Five African Americans Who Have Been Named to Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Adrain Smith was named director of the Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education at the University of Arkansas. He has been on the staff at the center for five years concentrating on diversity education outreach and cultural programming. He first joined the university’s staff in 2004.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas.

Tashiana Bryant-Myrick has been named director of the Center for Inclusion & Diversity at the California Institute of Technology. Most recently, she served as the interim senior coordinator for the Office of Student Life & Cultural Centers at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, after working as the coordinator for the African American Student Center for a number of years.

Dr. Bryant-Myrick, a native of Long Beach, California, received a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She earned a master’s degree in higher education from California State University, Fullerton and a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, Long Beach.

Brian Barker has been appointed the first endowed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professor in the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. In his new role, Dr. Barker will focus on the development of DEI curriculum and content. He was a senior clinical professor in the School of Hospitality and Leadership at DePaul University in Chicago.

Professor Barker is a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. He earned a master’s degree in communication from DePaul University and is a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University.

Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo was named vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, effective August 30. She has been serving as an associate professor in the department of English and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, the Program in Latinx Studies, and the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Dr. Nwankwo earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She holds a Ph.D. in English with certificates in Latin American studies and African and African American studies from Duke University.

Raven Baxter is the new director of diversity initiatives for the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Baxter has been working with PBS to create a science education TV show for young adults and she also runs an online clothing company called Smarty Pants.

Dr. Baxter holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology, and a Ph.D. in science education from the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System.


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