Faculty Name

Cynthia Neal Spence, Ph.D., C'78


Co-chair of Sociology and Anthropology, Social Justice Fellows Program Director, UNCF/Mellon Programs Director and Associate Professor


Sociology & Anthropology



Office Location

Giles Hall 204


Ph.D., M.A., Rutgers University
B.A., Spelman College


Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Spelman College and Director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs. Her interests in issues of higher education access, racial and gender equity, and diversity, frame her research, writing, community service involvement and public speaking. As Director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs, Dr. Spence creates, manages, and oversees a suite of future faculty development and faculty career enhancement programs for UNCF (United Negro College Fund) students and faculty.  

Dr. Spence also serves as the Founding Director of the Spelman College Social Justice Fellows Program. The Social Justice Program is a living and learning community program that attempts to match students’ intellectual interests with their social justice advocacy passions. Dr. Spence serves as the Director of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center, an initiative sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the Spelman College Principal Investigator for the Crafting Democratic Futures Project sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Social Solutions and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. 

She recently served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Advancing Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM Organizations. She has served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation Institutional Transformation Project, the University of Chicago Provost Initiative on Minority Affairs, the Agnes Scott College Center for Teaching and Learning and the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Dr. Spence is a graduate of Spelman College and received her Masters and Ph.D. from Rutgers University.