These dedicated individuals keep us on track.
Stacia Solomon (she/her/hers), Interim Director
A native of Charlotte, Stacia earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management & Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following a short career in the banking industry, Stacia became a K-12 educator before attending North Carolina State University where she earned her M.Ed. in Counseling with a concentration in College Student Development. She is currently pursuing her EdD in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University.
Prior to joining Duke University in the fall of 2019, Stacia started her career in University Housing at North Carolina State University before joining the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs as the Assistant Director for African American Affairs. After a relocation to the west coast, Stacia continued to serve historically underrepresented students at the University of California San Diego as a Student Development Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. This role focused on graduate students pursing PhDs in STEM fields with an emphasis on pursuing faculty roles in the academy. Stacia’s experience with the federal grant, funded the GEAR-UP program serving diverse students in the Inland Empire of Southern California was foundational for bridging the gap between high school and college. In 2013, Stacia returned to the University of California San Diego serving as the inaugural director of the Black Resource Center, a campus community center which centered the Black experience for undergraduate and graduate students at UC San Diego. Within this role, Stacia was able to develop, lead, and implement data-driven initiatives geared toward student recruitment, retention, and success through a variety of programs, events, resources, and collaborations.
Committed to the success of the whole person, Stacia is passionate about helping students to get to know themselves and utilize the resources around them so that they can make informed decisions about their futures.
When she’s not helping students, Stacia enjoys traveling, collecting Trader Joe’s shopping bags, exploring different cuisines, and spending time with her family.
Duke Trainings Stacia has completed:
- Duke P.R.I.D.E.
- Mental Health First Aid
- Ramadan 2023
Samaiyah Faison(She/Her/Hers), Assistant Director
Samaiyah Faison spent most of her childhood in the Bay Area of Northern California in a city called Cupertino. She has been residing in Raleigh, NC where she obtained her Bachelors in Social work with a minor in Women’s Studies. Samaiyah Faison has been an important part of the Duke Student Affairs community for five years. She is very passionate and excited about working with students. She enjoys working with students and providing mentorship, a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. It was this passion for working with students that made her work on Black Muslim Talk Space and Friendsgiving some of the most enjoyable times.
Samaiyah has many years of experience in case management working with children with developmental delays and mental health issues both in Durham County and the Five counties of northern North Carolina such as Vance County, Warren County to name a few. She has a bachelors in social work and is looking to pursue her Master’s degree very soon. Samaiyah is wife, a mother to a beautiful daughter and a Gigi to her granddaughter who is always teaching her to value the beauty of life.
ChaNiyha Alston (She/Her/Hers), Staff Specialist
ChaNiyha is a 2022 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Sociology minoring in Education. She comes to Duke most recently from Henderson Collegiate where she taught second grade Guided Reading. Originally from Warrenton, NC, identifying as a first-generation graduate she is passionate about providing support and guidance to students who come from similar backgrounds and is excited to join the Mary Lou team. In her free time, she enjoys freelance makeup and scrolling on TikTok.
Mikala King(She/Her/Hers), Marketing and Communications Fellow
Mikala is a Durham native and grew up as a Duke Blue Devil fan. As a 2021 graduate of UNC Greensboro with a BA in Communication Studies, Mikala supports the marketing and communication efforts for all programming at The Lou. Mikala is passionate about creating meaningful relationships and safe spaces for all individuals. She takes pride in utilizing effective communication to better understand individuals as well as exhibit exceptional customer service, hospitality, and inclusivity.
As an undergraduate, Mikala was a student leader serving as a Resident Advisor, Campus Tour Guide, Orientation Leader, Residential Senator for Student Government Association, and Community Service Chair for the Psi Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi the Professional Business Fraternity.
Outside of work, Mikala enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, and listening to music.
Undergraduate & Graduate and Professional Students
The Abele Ambassadors are undergraduate, graduate and/or professional students who work in our office, to complete front desk tasks, answer the phone, manage social media, design marketing materials, help install gallery exhibits, assist with special projects and PROMOTE the work of the Center by serving as Ambassadors, Interns or Fellows. These are part-time, paid positions working at least 5-10 hours per week. Student status is required. Federal or Duke work-study is preferred. The ambassadors have outgoing/engaging personality, strong organizational skills, demonstrated teamwork and leadership skills, computer literacy, office skills, creativity and an interest in Black People, Culture, History and the myriad of contributions we have made and are making at Duke and in the world.