Dr. Donna J. Nicol is a Professor and Chair of Africana Studies at California State University Dominguez Hills.  Dr. Nicol joined the faculty at CSUDH in Fall 2017 after a decade in the Women and Gender Studies Department at California State University Fullerton where she became the first woman of color to be granted tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2014. She is the recipient of the 2021 Faculty Excellence in Service Award at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Before joining the professoriate, Dr. Nicol spent seven years in higher education administration as a Program Coordinator, Program Manager and Director along with three years as a secondary social studies and language arts teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District.

Dr. Nicol is a proud alumna of California State University Fullerton (BA, History and African American Studies, 1995) and California State University Long Beach (MA, History, 1999) and The Ohio State University (MA, Higher Education Administration, 2002 and Ph.D., History and Philosophy of Education with specialization in the history of African American higher education, 2007).   Dr. Nicol’s research and teaching centers on history and politics of African American educational access with a focus on philanthropic foundations, university trustee boards, and African American women as faculty and university administrators.

Dr. Nicol is a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, a life member of the Association of Black Women Historians, member of the California Faculty Association, social action committee chair of the Lambda Rho Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, President/CEO of the Faith, Hope and Trust Foundation, Inc. and a member of the Harbor Area (CA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

In her spare time, Dr. Nicol enjoys taking hip hop dance classes, cooking, debating politics and traveling with her husband.