Nova Smith

Assistant Director, Diversity Initiatives
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Nova Smith is thrilled to join the Access, Diversity, and Inclusion team as the new Assistant Director of Diversity Initiatives.  She hopes to continue her advocacy for students, faculty, and administrators who have been traditionally excluded from academia.  In her previous capacity as a Higher Education Administration Fellow and inaugural Diversity Advisory Board member at the University of Chicago, Nova has mentored underrepresented students from high school through graduate school and created numerous initiatives to advance campus social, cultural, professional, and research opportunities for underserved grads.  

A proud third generation HBCU graduate, Nova is an alumna of the renowned HBCU and women’s institution, Spelman College.  In addition to her B.A. in English, she also holds a Master’s in Cinema Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduate certificates in Gender Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Chicago, where she is also completing her doctorate in Cinema and Media Studies.   

Prior to returning to academia, Nova worked for many years in the entertainment industry.  Her roles included serving as the Vice President of Development for Lee Daniels Entertainment, spearheading the novel to script adaptation of the Academy Award-winning screenplay Precious. Nova looks forward to, in the words of W.E.B. DuBois, serving as “coworkers in the kingdom of culture” alongside her fellow Princetonians. 


Areas of responsibility:

  • Producing the annual Inclusive Academy Symposium and Best of Access, Diversity, and Inclusion (BADI) Awards
  • Managing ADI's internal and external communications and marketing
  • Leading HBCU and MSI outreach efforts
  • Creation and implementation of ADI's strategic plans
  • Support for recruitment, departmental visitation efforts, and student retention programming