Nora Bouzihay (’17) is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at Arkansas State University.
ASU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, part of the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where all students thrive, providing social, cultural, educational, and leadership opportunities with specific attention to the needs of underrepresented and marginalized students.
Bouzihay, who joined ASU as part of the Transition Studies Program in 2019, has added administrative responsibilities and programming duties in her new role. She coordinates various programming within the department, including diversity training for students, faculty, and staff, and initiatives for Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, and programs promoting LGBTQ+ awareness.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts and sponsors regular diversity-based events and conferences, including the second annual diversity conference in June. This year’s theme is “These are the Times: Diversity in Action.” The office also hosts the Black Male Success Initiative and the Colorful Women Summit.
“That’s the biggest thing that I do,” Bouzihay explained. “Making sure we uphold the mission, the vision, and the values to help foster that inclusive campus environment, as well as to make sure we advance diversity education, and also cultural competence through those different types of programs that we have throughout the year. We do a lot of collaborations on campus with the women’s heritage studies program as well as with international student services to be that liaison and that sponsor for students, whether it’s support to be a collaborator, or support financially for students.”
The Office of Multicultural Affairs provides funding to different student organizations on campus through the Multicultural Leadership Council, which exists to promote leadership and collaboration among multicultural organizations at ASU. Campus organizations come together each month to discuss leadership development, the needs of multicultural organizations and students, and cultural programming.
Bouzihay, who is completing her Ed.D. through UA Little Rock, manages a team of multicultural ambassadors who take an active role in educational, cultural, social, and leadership opportunities for students on campus related to multiculturalism, equity, and social justice. The program celebrates differences and promotes multicultural awareness that assists with engaging across cultures and in everyday settings.
Additionally, Bouzihay continues to own and operate her online scarves’ boutique, NowaraCo. All current proceeds and purchases for NowaraCo go entirely toward Palestinian relief funds.
Bouzihay initially joined ASU as an Academic Success Coach and First Year Experience Instructor in the Transition Studies Program, teaching two courses – Making Connections and Success Strategies – while acting as students’ academic advisor and mentor.
“That position, you stay with the students until they graduate,” Bouzihay said of her previous role in the Transition Studies Program. “Even when they finish their remedial classes, you are still their go-to person if they need anything.”
Before joining ASU, Bouzihay worked as a tutor and First-Year Experience Instructor at UA Little Rock, served as the Director of the North Little Rock Works Mentorship Program, and volunteered with the Little Rock School District.
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.