Rackham welcomed Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Professor in the departments of Afroamerican and African Studies and Communication Studies, as the new Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Initiatives on August 1, 2016.
Dr. Means Coleman has worked with Rackham in the past by serving on the Rackham Executive Board, the Rackham Summit on Diversity in Higher Education Committee, the Big Ten Academic Alliance SROP Faculty Advisory Committee, and the Rackham Outstanding GSI award committee. She is also an active member of Rackham’s Military Veterans Support Network and First-Generation Support Network.
Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman
Dr. Means Coleman’s has twice won the National Communication Association African American Communication and Culture Division Outstanding Book award for her two scholarly manuscripts. Her scholarship centers upon historical and contemporary mediated presentations of Blacks, and it draws upon an interdisciplinary body of media and cultural theories to examine meaning production through representational systems.
Alongside her award-winning scholarship, Dr. Means Coleman is an advocate for undergraduate and graduate education. She has received several awards in recognition of her pedagogical excellence: The New York University School of Education Teaching Excellence Award (2002), the UROP Outstanding Research Mentor Award (2014), and the John Dewey Award (2015).
Already a proven change maker for equality in education for people of color and for women, Dr. Means Coleman has served on the ADVANCE Advisory Board (Social Sciences), the Women of Color in the Academy Project steering committee, and the President’s Advisory Commission on Women’s Issues. In 2010, Dr. Means Coleman received the Harold Johnson Diversity Service Award to recognize her efforts and contributions toward the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse campus community. She is also a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
As Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Initiatives, Dr. Means Coleman will coordinate all Graduate School activities in Social Sciences, serve as a contact for Rackham nationally and on campus, promote and support cross-unit partnerships and interdisciplinary efforts, and develop new initiatives and programs related to diversity and climate.
Of expanding her involvement with Rackham, she says, “Working with Dean Fierke and her leadership team presents an extraordinary opportunity to advance Rackham’s core principles in pursuit of excellence in graduate education and postdoctoral training. I look forward to joining my colleagues in Rackham as, together, we think strategically about innovative ways to further support our students’ educational and professional development.”