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Valparaiso University Appoints Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion

Valparaiso University has named Professor Phillip Powell, Ed.D., as Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion, effective June 1, 2014. Powell currently serves on Valpo’s faculty in the communication department.

“Professor Powell is an accomplished leader on Valpo’s faculty and an excellent selection for this position,” said Mark R. Schwehn, ’67, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “He continually demonstrates a true commitment to fostering a campus environment where women and men of differing backgrounds, cultures, and faiths may come together in open dialogue built on mutual respect and understanding.”

In his role, Powell will work closely with students, faculty, staff, and community members to explore opportunities and develop a proactive and positive strategy to make Valparaiso a more inclusive and welcoming community.

As Valpo seeks to grow the total enrollment to 6,000 students as part of the Strategic Plan, University leadership continues to identify opportunities to promote cultural exchanges in a rich, diverse community. The University recently announced its participation in Generation Study Abroad, a national initiative that promotes global learning opportunities. Valpo also hosts multicultural activities on campus throughout the year. Powell will provide crucial oversight as the University further promotes efforts to build connections across campus that enrich the educational experience.

“I look forward to working with the leadership of the University to help shape a more holistic vision for diversity and inclusion,” Powell said.

Powell joined Valpo’s faculty in 1994 and has been actively involved on campus through the Diversity Concerns Committee, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee, Faculty Senate, the Campus Community Policy Committee, and the Creative Work and Research Committee.

In addition to his role as an educator, Powell works closely with Valpo students outside of the classroom. He co-advises the Black Student Organization (BSO) and assists students in planning focus sessions for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration, Black History Month activities, and other cultural events, as well as facilitating seminars on interpersonal communication, race and ethnicity, and organizational leadership. This role also provides Powell with the opportunity to interact with other multicultural student organizations including Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE) and Alliance, the LGBTQ student organization.

In 2013, he traveled with a group of students on a spring break trip to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama, where they visited historical sites, participated in the 48th anniversary march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and contributed to a civil rights symposium at Concordia College of Selma. Powell said the trip was an enlightening experience that he will cherish for years to come.

In 2009, Powell became a volunteer mentor for 100 Black Men of Chicago, a non-profit comprised of successful, professional African-American men who provide mentoring and enhance educational opportunities for young African-American males throughout the greater Chicago area.

Powell holds an Ed.D. in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Arts in Media Communications from Governors State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University.

He is chair of the Multicultural Studies Division of the Broadcast Education Association, has authored many book reviews and scholarly publications, and is frequently invited to present at national conferences and seminars.