B. Afeni McNeely Cobham PhD

Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer / Executive Director Woodrick Center
B. Afeni McNeely Cobham
(616) 234-3390
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, a native of East New York, Brooklyn, has worked in higher education for twenty-eight years as a faculty member, administrator, and consultant.

In the fall of 2018, she joined Grand Rapids Community College as the inaugural Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. In this role, Dr. McNeely Cobham works with students, faculty, staff, and community members to embed principles of diversity and social justice into the bedrock of the institution.

An accomplished Student Affairs scholar-practitioner, Dr. McNeely Cobham has served in a myriad of roles in athletics, Greek life, housing and residential life, career services, student activities, leadership development, academic advising, student conduct, Title IX, and enrollment management.

Afeni earned a B.A. in Communications (Radio/TV/Film) from Marist College, an M.Ed. in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Georgia, and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University (IU). Most notable about her tenure at IU was making history as the first recipient of the Master of Arts degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies.

Dr. McNeely Cobham's research interests examine race, identity, and culture in American higher education, identity development of college students, and the influence of Hip Hop culture and music in socio-political thought. Her most recent study, “Sisters Rap the Blues: Examining the Perceived Impact of Rap Music on Black Women College Students,” addresses the impact of popular culture on college-age students. Additionally, Afeni’s published work is included in the New Directions for Student Services volume Responding to the Realities of Race on Campus; the first edition of Multiculturalism on Campus: Theory, Models, and Practices for Understanding Diversity and Creating Inclusion; and the NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education.

Dr. MC, a moniker bestowed upon her by students, also co-authored an online textbook titled The Struggle Continues: Historical & Contemporary Issues in Africana Studies.

Afeni is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and the Order of Eastern Star.