New Mexico State University's Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity has selected Cecil Rose as the new director of Black Programs. Rose began his new role at NMSU June 1.

Rose brings extensive insight and vision from his prior experiences in higher education to NMSU's Black Programs, one of five diversity programs under the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. He comes to NMSU from Oglethorpe University, where he has most recently served as the associate director of student success as of 2017.

"The Equity, Inclusion and Diversity division is thrilled to welcome Mr. Cecil Rose to the NMSU Aggie and Las Cruces communities. Mr. Rose brings with him an astute approach to supporting students, along with critical staff and faculty engagement," NMSU Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Teresa Maria Linda Scholz said. "Mr. Rose will be an important part of the diversity programs' team of directors, as they work collaboratively on intersectional programming that creates a sense of belonging for the students they support. He will be a tremendous asset to NMSU's Black Programs."

NMSU established Black Programs more than 50 years ago to unite students of African American, Caribbean and African descent by increasing the awareness and appreciation of Black history through educational, cultural, social and academic programs. Since its founding, the program has provided a vital network of support and connections to help students succeed in their academic fields, complete their degrees and realize their full potential.

"For me, the opportunity to work in the growing area of diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education is very exciting and important for all students," Rose said. "Supporting cultural affinity populations on college campuses is critical, not only in terms of retention but also in helping students develop a solid community during their time as undergraduates and hopefully as alumni."

Rose, who has a master's degree in human relations and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma, will begin his role at NMSU remotely before starting in person on June 26.

At Oglethorpe University, Rose championed a comprehensive strategic plan for academic support and student success that includes advising, tutoring, academic coaching and retention initiatives emphasizing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. He has also advised and developed impactful programs for hundreds of undergraduates working toward baccalaureate degrees using innovative and interactive models for traditional and non-traditional students.

Additionally, Rose held various roles at the University of Oklahoma. As a career development coordinator in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, he focused on student-athlete advising and community engagement. As a retention specialist in the Center of Student Advancement, he created and supported effective retention initiatives, inclusive of peer mentoring and faculty and staff interaction, to enhance the student experience.

Rose said one of his top priorities at NMSU will be developing sustainable, lasting programs that promote engagement among faculty, staff and students across the African American/Black diaspora.

"From our student-athletes to our creatives to our students involved in STEM, the humanities and business, I want to give them a space where they feel supported not only in their personal development but in their professional development as well," he said.

Rose said he is looking forward to joining the Las Cruces and NMSU communities.

"The people of Las Cruces are very welcoming," he added, "and NMSU felt like, as other people have shared, a space that you really belong to."

Last fall, Black Programs moved into a larger space on the second floor of Corbett Center Student Union, capping off a yearslong effort led by students to move the program from its former headquarters in Garcia Center.

The new space is about twice the size of the previous location, boasting an open-floor concept with several computer stations, a kitchen, a lounge with a flat-screen TV and couches, and wall-mounted artwork honoring several prominent Black heroes.

Black Programs is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is located in Corbett Center Student Union, Room 234. For more information, call 575-646-4208, email or visit

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