UROC Staff

Makeda Zulu-Gillespie
Executive Director
612-626-9829 | zulug001@umn.edu
Makeda Zulu-Gillespie 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.

James De Sota
Assistant Executive Director
612-624-4514 | jadesota@umn.edu
James De Sota pairs up University researchers with community needs.  He oversees a variety of projects—including the UROC affiliations process and UROC's Northside Job Creation Team— supervises UROC's graduate research assistants and directly manages many of UROC's operational, technical, and financial processes. James also served as lead coordinator for UROC's $3.6 million, federally funded Broadband Access Project. 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.

Johneva Davis
Principal Office/Administrative Specialist
612-624-5881| davi3797@umn.edu
Johneva Davis provides UROC's visitors and callers with information about UROC and other University of Minnesota resources. As part of UROC's Operations Team, Johneva helps with facility maintenance, provides calendar assistance for UROC leadership, supervises student interns, and helps with room rental requests. A graduate of the Aveda Institute Minneapolis, Johneva comes to UROC with a background in customer relations and community volunteerism.