Barbee Oakes

Dr. Barbee Oakes, assistant provost for diversity and inclusion at Wake Forest University, knows that “formulating strategies to decrease attrition among underrepresented students can be an elusive target.” But as the architect of Wake Forest University’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion, Oakes has made the work of fostering and maintaining cultural competence on campus a shared experience among faculty, staff and students. Oakes, who has the distinction of being the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in the American College of Sports Medicine, also is using principles of exercise physiology and nutrition to undergird many of the university’s strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives. Oakes also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wake Forest.