N.C. A&T Names Ongeri Dean of Hairston College

By Jackie Torok / 06/28/2022 Academic Affairs

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 28, 2022) – Following a national search, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has named Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Ph.D., dean of the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences, effective July 1.

Elimelda Moige OngeriOngeri, who has served in the position on an interim basis since Oct. 1, 2021, previously was the Hairston College’s associate dean for research and innovation beginning in January 2020 and has been a professor of physiology in the college’s Department of Kinesiology.

As Hairston College dean, Ongeri will oversee 10 undergraduate degrees, the School of Nursing, and Joint Master and Ph.D. programs in social work with the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Prior to joining the Hairston College, Ongeri was in the Department of Biology at the College of Science and Technology (COST) where she started as assistant professor in 2010 and rose through the ranks to full professor in 2017.

“Dr. Ongeri has been an instrumental leader for the Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences as interim dean, said Tonya Smith-Jackson, Ph.D., interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We are excited for her well-deserved appointment to dean as she exhibits excellence in supporting the development of key grants, identifying external funding, all while maintaining a profound commitment to student success. We look forward to her continued contributions to the success of the Hairston College and university.”

Since 2019, Ongeri has served as a co-director of the North Carolina Regional Diabetes Research Center (NCDRC) – a consortium made up of N.C. A&T, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest School of Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – and director of the NCDRC Enrichment/Community Engagement Core. The NIH awarded the NCDRC $5.7 million for their work in 2020, as well as an additional $250,000 in 2021 to leverage expertise in diabetes and metabolism at the NCDRC to better understand Alzheimer’s disease.

Ongeri has received uninterrupted NIH grant funding for her research since 2012. Under its Maximizing Investigator Research Award mechanism, the NIH last year awarded Ongeri $1.74 million research grant to study diabetic kidney disease. .

Among the accolades Ongeri has received in recent years are the Minority Access Faculty Researcher National Role Model Award, COST Interdisciplinary Research Team Award, COST Outstanding Senior Researcher Award, NIH National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease/Network of Minority Health Research Investigators Outstanding Translational Science Research Award, and American Society of Nephrology Travel Award.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean for the Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences,” said Ongeri. “I look forward to working with the college leadership to implement student success initiatives to ensure that we produce well-prepared graduates in all our degree programs. I am passionate about enhancing the research capabilities for the college and building partnerships with stakeholders to advance research that addresses health inequities and promotes the overall wellbeing of diverse communities in the state of North Carolina.”

Ongeri is affiliated with The Kidney Center and the North Carolina Nutrition Research Center, both at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a member of the American Society of Nephrology and of Women in Nephrology; a trainee mentor for the renal section of the American Physiological Society; treasurer and board member of the Mentoring Network for African Women in Academia; governing advisory board member of the Kenya Scholars and Studies Association; and oversight committee member, mentor and proposal reviewer for junior faculty in the Network of Minority Health Research Investigators.

Before joining A&T, Ongeri was a research associate and assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biology at Harrisburg Area Community College.

Ongeri received her B.S. in animal production from Egerton University, M.S. in comparative mammalian physiology from the University of Nairobi, M.S. in basic medical sciences and Ph.D. in animal physiology, both from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training from Penn State College of Medicine.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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