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Lee Bitsóí, EdD Appointed Chief Diversity Officer
National search identifies thought leader and diversity advocate for newly established position at Stony Brook
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LeManuel “Lee” Bitsóí, EdM, EdD, has been appointed Stony Brook University's first Chief Diversity Officer.

STONY BROOK, NY, May 17, 2017 – LeManuel “Lee” Bitsóí, EdM, EdD, Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, has been appointed Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at Stony Brook University, effective July 28, announced President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. As CDO, Dr. Bitsóí will report to Chief Deputy to the President, Judith Greiman, and will serve on the University Council. He brings more than 20 years of experience in academia, which will serve him well in providing vision and leadership in promoting an institutional culture that supports diversity, equity and inclusion at Stony Brook, including guiding efforts to conceptualize, assess, and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource. 

A proud member of the Navajo Nation, Dr. Bitsóí received his undergraduate degree in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 1995. In 1998 he received a Master of Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University and in 2007 he was awarded a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. He is active nationally in the STEM diversity movement and recently represented the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science as a key speaker at the Chicago March for Science. 

In 2014 Dr. Bitsóí accepted a position with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as Director of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs where his role includes providing support to the intellectual, social, and polycultural development of all students for inclusive excellence and fostering a climate that respects and appreciates history, culture, and traditions of all students while providing programming and support for all affinity and student organizations. "Our students see Lee as an advocate, mentor and inspirational leader and will miss him. Lee's background and work at Rush, where he bridged the gap between the medical and the university communities, will serve him well in this new role," said Susanna Chubinskaya, Associate Provost, Faculty Affairs at Rush University.

“Lee brings a wealth of academic and practical experience coupled with a deep personal connection and commitment to building inclusive communities. I look forward to working with him on the implementation of our Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” said Greiman.

Dr. Bitsóí’s career in academia started at San Juan College in Farmington New Mexico where as a financial aid advisor he reorganized the federal and state work study student employment programs and served on scholarship committees. He then accepted a position in the admissions and financial aid office at Dartmouth College where among other roles and responsibilities he led the institution’s Native American recruitment initiative where he assisted in achieving record enrollment of Native American students in 2002-03 and 2003-04. He then joined Harvard University as associate director for recruitment and student affairs, where he worked to recruit underrepresented students and scholars. While at Harvard he was offered the opportunity to lead an initiative to develop and direct a recruiting and training program for underrepresented minority students in genomics and bioinformatics at the FlyBase—Gelbart Lab in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology -- in partnership with Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, and Jackson Laboratory. He spent a year at Georgetown University as a co-investigator for a grant funded “Indigenous Genomics Project” focusing on ethical, legal and social implications research projects for indigenous communities. Bitsóí returned to Harvard where he held multiple roles, including research associate in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology where he conducted independent research around bioethics within underserved communities and organizations and coordinated with indigenous researchers/scholars to develop Indigenous Genomics Research Initiatives focusing on ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of research. 

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About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 20 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

Reporter contact:  Lauren Sheprow
631 632-6310