Patricia S. Parker has been appointed Director of Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences, a new position recommended by the College’s Faculty Diversity Task Force. Parker, associate professor of communication studies, will advise the dean and senior associate deans, and work with department diversity liaisons on initiatives that will enhance the recruitment, retention and advancement of faculty from diverse backgrounds. She also will coordinate a speaker series highlighting diversity issues and initiatives, and help to implement other aspects of the 2011 Faculty Diversity Task Force Report.
“Enhancing faculty diversity across the College is one of my top priorities,” said Karen M. Gil. “Pat is an expert on race, gender and organizational leadership. I look forward to her leadership and advice on best practices and policies to strengthen faculty diversity going forward.”
Parker writes and teaches about race, gender and class in organizational and collaborative processes. She joined the UNC faculty in 1998 and was promoted to associate professor in 2004. She is also the founder and executive director of The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, which engaged teenage girls in vulnerable communities as leaders and advocates for positive change in their neighborhoods and beyond.
Parker has been a frequent faculty fellow and mentor in UNC’s Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (MURAP), which encourages minority students interested in academic careers. She also was a Burress Fellow at the institute for the Arts and Humanities, a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, a Kauffman Faculty Fellow for Entrepreneurship and an Academic Leadership Program Fellow.
She received a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in speech communication from California State University, Long Beach, and a B.A. degree in speech, theater and journalism at Arkansas Tech University.