Michelle Fontes-Barros has joined the college as the coordinator of student diversity initiatives which is designed to support and be a resource to students, staff and faculty of color. She was hired to assist in establishing relationships within the college to enhance cultural competencies for the CELS community. She also plans to collaborate with other colleges within and outside of URI to provide opportunities for students through internships, research and scholarships. Her main goal is to provide a structure of support that will help recruit and retain students of color in CELS. Before joining us, Michelle came to us from the URI’s Alumni Relations office as an Assistant Director and manages programs such as Homecoming, Golden Graduate Weekend and several alumni chapters. She was the primary liaison to the Alumni of Color Network (ACN) which serves both the student and alumni of color population. She was also the Advisor for the Student Alumni Association which includes fourteen Executive Board members and over fifty members. She had been working there since March of 2007. Before that, she directed an after-school program for Gilbert Stuart Middle School in Providence, RI and prior to that, she coordinated training initiatives in the non-profit sector.
She was recently appointed by the president to serve as a co-chair on the university’s Equity Council. The mission of this council is to advocate, promote and sustain diversity and equity throughout the entire campus community.