AAERO is a nonprofit organization, tax exempt as a 501(c)(3) public charity, whose mission is advanced by volunteers.
AAERO Board of Directors
PAULA QUICK HALL, Ph.D.
DEMETRIUS HADDOCK, M.S.
WANDA JOHNSON, B.S.
RUBY LONG TOUNSEL , M.D.
YURI YAMAMOTO, Ph.D.
PAULA QUICK HALL earned her doctorate in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998, specializing in Public Administration and Public Policy. In 1999 she founded the African American Education & Research Organization (AAERO). Her research and writing has drawn attention to issues of educational equity, racial discrimination in desegregated schools, and opportunities for groups underrepresented in science careers. Hall served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and has worked more than fifteen years in nonprofit organizations, including the College Board and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also worked at the Niagara Falls Board of Education, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A&T State University. At Research and Evaluation Associates, Inc. Hall worked on several projects addressing issues such as disproportionate confinement of minority youth in the juvenile justice system and childcare provider training. Dr. Hall’s early education included a summer at N.C. Governor’s School, graduation from E.E. Smith Senior High in Fayetteville, a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. She spent a year at the National Science Foundation as an American Educational Research Association Graduate Fellow. She is currently retired and spending most of her time engaged with AAERO, and relationships with her mother, son, daughter, grandchildren and friends.
DEMETRIUS HADDOCK is the father of two. He originally came to Fayetteville, NC in 1991 as a student at Fayetteville State University and subsequently lived in Fayetteville on two separate occasions totaling nearly two decades. As a student, Demetrius majored in Mathematics Education (B.S.) and obtained a Master of Science degree in Mathematics after an extended, rough undergraduate experience. Over the years from 1991 to 1998, Fayetteville State University and several faculty members did not give up on him and he obtained his undergraduate degree despite the chaos of those years. That is why he is today such a strong advocate for the institution as an alumnus and for HBCUs in general. As he states, “people’s lives are not always conducive to a straight-line path. Detours are often needed.” Committed to community development, Demetrius participated on the Vision Task Force for the original Greater Fayetteville Futures (GFF) Project from its public unveiling in December of 2000 until its eventual end a few years later. He was also involved with Sustainable Sandhills, as it began, FAMPO’s Air Quality Stakeholders Committee, and the development of the Institute for Social Awareness (ISA) along the way. Experienced as a facilitator of community dialogue and collaboration, he has developed educational programs in the form of technical workshops, small group training on leadership and teamwork, innovations in educational practice, systems thinking, professional learning teams and more. In addition to serving as President for AAERO’s Board of Directors, Demetrius currently works as Programs Coordinator for ISA, serves as President for the Cumberland County “Hometown Broncos” Alumni Chapter of FSU National Alumni Association and Treasurer for the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation Board. As a father, he also continues to guide the development of two wonderful college students.
WANDA JOHNSON, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland University College in Paralegal Studies/Management Studies, has spent 25 years in management at the Endocrine Society. In 2015, she was named the Endocrine Society’s Chief Program Officer and led its education, science, and professional development department. Her responsibilities included organizing more than 25 educational events each year, managing a multi-million-dollar budget and a staff of 18. Wanda Johnson has shown a lifetime commitment to continuing education. She received her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 1995 and her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2009. She was named a Fellow of the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) in 2012. In 2018, she was awarded the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Education Foundation’s Visionary Award honoring the Meeting Professional of the Year. In January 2019 Ms. Johnson became Chief Executive Officer at the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) .
RUBY LONG TOUNSEL , M.D., was raised in Gary & Merrillville, Indiana. There she attended a mixture of public and private schools for primary education. After completing Merrillville High School, she attended Purdue University. There she majored in Biology (2001), minored in Chemistry, and decided to pursue a medical career. She took part in multiple community service projects and student organizations, which enhanced her leadership skills. Upon completing Indiana University School of Medicine in 2006, Dr. Long began her professional career in Emergency Medicine at Summa Health System. This position allowed her to care for patients from all walks of life and facilitate educational activities for medical students, residents, and paramedics. She has continued those same activities as an Attending Emergency Physician in both community and academic health care systems. She enjoys taking part in medical mission trips at home and abroad. She also enjoys going on new adventures and hanging out with her husband and son, Dan and Dylan Tounsel. Dr. Long encourages all to dream big and work hard. The end results are sure to be great.
YURI YAMAMOTO grew up in Japan and immigrated to the U.S. in 1984. Yuri is a chaplain resident at University of North Carolina Rex Hospital in Raleigh, and also works as a pianist at Meredith College. Yuri’s dedication to racial justice brought her to the AAERO board. Yuri has Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University, completed the requirements for the Expressive Arts Therapy graduate certificate at Appalachian State University, and is currently working toward the Master of Divinity degree at Shaw University. Yuri is married with six children.