Stephens Named Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity Issues



CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 3, 2013 — Nathan Stephens, senior coordinator of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has been named assistant to the president for equity and diversity issues at Southeast Missouri State University.

His appointment is effective Jan. 15. He replaces Jim Cook, director of Human Resources, who served in the position in an interim capacity.

The assistant to the president for equity and diversity issues provides pro-active, strategic, campus-wide leadership, direction and coordination in the areas of equity and diversity issues. He will be responsible for supervising and developing approaches designed to enhance the University community’s appreciation for cultural diversity, its climate of tolerance, respect for the rights of all persons and its adherence to affirmative action and equal opportunity.

“I am excited and look forward to joining such a great institution that has exhibited excellence in so many areas,” Stephens said. “Southeast Missouri State University is committed to diversity and the inclusion of all students, faculty and staff into the fabric of the campus. It is with great pleasure and humility that I join a school with such great leadership and students.”

Much of Stephens’ work at the University of Missouri has focused on facilitating diversity and cultural competency workshops and lectures. In his current position, he co-founded and raised more than $40,000 for the Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative, successfully wrote proposals for funding for facility improvement and proposed and hosted the 2007 Association for Black Culture Centers Conference at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his tenure, the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center has been nationally recognized by the Association for Black Culture Centers as one of the 100 most vital cultural centers in the country.

Stephens has provided leadership campus-wide, having served on several campus councils and committees. He was nominated for the City of Columbia’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award in 2007 and 2008 for his work in the community with youth and working to build coalitions and affect change. He also was recognized in the magazine Columbia Business Times in their feature “People You Should Know in 2009.”

He previously was employed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri as special projects coordinator.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Columbia College and a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on policy, planning and non-profit administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is currently a doctoral student in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri and plans to graduate in December 2013.