years as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Human Development and Psychoeducational Studies and Assistant Dean in the School of Education. She also was a Project Director at the Center for the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) at Howard University. She has published numerous refereed articles and book chapters on educational issues pertaining to African-American children.

Currently as Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Dr. Ellison provides leadership on graduate education matters across campus for graduate programs administered by the Graduate School. She provides leadership, as well as guidance and oversight of all graduate programs in the Graduate School She manages the overall quality of student life at Howard University for graduate students. Dr. Ellison participates in developing policies and procedures that guide graduate student life and activities and support services that assist students to reach their educational and professional goals.

As a Professor of Educational Psychology, Dr. Ellison continues to teach courses in the areas of cognition and learning. Her research interest is examines the association between reflective teacher practice and collective teacher efficacy in enhancing school climate and student achievement outcomes.  

From radio technology to quantum materials

Dr. Gary Harris at TEDx 2015.