New African American Student Affairs director announced at forum

Alexandra Finkel

Updated April 29, 7:52 p.m.Shadra D. Smith will be the new director of Northwestern’s Office of African American Student Affairs, according to a letter distributed by Multicultural Student Affairs Executive Director Carretta Cook on Wednesday night at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., “State of African American Student Affairs” forum. The forum was part of Alpha Phi Alpha’s “Alpha Week.”

Cook also announced at the forum that the Multicultural Student Affairs budget would be cut by 3 percent.

Smith will start June 8, according to Tedd Vanadilok, the director of Asian-American Student Affairs.

Smith was the former assistant director of student activities for student services and involvement at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Whether it be that I am of African descent, an American, a woman, a daughter, a Delta, a sister and now the director of AASA, I am proud of every part of it and know that with serving others, I can only grow to be a better individual,” Smith wrote in the letter.

Smith is originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., and attended Indiana University, where she received a masters degree in Student Affairs Administration, according to the Pennsylvania College of Technology Web site.

“I believe to best serve students, I have to form a relationship with them, the institution and then use those things to properly assess what work needs to be done,” she wrote in her letter. “I am not oblivious to the fact that you all have been without a director for an entire academic year. And since I am aware, I understand that I am going to have to hit the ground running when i begin.”