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Dr. Shakeer Abdullah

Shakeer's Story

Dr. Shakeer Abdullah is the Founder and Lead Consultant for Practical Diversity Associates, a full-service leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging firm established in 2011.   He spent more than 20 years in Higher Education and worked at nearly every level in that field.  He supervised more than 40 staff and has served in senior leadership roles for the past decade.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University, his M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in the Administration of Higher Education from Auburn University. He also earned an Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate from Capital University Law School.  His education includes extensive international study including travel to Lumbadzi, Malawi and participation in programs at the University of Cairo (Cairo, Egypt) and Lancaster University (Lancaster, England).


From August of 2018 to February 2022, Dr. Abdullah served as the Vice President of Student Affairs at a public university where he was the chief student affairs officer and advisor to the President on all matters pertaining to student life. He worked to build strong partnerships across campus and in the local community; identify and implement innovative approaches to addressing student needs including learning outcomes; collect, analyze, and share data to support new and existing programs; and actively promote a welcoming environment for all students, staff, faculty, and community members from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Reporting directly to the President and providing leadership and strategic direction for all student affairs units including Campus Life, Campus Information and Visitor Services, Career Services; Counseling and Psychological Services, Community Standards, Dean of Students Office, Disability Resource Center, Housing and Residence Life, Recreation and Wellness, Veterans Resource Center, University Health Services, the Student Affairs business Office; and Student Affairs auxiliary operations including on-campus housing and the Student Activities Center.


From December 2013 to June 2018 he served as the Assistant Vice President for Equity and Diversity. In this position he supported the Chief Diversity Officer and provided vision and guidance to the student-driven units while offering a creative voice on pre-college access, recruitment, retention, academic success, and graduation. In addition to those duties, he also offered a commitment to our campus relations, community initiatives, external relations, alumni development, and fundraising.


From 2008 to 2013, Dr. Abdullah served as director of a Multicultural Center and taught part-time. As the Director, he was responsible for the programming, operations, and management of the Multicultural Center and he also advised its various student organizations. In addition to his work in the Center, Dr. Abdullah also taught courses at Auburn, served on a number of campus committees, and has hosted a national conference.


Previously, Dr. Abdullah served as the director of Student Affairs and Multicultural Affairs and as a program coordinator and as an admission counselor at Wittenberg.


An emerging scholar-practitioner, Dr. Abdullah has published in the area of multicultural competence and remains an active national presenter, consultant, and trainer. He has written a 2012 book entitled Baptism by Fire: An Investigation of the Experiences and Multicultural Competence of Diversity Staff in Higher Education (Lambert Academic Publishing). 


Originally from Canton, Ohio, his hobbies include attending live musical events, watching movies, reading, maintaining an active lifestyle, and traveling. He has traveled to more than 15 countries and looks forward to visiting even more. Shakeer and his wife Alida are the proud parents of two sons, Josiah and Jibril and two daughters Ameena and Surayyah.

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