The first week of February was the official inauguration of California State University, Dominguez Hills’ new and 11th president, Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.
Dr. Parham previously served as vice chancellor for student affairs and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he had been since 1985.
The weeklong celebration included a special exhibition focused on the history of CSUDH, available for viewing in the library; a special student-led formal dinner at the Loker Student Union; a discussion with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra; a formal ceremony; an open house; and concluded with a black-tie fundraiser for the Presidential Scholar Program.
“Dr. P.,” as he is affectionately known, is a licensed psychologist with more than 35 years as a scholar and practitioner. He has sustained a research focus in the area of psychological nigrescence, specifically on identity development, African psychology, and multicultural counseling. He has written more than 45 journal articles and/or book chapters, is a past president of the National Association of Black Psychologists and is a treating clinician for the NFL program for substance abuse.
In the early ‘90s, he helped charter the Orange County chapter of the 100 Black Men of America. While serving as their first chair of the education committee, he helped develop the 100 BMOC’s signature Passport to the Future program.
Dr. Parham grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor’s degree in social ecology from UCI, his master’s degree in counseling psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Just weeks after Parham’s appointment, he received a cancer diagnosis.
In a message to the University Community dated March 18, Parham wrote that he would continue to serve, and that “please know that I have a hopeful prognosis, excellent medical care, a strong body and mind, loving family and friend support, an enlivened and positive spirit, unwavering faith, and a commitment to confront this challenge with every fiber of my being.”