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Newly Created Manager of Bias Response and Education Furthers Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
The Dean of Students Office in the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience has welcomed Deka Dancil ’14 as the manager of bias response and education, a new position created with support from the Invest Syracuse initiative to advance the academic and student experience. Dancil began her role on Monday, June 10.
In this role, Dancil will support the University’s efforts to educate the campus community and respond to issues related to bias. She will be an integral part of coordinating and marketing the STOP Bias Program, providing bias trainings and educational programs, and collaborating with individuals and groups across campus, including the chief diversity officer, cultural centers and student organizations.
Dancil will also lead a new peer education team consisting of current undergraduate students that will facilitate trainings and programs to help better educate the entire University community regarding conscious and unconscious bias.
“As we work to provide an unsurpassed student experience and address conscious and unconscious bias at Syracuse University, Deka will be an essential resource and asset,” says Marianne Thomson, associate vice president and dean of students. “Her proven track record in serving and educating communities will not only help expand the STOP Bias program’s reach, it will also help foster cross-campus collaboration that bolsters the entire University’s diversity and inclusion efforts.”
Dancil earned a bachelor’s degree in policy studies from the College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and started her professional career serving as the program assistant for the Syracuse University Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP). She returns to the University from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse where she served as the director of teen programs since 2018. As the director of teen programs, Dancil oversaw the daily operation of the Shonnard Street teen center, administered professional development trainings and collaborated with other service agencies to provide community services, programs and events. Prior to her role as director of teen programs, Dancil served as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Syracuse lead health educator.
“I am extremely humbled,” says Dancil. “I could not be more proud to be returning to my alma mater as part of the culture shift emerging on campus.”
A strong community advocate, she serves as president of the Urban Jobs Task Force, youth chair for the Syracuse Chapter of the National Action Network and a core trainer for Rise Up for Social Action. Dancil was also a recipient of the 2019 YWCA of Syracuse and Onondaga Champion of Diversity award.