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Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Names 2012-2013 Provost Faculty Associates

Posted Sep. 3, 2012
enter photo description
Willie Harrell, Ph.D., Denise Harrison and Joe Ortiz, Ph.D.,
have been appointed 2012-2013 Provost Faculty Associates
for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Three Kent State University faculty members have been appointed 2012-2013 Provost Faculty Associates for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, effective September 2012.

Associate Professor Willie Harrell, Ph.D., from the Department of English, will serve as faculty associate for African-American, Latino American and Native American (AALANA) recruitment and retention, Denise Harrison, lecturer in the Department of English who teaches Pan-African Studies, will serve as the faculty associate for the Women’s Center, while Professor Joe Ortiz, Ph.D., from the Department of Geology, will serve as faculty associate for the Student Multicultural Center.

Provost faculty associates for the division support recruitment and retention of underrepresented, highly qualified faculty, staff and students. Faculty associates will support the division’s mission to build a more inclusive environment at Kent State and are expected to develop supporting projects that span two academic years.

Harrison, Ortiz and Harrell were selected because of their commitment to serving others and their passion for strengthening diversity at Kent State.

“Our division is delighted to have these faculty members on board who are committed to diversity as evidenced by their teaching goals and ongoing work that impact our students,” says Alfreda Brown, Ed.D., vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “I look forward to the many exciting possibilities and ultimate success we will gain through their expertise and assistance.”

Harrell says that this appointment is an opportunity for him to aid in creating dialogue in fostering new and innovative strategies in academic diversity at Kent State.

“It is my hope that in opening these venues of communication, the Kent State community will be able to discuss the challenges of achieving a more diverse faculty environment and the methods of implementation to improve the quality of our faculty, staff, administration and students,” Harrell says.

Harrison is excited to serve as a Provost Faculty Associate with the Women’s Center at Kent State.

“As an appointee with the Women's Center, I am willing to meet with faculty to hear and assess their concerns and successes at Kent State University. I am here to serve,” Harrison says. “I look forward to working with Dr. Alfreda Brown, my fellow appointees and the staff at the Office of Diversity.”

Ortiz applauds the university for its efforts in improving educational access to persons of color and other groups that are underrepresented in the academy.

“Increasing the diversity of our student body, faculty and staff is not only consistent with our mission statement and the democratic principles of our nation, but will enrich the lives and education of the Kent State population,” Ortiz says. “As a Puerto Rican American and a first-generation college graduate from a lower middle class family, I have already walked much of the path that many of the students in our AALANA population are just starting to follow. Because of this, I can speak from personal experience and with the authority of a positive, successful role model. I look forward to working with the university community to improve Kent State through this position." 

For more information about the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit