To better recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff, Arkansas College of Health Education has hired Dr. Christopher Smith as its inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Smith, who started with the college in September, will serve as its diversity director to develop strategies to improve the recruitment, retention and academic success of ACHE students.
“We have hired a Director of DEI to help fulfill ACHE’s commitment to improve its recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff, especially from underrepresented groups,” said Susan Devero , Executive Director of Marketing and Communications.
Some of Smith’s goals in the position will be to develop innovative, longitudinal strategies for the themes of diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-racism and anti-bias in the curriculum for all students, while encouraging research initiatives to address minority health disparities and issues. Devero said.
He will work with ACHE administration to review policies and procedures and recognize the diverse lived experiences of our students, faculty, and staff while creating an environment of acceptance while addressing health disparities and inequities. within the state and beyond.
“With his strong leadership skills and decision-making abilities, Dr. Smith will work with our faculty and staff to foster student learning in ACHE. He is a tremendous asset to our leadership team, and I am thrilled to benefit from his experience driving student engagement and success at ACHE,” said Kyle Parker, President and CEO of the CHECK.
Originally from Arkansas, Smith holds a master’s degree in public administration from Arkansas State University at Jonesboro and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has a background in higher education and most recently served as Dean of Student Services at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana in Hope, where he founded the UAHT Iron Horse Pantry. He was chair of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Racial Equity Task Force of the University of Arkansas System Council.
“Some of my goals as Director of DEI are to continue to develop ACHE as a leader in training future healthcare professionals while impacting the state and region through various campus and community initiatives. focused on DEI dedicated to creating a welcoming environment and health. inequality,” Smith said. “Another important goal is to create a strong partnership and recruitment pipeline with historic black colleges and universities as well as minority-serving institutions.”