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The Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) is a strong and respected organization with a mission to address the issues and concerns unique to employees of African origin and promotes the full inclusion of people of African decent at the University of Utah.  


We advocate progress through the promotion of critical dialogue, networking, recruitment and retention, professional development, mentoring, and cultural programs that emphasize traditions of the African and African diasporic communities.

SPotlight MEMBER!

Jeilani Athman, M.Ed.

october 2019

I grew up in the coastal region of Kenya in Africa where I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Nairobi, majoring in Education and Religious Studies. I traveled to Malaysia to pursue a Master's in Educational Leadership and Management, then later transferred to the U and graduated with a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy and a concentration in Student Affairs.

 During my free time, if I am not watching soccer then I am playing competitively with friends. I am a fan of Chelsea in the English Premier League, and a Real Madrid fan in the Spanish league, with Real Salt Lake being my favorite local team. I spend part of weekends engaged in community events. Initially, swimming was a necessary skill to survive in Kenya and now I enjoy it leisurely.  I love meeting new people and making and maintaining friendships.  

What is a Student Success Advocate?

What we do as Student Success Advocates is offer students' support in setting and working towards their goals, exploring the many opportunities and resources available at the U, and working on overcoming any barriers ( academic, social, Financial…..) towards being successful college students. We try as much as possible to build and sustain relationships with students as we continue supporting them from the first meeting time until graduation. 


NEW Faculty/Staff


Internal and external resources for those new to Utah and/or the University.

Learn more about Faculty/Staff

2019-2020 Meetings


BFSA meeting dates, times, and locations for the academic year.


Learn MORE about 2019-2020 Meetings

2019-2020 Events


Upcoming BFSA, institutional, and community events.

learn more about 2019-2020 Events

Faculty/Staff Advocacy Resources


Resources that provide guidance around conflict resolution and management.

LEARN MORE about Faculty/Staff Advocacy Resources

State of Utah Black Affairs Summit 


BFSA's premiere conference established to connect, enrich, and empower Black communities across Utah. 

LEARN MORE about State of Utah Black Affairs Summit


Meet the faculty and staff who are instrumental to this association:



Office of Sr VP of Academic Affairs



Alex Francis, B.S.


Department of Economics




Bennion Center




Sorenson Impact Center


Jatara smith, Mpa.


Black Cultural Center/African-American Doctoral Scholars Initiative

JOjo beyene, m.Ed.

Social Planning/Events

College of Health


For general questions, contact BFSA by email here!

For more specific inquires such as speaker requests, new faculty/staff inquires, collaborative/sponsorship opportunities, membership, and events please contact Co-Chair, Teshia G. Koffi.

The Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) was established to address the issues and concerns unique to employees of African origin at the University of Utah. BFSA functions in the following ways:

  • Information sharing organization to support the recruitment, career development and retention of its members.
  • Resource to campus administration to ensure that the University is equipped to meet its mission of academic excellence by maintaining its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and meaningful representation of a variety of voices in education.
  • Influential voice to support the recruitment and retention of African and African diasporic students.

BFSA maintains a cohesive network system that works cooperatively across all campus levels, and the community.

Last Updated: 11/6/19