CCSB Leadership

Clara Okorie-Awé
CCSB Chair
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Clara Okorie-Awé is the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Systems, Outcomes and Policy (PSOP), Director of the Urban Pharmacy (UPHARM) Services Program, and the Director of the Urban Health Program (UHP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), College of Pharmacy (COP). Dr. Awe oversees the COP diversity and inclusion strategic directions, and chairs the College’s Diversity Strategic Thinking and Planning Committee. As the Director of UHP, she has increased the number of underrepresented minority (URMs) students in the college and developed a successful high school Urban Pipeline Program model for attracting URM students into pharmacy.

She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and M.Sc. in Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Administration from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and a Masters in Online Teaching from Illinois Online Network in Urbana Champaign. She has a certificate from the Harvard Management Development Institute, sponsored by Harvard School of Education.

Dr. Awé, has an active teaching and research agenda. Her research agenda focuses on major policy issues in higher education: student access and success, impact of college on students, specifically identifying and understanding factors that enable or inhibit the success of historically underrepresented minority/vulnerable students in graduate and professional education, equity and diversity issues, health disparities, and minority faculty socialization processes in research universities.

Dr. Awé’s many honors include recognition as UIC Woman of the Year in 2001, Outstanding Leadership in Higher Education for Excellence in Leadership and Mentoring from the Association of Black Women in Higher Education in 2008, and in 2012, was recognized on “Who is Who” in Black America. She serves on several campus and college committees, and national higher education associations.

It is an honor to serve as one of co-chairs for the Chancellors Committee on the Status of Blacks (CCSB) at UIC. It is my determination to work collaboratively with members so that we can effectively capitalize on UIC’s intellectual resources and member expertise to advise the Chancellor and Vice-Provost for Diversity with credible responses to policy issues, problem of practice, and equity issues that affect the recruitment, enrollment, retention that affect post secondary systems, UIC, students, faculty and staff.



Tarri_Stricklandv2Tarri Strickland
CCSB Co-Chair
Program Director for Javon’s Gift Foundation (JGF)
Urban Health Program
Academic Skills Specialist

CCSB would like to extend a warm welcome to new Co-Chair Tarri Strickland and to thank her for generously taking on this leadership role. Co-Chair Strickland’s 10-years with the University of Illinois and her current Academic Skills Specialist position has helped her to recruit, train, and educate hundreds of underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students, specifically African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans in the health professions and to expand educational opportunities for these populations at the pre-college (K-12), undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels.

Co-Chair Strickland serves as Leadership Partner Representative for the UIC Urban Health Program. She is also co-founder and Program Director for Javon’s Gift Foundation (JGF). JGF is a non-profit advocacy organization, based in Lake County, Illinois with the mission to improve the quality of life for people with Sickle Cell Anemia. The JGF accomplishes its mission by advocating for improved access to care and by educating the community about the importance of diagnosis, early and innovative medical intervention, long-term lifestyle improvement, and therapeutic compliance.

Promotes and supports Black faculty and post docs creating mentoring, networking, and creating a climate of scholarly camaraderie. Through workshops and roundtable discussions providing information regarding, promotion and tenure, research and publishing, and career opportunity.

Monitors conditions and services that affect the recruitment, employment, and retention trends of career academic professional and civil service staff. Reviews and makes recommendations regarding development and succession goals of staff personnel by under taking projects and workshops that are aimed at improving the quality of life on campus for employees. Helps establish mechanisms to foster mentee-mentor relationships, provide information and foster equitable treatment of Black staff on campus.

Compiles CCSB program plan, relevant data on the population of Blacks at UIC, and advises and makes recommendations regarding pratices, policies, and procedures affectung this constituency.

Focuses on recruitment, admission, retention, and graduation trends, evaluates condition and services that affect the attainment of the educational and leadership development goals, undertakes projects, improving quality of student life on campus.

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