University of Florida Multicultural and Diversity Affairs selects new Black Affairs director

June 6, 2017
Sara Tanner

After a thorough national search, the University of Florida’s department of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs (MCDA) is pleased to announce that Carl Simien has been selected as Director of Black Affairs. He will start Monday, July 24.

photo headshot of Carl Simien

Carl joins UF from Western Illinois University where he served as Director of Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center.  He is the former College and Career Director of Umoja Student Development Corporation in Chicago, Illinois. He has also previously served as the program coordinator of Roberts Family Development Center in Sacramento, California and youth development trainer for WestEd in California.

He is a graduate of Valparaiso University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in communication and a Master of Arts in liberal studies with a focus on theology. He will be completing a second Master’s degree in college student personnel and higher education leadership this summer from Western Illinois University.

Carl's student development background and experience working with TRIO programs have shaped his ambition for empowering students and advocating for their success. He believes mentoring and having a strong network of support are vital.

“We are excited to welcome Carl to the MCDA team and the Gator Nation,” said Will Atkins, executive director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs. “His enthusiasm and experience are a great addition to our department, and we look forward to supporting his vision for Black Affairs. Carl has a passion for mentorship and is focused on building partnerships across the university to promote student success.” 

Through the search process, the Multicultural and Diversity Affairs brought three candidates to Gainesville for on-campus interviews. The finalists were strongly vetted through a review of stakeholder feedback, strengths/weaknesses provided by the search committee, and extensive reference checks with the candidates’ current and former employers and faculty members.

As part Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, Black Affairs creates, sustains, promotes and affirms Black scholarship, culture, history, and leadership. The area coordinates an array of educational, cultural, and social programs focused on the Black experience at the University of Florida and across the African diaspora. Black Affairs actively supports sustainable efforts involving the recruitment and retention of Black students at UF.

For the role of Director of Black Affairs, Multicultural and Diversity Affairs sought an individual with strategic vision and leadership, strong communication skills, experience with advocacy, and a history of meaningful collaborations, among other attributes.

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