New Year, New Position at Emory & Henry College

Sam Mungai, News Writer •

Former associate director of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life Travis Proffitt is now becoming Emory & Henry’s new Director of Academic Diversity Initiatives. The new position mainly entails working in close collaboration with Director of Inclusion and Diversity Patricia Gonzalez, as well as the Academic Affairs office, to ensure that faculty is equipped to teach in more diverse classrooms as the student body becomes more varied.

Proffitt graduated from E&H in 2004, and according to, “earned his master’s degree in social justice from Loyola University Chicago, and double majored at Emory & Henry in public policy & community service and religion.”

In his new position Proffitt foresees the future of E&H to be very bright, but, he said, that future “is dependent on us thinking very carefully and strategically right now…because our world is changing, in many ways for the better, and we need to be responsive to that if we are going to survive at the bare minimum. But we just don’t want to survive, we want to thrive. So, in order to do that, we are going to have to adapt and grow and advance along with society around us.”

Proffitt will be working to help faculty form a syllabus which reflects a more diverse range of views in their discipline, whether it be in mass communications, biology or a range of other academic fields.

Proffitt is also in charge of putting systems and policies in place to recruit a wider range of diverse faculty. Proffitt said, “This is still an area of growth that the college needs to work on at the college, but am excited to take up that challenge. Although it’s going to be a bit rough, with the help of everyone on campus, we will make it happen.”

Proffitt will continue teaching in the Appalachian Civic innovation program, and will be working on designing a new minor in Peace and Justice Studies. Proffitt said, “I will always be in the classroom. It’s my favorite place to be, and to be with students in that way. So I will continue to work with students because students are the life and blood of this college.”

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