SESP Alumna To Join the Pratt Institute

SESP Alumna To Join the Pratt Institute

Nsombi RickettsNsombi Ricketts

Assistant provost for diversity and inclusion Nsombi Ricketts (BS99) will be leaving Northwestern University in July to join the Pratt Institute as their vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion,  the Daily Northwestern reported.

Ricketts has been working in diversity and inclusion for more than a decade. Before joining Northwestern’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion in April 2017, Ricketts served as the assistant dean at The Graduate School, where she and her team recruited record-breaking numbers of underrepresented minority students and achieved the most diverse PhD class in Northwestern’s history. 

“Diversity is everyone,” Ricketts said. “It is the differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, language, and religion. Inclusion means having that mix work, leveraging everyone’s unique talents and authenticities to build a stronger community.”

Among other projects and initiatives, Ricketts is part of the planning committee for this year’s 50th-anniversary commemoration of the Bursar’s Office Takeover, a historic event that led to the creation of the Black House and the Department of African American Studies. 

“Both things were very near and dear to my heart as an undergraduate student,” Ricketts said. “The fact that Northwestern had a Black House was one of the reasons I decided to come.

In the past year, Ricketts and her team also updated Northwestern’s diversity and inclusion website to better reflect diversity resources on campus, Ricketts said. She said her office has also been working on a University-wide strategic diversity and inclusion plan that will launch in the next academic year. 

Ricketts told the Daily Northwestern that she is moving for both professional and personal reasons. Though her time at Northwestern was rewarding, she didn’t want to miss the chance to relocate to New York City, where she was born and still has a support network.

Kourtney Cockrell (MS17), director of student enrichment services, said that while the diversity and inclusion plan has been a goal for a while, Ricketts was the one who “hit the ground running.”

“I think she’s done tremendous work in bringing together a decentralized campus,” Cockrell told The Daily.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 4/24/18