UROC Staff

Makeda Zulu

Executive Director
612-626-9829 | [email protected]
Makeda Zulu is UROC’s chief executive officer with primary responsibility for securing UROC’s success in all aspects of its work. She provides executive oversight of strategic planning, revenue generation, financial stewardship, organizational development, staff management, and operational activities. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Grambling State University and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Johneva Davis

Office Manager 
612-624-5881 | [email protected]
Johneva Davis works closely with the UROC Leadership Team in support of UROC research projects and outreach programs, communications, and community-engaged initiatives. She oversees UROC's day-to-day building operations including room reservations and rentals, manages the creative and logistical aspects of UROC's presence at community events and special events taking place at UROC, and supervises UROC's front desk team.

James De Sota

Assistant Executive Director
612-624-4514 | [email protected]
James De Sota works to connect University researchers with community needs. He oversees a wide variety of projects including UROC's Research Agenda, scholarly affiliation process, budget and human resources management, and grant-related initiatives. Prior to joining the University, James served as the neighborhood director for the Southeast Como Improvement Association, an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Minnesota Literacy Council, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gambia, and researcher and consultant for several for-profit industries in the geographic information sector.

Choua Xiong

Graduate Research Assistant
[email protected]
Choua Xiong provides assistance to UROC Research Agenda-related projects and team members. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and is currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health's Masters in Community Health Promotion program.