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CCI Appoints First Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Vandana Singh has been appointed as the College of Communication and Information’s (CCI) first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Singh will serve in this role for a limited duration appointment, beginning July 1. She will continue to serve as a faculty member in the School of Information Sciences.

This new position aligns with goal three of the University’s strategic vision, by developing and sustaining a nurturing culture where diversity and community are enduring sources of strength. As director, Singh will be responsible for the overall administration of the CCI Diversity Action Plan (DAP) and serve as a resource to the college about creating an equitable and inclusive environment for underrepresented populations for students, staff, and faculty and addressing DEI issues in realms of research, education, and service. She will serve as a key member of the college’s administrative committee responsible for collaborating and coordinating efforts with college and university leadership to achieve college objectives and outcomes for DEI in support of the college DAP and overall strategic plan.

“This new role is essential as we implement CCI’s strategic plan and diversity action plan,” said Dean Joseph Mazer. “Dr. Singh brings a considerable amount of knowledge and expertise to this role, and I look forward to her integrating DEI efforts across the college.”

Singh’s research, teaching, and service over the past two decades are tied together with a common thread of social justice, with lived experience of attending higher education institutions across three continents. Her research projects aim to remove barriers for women, the rural population, and marginalized people in multiple settings. Vandana develops solutions and institutes technological interventions for the empowerment of underserved populations. Her teaching portfolio is foundational in leveling the playing field for students with no information technology (IT) background and by teaching them IT courses she contributes to developing a pipeline to technology careers for non-technical students. Her service focuses on social justice and the removal of inequities for marginalized students from multiple ethnicities and including women. This synergistic approach toward the three pillars of her academic profile is deliberate and intentional in maintaining an active effort at propelling the culture of DEI in different contexts. In the last few years, she has been increasingly sought after to speak about her research on women and marginalized people in software engineering at national and international organizations.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for CCI,” said Singh. “I look forward to putting our Diversity Action Plan into action in serving the CCI community, including students, staff, and faculty.”

Singh holds a doctorate in information science from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in knowledge management systems from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Her undergraduate degree is from G.B. Pant University, in the foothills of the Himalayas in India.