RMU welcomes new director of Multicultural Student Services


Ally Evancho

Photo credit: Ally Evancho

Malyk Johnson

Gage Goulding and Malyk Johnson

On Jan. 3, Robert Morris University hired Pittsburgh native, Fred Hodges, Jr., as the Director of Multicultural Student Services.

Hodges previously worked at Penn State Behrend as the assistant director for education equity and diversity programs. He received that job after interning with Penn State following graduate school. Hodges received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Edinboro University. He received his bachelor’s in communications and master’s in college counseling.

“I was born and raised in Pittsburgh so it was time for me to come back home. I got a little homesick I was up there (Erie) for eight years doing my bachelor’s and my master’s at Edinboro university and then my two and a half years working at Penn State Erie,” said Hodges.

As Director of Multicultural Student Services, Hodges will organize programming in order to promote cultural awareness and appreciation.

“The first program will be M.L.K. Jan. 18 we are having an M.L.K. reflections dinner where we are getting together and we’re going to eat dinner and we are going to talk about M.L.K’s life and his legacy and how that affected us,” Hodges said. “The next thing I’m going to be doing is a lot of programs about Black History Month. So keep your eye open for Black History Jeopardy, the origins of Black History Month, Black History Luncheon, and I’m going to be doing various things rather as proactive and reactive messages that represent black history.”

Hodges also plans to help all of the other groups under the department of student life including the Black Student Union, The Saudi Club and Carpe Diem.

“First and foremost, I have to build a repertoire with students. I have to build a repertoire with colleagues, so that’s a new level,” said Hodges. “With that there are programs such as diversity training, so Diversity 101, Diversity 102, safe zone training, those different programs having programs for M.L.K., having programs for Black History Month, having programs that represent the Asian American students, that represents the international students, that represents the Hispanic students, the Saudi students and that represents the GLBTQA community.”

On top of continuing events such as the Diversity speakers series, Hodges plans to bring his own event to campus called a “Real Talk Shop.”

“I do ‘Real Talk Shops’ and with my ‘Real Talk Shops’ I meet with the students weekly and we have different set topics that we talk about,” said Hodges “It’s a place, it’s a safe zone, it’s a safe haven where they go and they express how they feel on certain current events. So, it could be social media. It could be pre-election, post-election. It could be race in America. It could be anything, you name it, we talk about it.”

The office of Multicultural Services is located in Student Life and can also be reached here.