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Ernest L. Brothers is a native of Greenville, MS. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Delta State University and a Master of Science in Natural Sciences from Delta State University. In addition to those degrees, Brothers has also earned a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Mississippi State University and a PhD from Jackson State University in urban higher education.
Brothers currently serves as an associate dean in the Graduate School and director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Professional Excellence. He has served as the associate director for diversity enhancement for the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and is an adjunct assistant professor of political science. His career has spanned over 24 years advocating for the recruitment, retention, and graduation of historically underrepresented students with graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Before arriving at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, he served as the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (PSLSAMP) executive director at the University of Georgia. During his tenure in Mississippi, Brothers served as the Louis Stokes Mississippi Alliance for Minority Participation (LSMAMP) site coordinator/assistant professor of chemistry at Delta State University. He also worked at the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory as an herbicide/pesticide residue chemist and a laboratory project director for the Analytical Food Safety Laboratory (ASFSL), located in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University.
Brothers’ research interests are the following: retention of underrepresented minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at majority institutions, managing diversity, generational diversity, network mentoring, and cross-culture mentoring. His most recent presentations have been A Conversation on Mentoring, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Auburn University, 2023; Building a Robust Culture of Research Mentor and Mentee Training on Your Campus, at the Council of Graduate Schools, Denver, CO 2017; and How Generational Diversity Can Influence Graduate Education, at the Annual Meeting North Carolina Council of Graduate Schools, Raleigh, NC 2017.
Brothers is the past president of both the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools and the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools. He has served as the chair of the Audit Committee for the Council of Historically Black Graduate Schools, and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy (ACAPP) for the Council of Graduate Schools.