Angelia Brooks, business and operations manager for Samford’s School of the Arts, is a big believer in the power of mentorship for Black students. While her primary role at Samford assists with finance, accounting and business strategy, Brooks has quickly become a leader in facilitating conversations on how the School of the Arts can improve its environment for Black students, faculty and staff. Her commitment to the work extends beyond campus as National Executive Director of the National Association of African American Honors Programs (NAAAHP).
“I, faculty, staff, and every stakeholder must expose all students of all backgrounds with diverse ethnic backgrounds and social-economic levels to have a quality education. I believe students deserve a sense of belonging at any institution of higher learning. Students who have a sense of belonging will become more connected and more committed post-graduation. They can then become mentors to others. I am a mentor to others,” Brooks said.
As part of this work at Samford, Brooks facilitated town hall discussions with students, faculty and staff and is assisting with shaping meaningful change. Dean of the School of the Arts Joe Hopkins noted her impact, “Angie Brooks has been a tremendous gift to the School of the Arts. Her professional acumen is helping us navigate one of the most challenging financial environments in our history. Even more important, Angie has been a powerful leader through these complicated days, guiding with gentle spirit and steadfast faith to mentor our people, build community, and share Christ.”
Brooks joined Samford in the spring of 2019 after working in both higher education and banking. Along with her extensive responsibilities with the School of the Arts, she maintains an active role in the NAAAHP as the National Executive Director. She initially served as treasurer in 2015, 2016 and then became the first National Executive Director in 2017. Brooks said that her students at Miles College encouraged her to take on a leadership role in the organization. After a short break to focus on her Ph.D., she returned to this role in 2019 which she continues to hold today. As Executive Director, she mentors students, assists with policy decisions and facilitates plans for the annual conference. She is passionate about staying engaged with students throughout the year and so she developed a podcast entitled "The Honors Talk."
Brooks said, “This organization is not just for HBCUs but is available to Samford and other institutions. We have partnered with the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and have non-HBCUs as institutional members. It is essential to know that Samford University is represented at the conferences and connected to this organization through me and any other person who attended Samford. We have access to the knowledge shared by the organization and its constituents.”
She holds her MBA and Masters of Accountancy from Samford and her Bachelor’s in Accounting from Miles College and is currently working on her Ph.D. in management with a specialization in finance at Walden University. Her study involves earnings management and the diversity of private Historically and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).