Monday, August 31, 2015

Rory James to serve as the Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion

Rory James has been appointed as the Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion for the School of Public Health-Bloomington where he will oversee programs and recruitment activities that will ensure a diverse student body across a spectrum of underrepresented groups.

Previously, Rory served for 5 years as the Director of the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana.

"Rory brings with him both a background in public health as well as a keen understanding of the value of diversity that not only benefits groups who might have faced barriers historically, but also for students who benefit from the exposure to different perspectives, cultures, and ideas from underrepresented groups," noted Mohammad Torabi, Dean and Chancellor's Professor at the school."Fundamental to our academic philosophy is that where there's an equal playing field for every student, there are opportunities down every path for their success across the array of academic programs we offer. I know that Rory shares this philosophy."

Indeed, Rory hopes to transition quickly into his role by creating and implementing diversity training for faculty and staff. With his background in epidemiology and community health, Rory plans to emphasize with students the need for public health practitioners and researchers in areas that will benefit from diverse perspectives. 

Rory earned a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Tulane University and was a cum laude biology graduate from Tuskegee University. In addition, he served as Director of Intercultural and Multicultural Programs at UNC Asheville and as the Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at West Carolina University. His background encompasses undergraduate and graduate student engagement and professional staff development in cross-cultural competency.  

"We are very excited to welcome Rory as part of our school as we continue our commitment to making the School of Public Health-Bloomington a model that emulates the true spirit of academic excellence, diversity, inclusion, and the free exchange of ideas," noted John Schrader, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs.