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Dr. Sylvia Spears has been named the new Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Emerson College following the retirement of Gwen Bates this past Fall. President Lee Pelton announced in an e-mail on May 11 that Spears will be joining the college’s staff on August 1, 2012.
In his e-mail, Pelton described Spears’s duties as promoting diversity, inclusion, and civility in affairs relating to the college’s faculty, students, external relations, curriculum, campus, and community in general. She will also act as a chair of the school’s Diversity Council and as a member of the President’s Council.
President Pelton expressed his excitement for the new addition to the Emerson faculty by noting Spears’s background in diversity-related community projects as well as both student and academic affairs. Her 20 years of experience include a multitude of leadership positions at Dartmouth College, the University of Rhode Island, Bryant College, and most recently, New England College, where she was the Assistant Vice President for Academic Initiatives. At Dartmouth College, her positions as Associate Dean of Student Life and Director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership allowed her to oversee several different programs and departments which focused on student diversity and advising. Eventually Spears would hold the title of Dean of Dartmouth College.
Aside from her administrative experience, Spears has worked as a professor and lecturer for graduate and undergraduate students, and she is also known for her work as a speaker and consultant. Spears earned all three of her degrees at the University of Rhode Island, including a BA in Speech Communications, an MS in Human Development and Family Studies, and a PhD in Education.