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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 26, 2007

Humbles named director of Center for Diversity and Enrichment

Nancy Humbles has been named director of the University of Iowa Center for Diversity and Enrichment, which helps provide a welcoming climate for students, staff and faculty from communities underrepresented in higher education.

As director of the center, Humbles will provide leadership and coordination for outreach and service to underserved students from diverse backgrounds, including students of color, first-generation students whose parents have not received a baccalaureate degree and students from low-income families.

The center offers programming and networking activities such as community building, tutoring, individualized guidance, summer programs, academic skill development and connections to UI and community resources. It also partners with other UI departments, communities and schools for pre-college student development and recruitment.

Drawing on research, many of the center's initiatives are built around helping students from minority and underserved communities develop a sense of community on campus, according to Humbles.

"We have fine-tuned our programming to focus on social connections, which allow our students to get a sense of belonging to the university community," Humbles said. "This eventually leads to student retention."

The appointment is part of a reorganization started in March that consolidates and focuses the UI's diversity efforts, according to Marcella David, special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity and associate provost for diversity.

The center brings together outreach and support programs previously offered through two separate offices -- Opportunity at Iowa and Support Service Programs, including two federally funded programs New Dimensions in Learning and Upward Bound. The reorganization came after a recommendation by the Diversity Action Committee in spring 2006 that the UI strengthen its central diversity efforts in order to increase the diversity of faculty, staff and students -- one of five major goals of the university's strategic plan, "The Iowa Promise."

"This reorganization will strengthen our programming and support for faculty, staff and students and all members of the university community," David said. "Nancy brings many years of expertise to the center and a deep commitment to diversity and equity at the university."

Humbles has worked at the UI since 1990, working first as a counselor in Special Support Services and then as an adviser in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. As assistant director of advising at the Tippie College, she developed the Student Incentive Program, a summer program for minority and first-generation students. She also served as multicultural affairs coordinator and interim program coordinator for Opportunity at Iowa.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marcella David, Associate Provost, 319-335-0705,; Nancy Humbles, Center for Diversity & Enrichment, 319-335-2092,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,