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Detmer “DJ” Wells

DJ Wells has always been one to wear many hats, and to be involved in several activities and causes at any given time. Currently, Wells is the Interim Executive Director of the Urban Health Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, an educational pipeline program that works to prepare, recruit, support and graduate traditionally underrepresented minority students in the health professions. Wells works tirelessly and fearlessly for the mission of the Urban Health Program, and for the improvement of processes and opportunities that enhance the conditions for students of color. He also works as an adjunct faculty member at Governors State University where he teaches writing, research, and media theory classes.

Wells prides himself as a staunch and active advocate on behalf of traditionally underrepresented minorities, serving in key leadership roles of several advocacy groups such as the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE), the Illinois African American and Latino Higher Education Alliance (IALHEA), the Illinois Council for College Attendance (ICCA), and UIC’s Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks (CCSB) of which he was co-chair from 2007 to 2011.

Wells is also an award-winning media producer. He has been a production coordinator on national telecasts of the NAACP Image Awards; producer of nationally syndicated radio commentaries by Rev. Jesse Jackson and former NAACP President Dr. Benjamin Hooks; producer and host of the Chicago Urban League’s radio talk show Update Urban Chicago. Wells has written, produced and directed several corporate/organizational videos including the award-winning Equity and Excellence: The Call for Fair Funding of Illinois Public Schools. Wells played a lead role in the production of IALHEA’s highly regarded documentary, Storming the Gates: The Struggle for Access to Higher Education in Illinois which commemorates the accomplishments of minority pioneers in higher education.

Wells earned his Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television and Film from Northwestern University, his Masters in Media Communications from Governors State University, and is currently working on his Doctorate in Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. He met his wife Pamela while in high school. They have been married for 22 years and have three wonderful children.