Takiyah Nur Amin ’04 has been named the first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design.

Amin, who started work in mid-August, will advance the college’s diversity strategic plan and help develop new efforts to sustain a culture that embraces and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the college. 

“The programs in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design have long promoted inclusive and culturally sensitive practices in hiring faculty and staff; engaging alumni and industry partners; developing research, creative scholarship, and curricula; and teaching and mentoring our students,” said interim Dean Rosemary Blieszner. 

“Adding Dr. Amin to our leadership team will bring new ideas and strategies to our college so we can strengthen our efforts to recruit and retain a diverse set of employees and students. The greater the variety of perspectives and experiences in our college community, the better our creative design and problem-solving outcomes will be.”

Amin brings considerable DEI experience to the college, said Kathryn Clarke Albright, the college’s associate dean for academic affairs who chaired the search committee for the position.

“From the initial interview to the campus visit, Dr. Amin communicated her leadership abilities, integrity, diplomacy, and willingness to collaborate through broad and deep experiences of defining projects, taking on responsibilities, and following through,” Albright said. “She is a distinguished scholar, administrator, and dancer with a network of people and organizations that she brings to the college to assist in our success.”

Amin’s DEI work started in 2004 as she earned her Master of Fine Arts at Virginia Tech, where she later served as an instructor in the Africana Studies Program and the department of history, as outreach coordinator for the Race and Social Policy Research Center, and interim coordinator of multicultural programs for the Dean of Students Office.

From there, she embarked on a career rooted in her expertise in dance and institutional development. 

While at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she was assistant professor of world dance, she continued supporting DEI efforts for students and faculty.

In 2014, Amin launched her own company, Black Girl Brilliance, offering consulting for academic professionals and support to institutions committed to transformational change in curriculum, policy, and practice.

Additionally, she has worked at the intersection of faith and justice-making, as content director and member of the Organizing Collective Board for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism.

With her return to Blacksburg and a college reshaped to bring multiple forms of creative expression under the umbrella of the College of Architecture, Arts and Design, Amin’s priority is to “create and nurture relationships while cultivating my understanding of previous DEI efforts.”

“I am excited to lead the college in sustaining a welcoming and hospitable culture that celebrates diversity, normalizes inclusion, and works to ensure that equitable practices and policies are in place to support everyone's thriving,” Amin said.

“It will be critical to ensure that the college's DEI efforts are in relationship with the InclusiveVT work, informed by the Principles of Community, and undergirded by Virginia Tech's commitment to service and public engagement.”

Amin holds a bachelor's degree in dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Fine Arts in arts administration from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in dance studies from Temple University, in addition to graduate certificates in women’s and gender studies and teaching in higher education. 

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