André Culbreath was named the first director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). In his new role, he will work alongside Dean Paul Wahlbeck to ensure that DEI is the foundation of every aspect of CCAS.
“It is such an honor to be selected to be the inaugural director of diversity, equity and inclusion for CCAS,” said Culbreath, who previously served as the interim co-director of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center and was the associate director of DEI for student affairs and residential living at Penn State University. “My vision for this position focuses on defining the college’s DEI strategic action plan, advocating for the evolving needs of our faculty, staff and students and strengthening our sense of community.”
Culbreath will oversee all DEI efforts within CCAS. Among his primary responsibilities will be identifying and managing special projects; liaisoning with university leadership, faculty, staff and students; supporting DEI-advancing programs and educational opportunities; and acting as a resource to help fulfill the college’s vision of becoming a more inclusive organization.
“I look forward to working with André as we pursue our mission of being a supportive and inclusive community for all of our students, staff and faculty,” Wahlbeck said.
Culbreath brings to the position a passion and a proven track record for championing diversity programs and collaborating with leaders to drive progress. He describes himself as a “people-first strategist” and a “true believer in the value of empathy in the workplace.” Throughout his career, he said, “I’ve shown that when leaders decide to take action and make people the priority, the outcomes are incredible.”
Culbreath has held a range of DEI-related positions at Penn State since 2014. Leading the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, which provides programs and services to celebrate the diverse perspectives and experiences of under-represented communities at Penn State, Culbreath strengthened the institution’s commitment to multiculturalism. He advanced student mentorship programs for the nearly 1,500 students served by the center, expanded access to institutional resources and promoted enhanced university engagement with advocacy organization efforts.
As Penn State’s associate director of DEI for student affairs and residential living, he established the 20-member Equity & Inclusion in Action task force which spanned 11 residential campuses and impacted the experience of nearly 20,000 students. He has also coached more than 1,500 adult learners over his career and facilitated more than 100 in-person and online group training sessions.
Culbreath holds a master’s of science in higher education administration from New England College and a bachelor’s of science in political science from Francis Marion University. He will receive his Doctor of Education in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University later this year.
“I look forward to advancing the college’s efforts surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion to support our CCAS faculty, staff and students,” he said.