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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

New diversity Dean eager to take post

Published: April 1, 2005
Section: News

Jamele Adams, the new Assistant Dean of Diversity Services, will arrive at Brandeis this fall with enthusiasm and experience. Adams plans on assessing the diversity at Brandeis and seeing what is working wonderfully and what needs improvement. My door will be opened, says Adams, but I will go outside my door. You can ask me questions too. He begins his term in the fall, but he will visit in April to see Culture X.

Adams was born in New York City. He attended Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate work, where he got his B.A. in Psychology and Womens Studies. He did his graduate studies at Bowling Green University in Ohio, where he got an M.A. in College Student Personnel, with an emphasis on multicultural affairs. Adams was the first Director for Minority Students at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, and was the Director for the Department of Multicultural Affairs at Kenyon College, also in Ohio.

Adams main goal is having the fabric of diversity interwoven into the fabric of Brandeis. . . I want to make Brandeis a trend-setter, instead of being at the status-quo. He wants students, staff and faculty to step outside of the comfort zone. Diversity is essential to any university, and a part of a complete educational experience.

Along with encouraging diversity, Adams will analyze its implications. According to Adams, part of his job entails the ability to provide data that will explain and validate the need for diversity. He will also work closely with Suzie Talukdar, the director of the Intercultural Center, and with various staff and students who support the campus lives of individuals and organizations active in the minority community, according to Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer.Adams is filling the vacancy left by former Dean Nathaniel Mays, who left last summer. According to Sawyer, Dean Mays responsibilities and acquired interests over the many years he was here included close collaboration with students who are non-majority students.

Adams is also an accomplished spoken-word poet. His stage name is Harlym 125, which alludes to his home of Harlem, New York City. He has performed everywhere from poetry cafes to battered womens shelters and community centers to the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. According to the Web site, Adams is a consummate humanitarian and an educator, activist, romantic, entertainer, poet and actor. In addition, he has written two books, My First Black Cherry Popped and Body Language Metamorphosis. He is the MTVN/Hottest $2000 Grand Slam Champion, according to the Smokinword website.

Adams is looking forward to meeting Brandeis students, but he is also eager to add on to a fabulous team of Assistant Deans. A major goal for Adams is to make the team of deans a model other schools should follow.

The position of Dean of Diversity Services seems ideally made for Adams. The world itself is becoming smaller. We owe it to ourselves to collaborate. We can make human existence better through our ability to grow together through diversity, says Adams.