Tyrone Russell, Lehigh’s director of Multicultural Affairs, will leave the university at the end of the semester, John Smeaton, the vice provost for Student Affairs, announced in an email to the campus community on Monday.
Russell began his time at Lehigh as a residence life coordinator in Taylor House. After leaving to work at Northampton Community College, he returned to Lehigh as the director of Multicultural Affairs in 2011. While at Lehigh, he worked to create the Men of Color Alliance and DanceFest, which will take place for the seventh time this March. He also worked to bring the Multicultural Student Leadership Conference to Lehigh and expanded the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration from a week to a year-round series of programs, according to Smeaton’s email. Russell also helped develop the Summer Scholars Institute, which is a program aimed at aiding first-year students with their adjustments at Lehigh.
“He has been a leader in raising awareness on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion and in creating a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment,” Smeaton wrote.
Russell will continue his work as the CEO of Lehigh Valley Faces Marketing and Development, LLC, an organization which he established. He will also act as coordinator of racial and ethnic justice of the valley through the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, according to the email.
Russell said he is looking forward to having the opportunity to impact the community in which he lives, and he credits his time at Lehigh with teaching him to be better professional and person.
“I learned how to serve students a lot better, and I truly began to understand what it means to be inclusive and committed to improving our student body overall,” Russell said. “It was fun.”
Smeaton wrote that Russell positively influenced those he worked with at Lehigh, and he noted that Russell is a respected member of the Lehigh community.
“We know that Tyrone’s passion for this work has been a driving influence in his success here at Lehigh and beyond, and we are delighted that his dedication, intellect, energy and talent will now be shared with the broader community,” Smeaton wrote. “We are certain that he will have an immediate and positive impact through his conviction that we can all serve as agents of change.”