UNC Names Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity

The University of Northern Colorado has appointed Dr. Anita Fleming-Rife as special assistant to the president for Equity and Diversity. Fleming-Rife is a University of Northern Colorado alumna and visiting full professor in Africana Studies and Journalism.

As a member of the president's executive team, Fleming-Rife will help connect diversity and community building efforts across the university, build on work that is under way and identify new opportunities for UNC. She will work closely with the Dean of Students, Human Resources Office, Equity and Diversity Council and campus governance groups and will also represent UNC in discussions about diversity, climate and equity in the broader community.

"Dr. Fleming-Rife exemplifies what it means to be a UNC graduate and member of the UNC faculty and community," said UNC President Kay Norton. "She is passionate, insightful and connected throughout the campus and beyond. She brings a unique perspective to the role of UNC in the global community."

Fleming-Rife has considerable experience working on issues of diversity and inclusiveness. While teaching at UNC, she has engaged faculty, staff, students and community members in helping the local East Africa community realize its goal of integrating into the broader community. She served on Penn State's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and its task forces for academics and for assessing the university system's framework for diversity. The interactive video-teleconference she produced to recruit African-American students to Southern Illinois University's graduate programs in mass communication earned International Radio Television's Silver Award. She also serves as the chair of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's Equity Diversity Awards Committee.

Now, Fleming-Rife says she is looking forward to being a major resource for realizing diversity goals at her alma mater.

"It is my belief that showing respect, understanding, and recognizing what we''the human race''all have in common is the starting point for connecting, integrating and creating synergy among diverse programs and important community initiatives," she said. "I am committed to providing the leadership, being the resource and, I hope, the catalyst to move inclusion to the next level here at UNC." She added, "As an alumna of UNC, I have benefited immeasurably from the education that I received as a student, and I am very proud to have been selected to serve my school in this important role''a role that allows me to give back."

Fleming-Rife earned a doctorate in Journalism from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a bachelor of arts in Communication and master's degree in Journalism from UNC. Among her research topics are international communications with a particular focus on news coverage in Africa, minority representation in media content, newspapers' framing of educational policy, and minority health disparities. She has done a great deal of work in Africa, including work in Nairobi, Kenya, with the United Nations. She is on the Board of Directors of an NGO that does its work in Tanzania, East Africa. She established relationships with South African universities in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and she co-chaired the Pennsylvania delegation to the National Summit on Africa in Washington, DC.