Noelle Chaddock Paley of Endicott, N.Y., was named director of multicultural life and diversity at SUNY Cortland on Dec. 13, a role she has filled on an interim basis since June 2009.
Paley, who replaces Don Sawyer III, joined the College in September 2008 as a lecturer in the departments of Africana studies and philosophy.
The office she leads, Multicultural Life, will be renamed the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office on July. 1. A search is currently underway to hire an assistant director for multicultural life.
Reporting to C. Gregory Sharer, the vice president for student affairs, Paley is responsible for developing and implementing programs, workshops and services to enhance awareness and appreciation of diversity, multiculturalism and pluralism at the office.
“SUNY Cortland is poised to make great strides towards academic excellence and diversity,” Paley said. “Equity and social justice are at the center of what we need to do. The biggest task ahead of me now is to get everyone at and around SUNY Cortland to locate themselves as part of and benefiting from diversity, equity and social justice.”
“We recognize that diversity is central to institutional effectiveness, excellence and viability,” Sharer said. “With the support of the Multicultural Council and other stakeholders, Noelle will help the College become a truly diverse community and achieve the benefits of diversity.”
During her 18-months as interim director, Paley has adopted the work of Daryl G. Smith, professor of education and psychology at the Claremont Graduate University, as her model for how diversity should be shared in a college community, Sharer said. Through her, the College is gaining regional and statewide attention for multicultural endeavors. Paley serves on the University Faculty Senate Committee for Diversity and Cultural Competence as well as the Chancellor’s Innovation Team: SUNY and the Seamless Education Pipeline.
“Noelle has demonstrated a great commitment to SUNY Cortland and working with all aspects of campus,” Sharer said. “She has brought a great deal of energy and creativity to a fundamental aspect of our campus.”
Paley coordinates intellectual discourse among students, faculty and staff to promote the social benefits of diversity and multiculturalism. She also serves as a student advocate to ensure fair and equitable treatment and investigates ways to increase multicultural representation and enhance student graduation rates. Paley advises student organizations and supervises a professional staff member and student workers.
This spring, she also teaches two courses, Introduction to Africana Studies and Hip Hop Culture. Paley’s areas of teaching and research include mixed race identity politics and formations; Hip Hop culture; Hip Hop as a philosophic discourse; Africana women on film; prejudice, discrimination and morality; diasporic fiction; philosophy and law; markets, ethics and law; methods of reasoning; reproductive justice; racial and gender justice; prison abolition; research methods; performance activism and voice training.
Paley, who grew up in Endicott, N.Y., has completed all but the dissertation for a doctorate in philosophy, interpretation and culture at Binghamton University, studying on a Clark Fellowship. She previously earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Binghamton University and served as a graduate teaching assistant.
On campus, Paley strives for a collaborative leadership style that consists of building relationships across campus.
“I am most proud of co-existing in student affairs and academic affairs, as it has provided optimum student engagement opportunities,” she said.
Paley has presented many seminars and conferences at SUNY Cortland as she attempts to bring her passion for academia to her students and has arranged for them to attend academic conferences across New York state. Under her leadership, the office has developed and will host, for a second year, the Student Conference for Diversity, Equity and Social Justice.
In Spring 2009, her SUNY Cortland students honored Paley as an “Exemplary Woman of Color.” In May 2006, SUNY Binghamton presented her with its Human Development Faculty Award for Scholar Activist as well as its Human Development Faculty Award for Outstanding Commitment to Racial and Gender Justice.
Paley will move to Cortland with her husband, Mike. They have five children, including Ben and Kendra, who are grown and married to Kim and Adam, respectively; and Matt, Joshua and Morgan Celeste; and one grandchild, Liam.