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Students in Convocation

The Dean Team

Dean Desiree Pedescleaux

Desiree Pedescleaux, Ph.D.


Desiree Pedescleaux, Ph.D., a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern University in 1983, graduating valedictorian. She earned a Master of Arts degree and doctorate in Political Science from Yale University. A member of the Spelman College faculty since 1991, Pedescleaux serves as dean of Undergraduate Studies and is an associate professor of the political science department. She teaches courses in National Government, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, and Urban Politics. Among her publications, The Color of School Reform, co-authored with Jeffrey Henig, Richard Hula, and Marion Orr, received the Best Book Award in Urban Politics from the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (September 2000).

Active in the profession, Pedescleaux is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Urban Affairs Association, Southern Political Science Association, and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists where she served President (2007-2009). Pedescleaux is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Presidential Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching at Spelman College, Emerging Scholar (Black Issues in Higher Education, Ford Foundation Dissertation Award, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

Fun Facts: Known on campus as “Dean P,” she is the proud doggie parent to Max!  

Dean Geneva Baxter

Geneva Baxter, Ph.D.
Associate Dean


Geneva Baxter, Ph.D., is an associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies, where she assists in providing oversight for the development and implementation of academic standards, policies and programs. She works with other offices to provide academic support services for students, coordinates academic advising for first-year students, as well as identifies and coordinates academic support plans. She also facilitates the First-year Experience Program, which includes advising and collaborates with LEADS to implement the College’s first-generation student success initiative.

Baxter serves as the summer program coordinator of Leadership Alliance, a consortium of more than 30 institutions and private industry that provide research and networking experiences to over 4,000 young scholars. A member of several professional and civic organizations, Baxter received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College, Master of Arts degree in American Literature from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and her doctorate in American Literature and Rhetoric from Georgia State University.

Fun Facts: Dean Baxter collects dolls and enjoys reading, particularly slave and neo-slave narratives (specifically Frederick Douglass).

Dean DeKimberlen Neely

DeKimberlen Neely, Ph.D.
Associate Dean


DeKimberlen J. Neely, Ph.D., is an associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. She began her career at Spelman as an instructor in the psychology department. Later she served as the program coordinator for the Bridges Pre-Baccalaureate 2006 Summer Institute, held appointments in the Office of Undergraduate Studies where she served as the program coordinator for the sophomore class and program manager for the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (LEADS at Spelman College).

A counselor by training, Neely provided individual, family and group counseling in various clinical settings prior to her professional affiliation with Spelman. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Spelman College and earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 1999 and 2004, respectively.

Fun Facts: DeKimberlen, a proud Godmother of 10, loves to travel domestically and abroad, and enjoys being outside.

Stacy Washington

Stacy Washington, M.A.
Special Academic Programs Manager 


Stacy Washington, M.A., is the special academic programs manager in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. A graduate of Smith College, she also worked at Simmons College in Boston prior to joining Spelman and is passionate about women’s education. Washington serves as the academic advisor for matriculating and visiting international students as well as a pre-major advisor for first-year students. She also works as part of a team to support and improve the retention, academic performance and graduation of designated student populations, including Gates Millennium Scholars and KIPP Through College Scholars and co-chairs the Prestigious Fellowships & Scholarships Program and exchange programs.

Washington received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from NYU and earned her doctoral candidacy in American Culture, with specializations in African American History and Visual & Material Culture at the University of Michigan. Her work focuses on questions of agency and resistance, identity construction and representation of the African American experience. She also explores these themes through the production of mixed media pieces that combine photography, quilting and ceramics. She has taught courses in English composition, leadership, cultural studies and the photo essay.

Fun Facts: Stacy loves traveling, cooking and rescuing animals; she is the proud “mom” to Zane a lab-mix.

Graphic of Spelman + Kaplan Partnership

Contact Us

Office of Undergraduate Studies
350 Spelman Lane SW, Box 1349
Atlanta, GA 30314
404-270-5698 (fax)

PFS Forms

Cover Sheet & Checklist (PDF)
Faculty Mentor Form (PDF)