Dear Salem students, faculty, staff, and administrators,
I am very pleased to announce some important advances in our ongoing efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion on our campus. Two new positions have been created that will share responsibilities for addressing these critical priorities. By spreading the responsibilities between two positions, we hope to better meet the needs of our campus community. I am also happy to announce that these positions will be filled by two professionals who have already established strong relationships with Salem.
On November 1, Dr. Shawn Arango Ricks will join our campus community as the interim Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance, serving both the College and the Academy. Dr. Ricks has been assisting Salem with diversity and inclusion initiatives since last spring and has already met with and provided valuable services to a number of our students, faculty, and staff. She holds her BA in general arts and sciences with a concentration in African and African American studies as well as her MEd in counselor education from Pennsylvania State University and her PhD in educational leadership and cultural foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her previous positions include director of multicultural affairs at Susquehanna University; program facilitator for the Institute for African American Leadership in Boulder, CO; and faculty member and administrator for programs in rehabilitation and human services at Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem State University, and Old Dominion University, where she is currently an associate professor in the department of counseling and human services. Among her credentials, she is a licensed professional counselor associate and a human services board-certified practitioner. Because of her other professional obligations, Dr. Ricks will hold a part-time position at Salem during the remainder of this academic year. Among her activities, she will provide support and programming related to diversity and inclusion; will participate in investigations of claims of bias, harassment, and discrimination; and starting in January will offer training in diversity and inclusion for students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Dr. Ricks will be overseeing the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Compliance.
Effective immediately, current interim Director of Student Activities Dr. Alan Mueller will begin serving as Assistant Dean of Students for Student Activities, Leadership, and Intercultural Education for Salem College. Since joining the College Student Affairs team in August, Dr. Mueller has overseen a successful orientation for new students and has worked effectively with individual students and student groups as well as with various campus offices and constituencies. In collaboration with Assistant Dean of Students Shannon Alford, he is currently planning a series of discussions related to diversity and inclusion called “My Salem – Our Community.” Dr. Mueller holds multiple degrees from Appalachian State University, including a BA in philosophy & religion, an MA in college student development, an EdS in higher education administration, and an EdD in educational leadership. An experienced leadership educator, he regularly teaches at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he has presented and published nationally on such topics as multiculturalism, values-based education, and the first-year experience. Prior to his arrival at Salem, he held a variety of administrative positions in Student Affairs at Guilford College, Appalachian State University, and Lees-McCrae College.
The addition of these two experienced professionals, both with strong backgrounds in diversity and inclusion leadership and education, allows us to expand and diversify our efforts to make Salem a deeply inclusive as well as a richly diverse community. I hope that you will join me in welcoming Dr. Ricks to Salem and Dr. Mueller to his new position.
Susan Calovini, PhD
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs & Dean of the College