Makola Mjasiri Abdullah, The 14th President of Virginia State University

Makola Mjasiri Abdullah the 14th President of Virginia State University
Makola Mjasiri Abdullah


Makola Mjasiri Abdullah, an internationally famous academic administrator and engineer, was born Makola Packard on June 22, 1969, in Chicago, Illinois, to Richard Howard Packard, a University of Chicago graduate, and Samella Abdullah, a clinical psychologist who graduated from Howard University.


Abdullah graduated from Lake Forest Academy, a residential school in Lake Forest, Illinois, in 1986. He then attended Howard University’s School of Engineering, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1990. Abdullah received his Master of Science in civil engineering in 1991, followed by his Doctor of Philosophy in engineering from Northwestern University in 1994.

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Abdullah married environmental scientist Ahkinyala Cobb on December 3, 1996, in Chicago, and the couple has a son, Mikaili, and a daughter, Sefiyetu.

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Abdullah taught Civil Engineering at Florida A&M University/Florida State University College of Engineering from 1997 to 2007. He was one of the authors of the scientific article “Placement of wind turbines using genetic algorithms,” which was published in Renewable Energy in 2005.

Abdullah served as Associate Vice President for Research at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee from 2005 to 2008. He was the institution’s dean and director of land grant programs from 2008 to 2011. During this time, he was inducted into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Graduate Chapter.

From 2011 to 2013, he was also provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. Abdullah was provost and senior vice president at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, from 2013 to 2016.

In 2016, Abdullah was appointed as the 14th President of Virginia State University. He joined the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ Board of Trustees in 2017. (SACSCOC). Abdullah was named HBCU Male President of the Year in 2017 and was inducted into the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Alumni Hall of Fame the same year.

Makola Mjasiri Abdullah, a dynamic fundraiser, has supported research funded by the US Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He is also one of the architects of the Academic Excellence Center at Virginia State University’s library. During his tenure, Virginia State’s graduate and undergraduate enrollment increased from 4,694 to 6,208 students.


Written by How Africa News

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