DeShawn Preston, PhD serves as the Research Associate for UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. Within this role DeShawn is responsible for redeveloping a transformation assessment tool for institutions of higher education looking to implement career pathways. He has led several projects that provided professional development to personnel from HBCUs who were interested in honing their data skills. In addition, he serves as one of the researchers and evaluators for the Career Pathways Initiative. Through his role he is able to engage institutions on best practices in preparing students of color and low-income students to be work force ready. As an active member in the field of higher education, DeShawn serves as a young scholar for the editorial board for the Journal of Negro Education and the Vice Chair for the Council of Public Policy in Higher Education for the Association for the Study of Higher Education. DeShawn considers himself to be an advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and those who are often forgotten in the field of higher education. He has an edited book, and authored several reports, articles, book chapters, and blogs on the advancement of HBCUs. Before joining UNCF, DeShawn served as the institutional effectiveness program manager at Morehouse school of Medicine.