Interim Dean James Earl Davis is a leader, a researcher, a professor… and, like many of us, a binge watcher, a sports fan and a traveler. He seems to do it all! I sat down with Dean Davis recently to get to know him better. Allow me to introduce you to a side of Dean Davis you might not have expected.
- What is your favorite place on campus?
Charles Library - there's something about the soaring atrium when you walk inside, it lifts spirits.
- What is your favorite food truck on campus?
For about a decade, my favorite food truck was Eppy's. Unfortunately, post-pandemic, it's no longer here. Now, my favorite food truck is the fruit truck outside of Ritter. I always get a medium fruit salad…without cantaloupe.
- What book are you currently reading?
"Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man," First Edition. I attended Morehouse and I know Saida Grundy, the author.
- What show are you currently binging?
I just finished binge watching "Dahmer." It was interesting to follow the story as it was happening in real-time. I appreciate this perspective because it highlights the disparities between communities and how such heinous crimes were able to be unnoticed and unquestioned by authorities.
- What is your favorite music artist?
My favorite music artist of all time is Stevie Wonder. Genius isn't a word I use lightly, but Stevie Wonder is just that.
- What is your favorite song?
"September" by Earth, Wind & Fire is my favorite song because it embodies the feeling memory, love and change.
- What is your favorite movie?
More recently, "Seven Seconds" with Regina King, a ten-episode limited series, really caught my attention. Although it is not technically a movie, I consider it to be so.
- What is your favorite sport?
I come from Alabama where college football is religion, but my sport of choice was baseball when I was young. Now, I like basketball and tennis.
- What is your favorite thing about Philadelphia?
I love the combination of differences that makes Philadelphia so unique. You have to love a place that is the height of traditional artistic culture with some of the world's finest museums and orchestras, great universities and history, mixed with a gritty, sports-obsessed, rugged, and urban congested experience.
- Do you have any hidden talents?
I'm not sure I would call it a talent per se, but I have ventured to some of the best house music clubs across the country. It's not a talent, but just something I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring since college.
- Where was your favorite vacation and why?
I have an annual vacation with a group of friends to Martha's Vineyard. It's a great time for catching up, resting, and relaxing. This trip started over 20 years ago and serves as a moment of solace for this friends group - a time of peace and connectivity.
- If you got a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to Cape Town, South Africa. I've been there seven or eight times and it has always been a place that captures my interest - its culture, history, and politics.
- What is your fondest childhood memory?
One of my fondest memories from childhood was trick-or-treating. I always loved Halloween because every year, not coming from a family with a lot of money, we got to make up creative costumes that centered around masks we bought at the local store. I was always excited to see what types of costumes my friends came up with for the night.
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is my brother, Larry. Larry lives his life with integrity, consistency, simplicity and truth. I'm fortunate to have a brother who idealizes the values that I now try to emulate.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ten years from now, I don't see myself very different from how I see myself now. Having great conversations with friends and family, reading magazines and books, writing, and taking long summer evening walks are just some of the simplicities that I see myself continuing for the rest of my life.