Dean of Students Liz Braun announced today that T. Shá Duncan Smith will join the Swarthmore community as the College's associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, beginning June 1.
Smith is currently director of diversity and inclusion at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. In her role at Ross, Smith is the senior advisor to the dean and also acts as a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy consultant to the business school, student organizations, human resources, and community partners. In collaboration with the business school’s senior leadership team, students, faculty and staff, she developed the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan, which was identified as a model for other departments and schools within the university. Smith also represents Ross on the president and provost's Academic Affairs Diversity Planning Group that is working towards creating a centralized diversity, inclusion, and equity strategic plan for the university and serves on the staff advisory board for the University of Michigan Office of the Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs.
“Shá's extensive experience in building and implementing an enormous diversity of intercultural courses, dialogues, and workshops for students, faculty, and staff, drawing from over 40 countries will be an invaluable resource in moving our community forward,” says Al Brooks ’16, an Honors political science major from Palo Alto, Calif., and member of the search committee. “Her character is uniquely personable, friendly, and positive and that shone through in just the short amount of time we've had with her so far. She is the type of person I wish I could spend four years looking up to and learning from and I am extremely excited that future generations will be fortunate enough to."
“Shá's proactive approach to building community and encouraging dialogue was evident from our first meeting,” agrees Professor of Biology and search committee member Liz Vallen. “She is both practical and visionary, and her warm, open, clear, and engaging manner as well as her diverse set of experiences makes her a great fit for our community.”
Smith has served in a number of roles at the University of Michigan, including but not limited to intercultural programs manager in the Center for Global and Intercultural Study, coordinator of diversity initiatives and academic support at the School of Public Health, and coordinator of student affairs in the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs Office. She has also served as a lecturer in the University of Michigan at the College of Literature Science and Arts (2011-2013), teaching a range of courses related to intercultural study and leadership.
Smith received her B.A. in sociology and M.S.W. from the University of Michigan and is working towards completing her doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania.
"The most memorable part of my visit to Swarthmore was spending time with students as they thoughtfully addressed opportunities to enhance Swarthmore’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” says Smith. “Everyone I met demonstrated their commitment to building true collaborations and continuing to develop an environment where campus community members can thrive. I am excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with students, faculty, staff, alumni, community partners, and key stakeholders to advance Swarthmore's diversity, equity, inclusion, and community development goals.”