Faculty member named to new position to oversee social justice centers, lead OMA

B. Donta Truss, vice president for Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach, announced the appointment of a longtime faculty member to a new position that has oversight for the university's social justice centers.

Alisha Davis is the assistant vice president for the Social Justice Centers and director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, effective January 6. Davis will support the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center and the Peter Secchia Military and Veterans Resource Center, and partner with the Division of Inclusion and Equity’s Disability Support Resources and Campus Interfaith Resources.

Davis joined Grand Valley's faculty in 2010 as assistant professor of allied health sciences after serving two years as an adjunct instructor and visiting professor. She was named associate professor and program director in 2019.

portrait of Alisha Davis in a black jacket
Alisha Davis joined Grand Valley's faculty in 2010.
Image credit - courtesy photo

Davis said the opportunity to work with students of color and marginalized students and help them become more successful drew her to the position. 

"The social justice centers make a difference in the lives of our marginalized students by creating a space for them to thrive in," she said. "Making sure that the spaces we are creating on campus for our diverse student body are inclusive and equitable will remain of utmost importance to me."

Truss said Davis stood out among applicants, in part, because of her experience as a faculty member and her commitment to serve on various campus committees and task forces dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion. He said Davis has proven herself ready and willing to advocate for all students.

Since 2021, Davis has been a Presidential Fellow for Inclusion and Equity. She also serves as an Inclusion and Equity Institute consultant and facilitator, Network of Advisors on Racial Equity co-lead, and as a member of University Academic Senate and other committees.

"I'm so glad Dr. Davis will join our division in this new role; her lived experiences will strengthen the leadership in the division immediately," Truss said. "This position fits her skills so well, providing leadership to the social justice centers that do so much for our students in terms of retention and helping them to find a community on campus."

Davis is a triple graduate of Western Michigan University, earning a bachelor's degree in health education, master's degree in family and consumer sciences and a doctoral degree in educational leadership, higher education. Davis serves as a vice chair for NCORE (National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education) and as a board member for Catherine’s Health Center, as well as the Comprehensive Therapy Center.

Truss thanked V'Lecea Hunter, senior director of Diverse Populations and Retention Initiatives, for chairing the search committee and Jessica Jennrich, director of the Center for Women and Gender Equity, for serving as interim assistant vice president of the Social Justice Centers and director of OMA.


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