Meet De'Janae Tookes, assistant director of multicultural initiatives and events in the Office of Student Success and Diversity (OSSD). In her new role, Tookes is responsible for engaging the Samford University community in multicultural curricular and co-curricular development. She will promote a variety of campus events that enhance cross-cultural initiatives and celebrate diversity and inclusion while promoting respect for others.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Tookes holds an undergraduate degree in history from Jarvis Christian University, a Master of Education from the University of West Georgia and is currently working on a Doctor of Education at St. Edwards University. Her experience in higher education has included work in Baylor University’s student affairs office where she worked on the university’s supplemental instruction program and advised the Black Student Union in multicultural affairs.
Samford’s vision is outlined to be a diverse community, stressing vigorous learning and personal faith; this mission of the OSSD and the university is in no small part what inspired Tookes to join the Samford family.
“I was immediately drawn to this position because of the strong alignment between Samford's Christian mission and values and my own professional aspirations,” said Tookes. “I was impressed by the commitment to academics, career and ethical competency while being dedicated to civil and social awareness.”
As assistant director of multicultural initiatives and events, Tookes is looking forward to expanding on her previous experience and building partnerships with others.
“Through close collaboration with diverse campus and community organizations, cultural groups and stakeholders, there's a special chance to unite communities, enhance understanding and spark positive transformation for students, faculty and staff,” said Tookes.
Tookes plans to advance Samford’s mission through intentional engagement and personal empowerment that makes a positive difference in the lives of students and campus communities.
“By establishing safe and diverse learning environments in higher education, you start facilitating discussions that foster cultural and social awareness. As these dialogues unfold, they pave the way for what many refer to as ‘brave spaces’ – environments where individuals feel empowered to dig deeper into understanding others and their unique journeys. This added sense of security cultivates unity and strengthens our community bonds, which, in turn, prepares our students to be change agents in the world,” said Tookes.
Join us for the Office of Student Success and Diversity Meet-and-Greet, Feb. 12, 3:30-5p.m. in Dwight Beeson Hall 326 to learn more about Tookes, assistant director of multicultural initiatives and events.