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Beginning Dec. 4, Nadia Bazzy will begin her role as director of the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, replacing former director Trelawny Boynton, who served the University of Michigan community for almost 20 years.
As a unit in the Office of Student Life, MESA staff work to promote student development and cultural opportunities, while also empowering members of the entire campus surrounding issues of diversity, inclusion and social justice work. Their work is spread across four core areas — consisting of programs and outreach, student engagement, education and training, and leadership for social change — and plays a vital role in carrying out the values delineated in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan.
In an email interview, E. Royster Harper, the University’s vice president for student life, described Bazzy’s experience in fostering inclusive spaces on campus as well as with educating and supporting students to fulfill their roles as productive members of a global community.
“It is with pleasure that I share that Nadia Bazzy will join the MESA team as the new director beginning December 4, 2017,” she said. “Nadia’s passion for student and community engagement through education and support to build inclusive spaces and her past record of forging innovative advancements that prepare our students to be global citizens make her an ideal fit for this important role.”
Last year, Bazzy served as interim director of the University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center. Previously assistant director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, she oversaw SAPAC through the completion of the school year as organization leaders searched for a permanent director.
In a statement, La Casa criticized the decision making process, in which Bazzy was chosen. According to the statement, the University had informed La Casa that the search for a new director had not yet begun and had implied La Casa would have influence in the process as a part to increase Latinx representation in the administration.
“Our community must express our deep disatisfaction, not with the individual appointed as the new director, but in a hiring process that denied the Latinx voice and was not conducted in an open and transparent manner,” the statement read.
Harper emphasized Bazzy’s level of commitment to the University community, as seen through her work with organizations such as SAPAC, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Life’s Intercultural Development Inventory. Furthermore, Harper said Bazzy’s unique expertise in dealing with trauma and conflict resolution will aid MESA in addressing bias issues through a personal and systematic lens.
“Nadia’s prior leadership roles in Student Life, including Interim Director of SAPAC and OSCR Assistant Director, provide a strong foundation for leading the MESA team. Her experience in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding paired with her clinical expertise in trauma healing will bring a unique lens to MESA’s mission by addressing race and ethnicity at the interpersonal and systemic level,” she said. “Nadia’s previous related experience also includes corporate, NGO, and governmental consulting around intercultural competency and inclusion. Nadia also served as a board member for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion and currently serves on the strategic and implementation team for Student Life’s Intercultural Development Inventory.”
A University of Michigan alum, Bazzy went on to earn her master’s degree in conflict transformation and peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University. She is a licensed clinical therapist, and earned a postgraduate certification in couple and family counseling from Oakland University.