The Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity will welcome Melissa Edwards Smith as its new director of education and campus engagement on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.
Edwards Smith holds a master of education in adult and higher education from NC State University, a master of arts in international studies from East Carolina University and a bachelor of arts in psychology from UNC Wilmington. Over the last six and a half years, Edwards Smith served as the international program director and strategic partnership manager in the Global Training Initiative at NC State. Prior to that appointment, Edwards Smith served as the director of Global Leader Programs with the Center for International Understanding in the UNC System Office. Additionally, Edwards Smith served as the program manager for the Latino Initiative and the Project Coordinator for Community Learning Centers.
In preparation for joining OIED, Edwards Smith expressed, “I am thrilled to be joining the remarkable team in OIED in this moment of heightened focus on diversity, inclusion and equity on our campus. My colleagues in the Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Practice unit and I look forward to developing new programming and strengthening campus engagement to meet the current needs of our community. I am honored to accept this role at a time when our students, staff, and faculty are eager for opportunities to learn, grow and take steps to create a more just and equitable learning and working environment.”
Edwards Smith will work in the area of Inclusive Excellence and Strategic Practice. Her most immediate responsibilities will involve the implementation of a Strategic Practice Certificate, creating a Staff Cultural Competence initiative and expanding the educational and consulting resources in the areas of justice, education, diversity and inclusion.