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Vanderbilt University’s Office of the Dean of Students has appointed Rosevelt Noble assistant dean of students and director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, effective June 1, 2017.
Noble also will take on the role of faculty head of house for Stambaugh House, a student residence on The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons first-year student community, at the beginning of the fall 2017 semester.
A scholar of the criminal justice system, Noble is the author of the book Black Rage in the American Prison System and has published scholarly articles on the American penal system. He is currently working on a publication examining racial bias in the jury selection process in capital punishment cases. Since 2002 he has been a senior lecturer in Vanderbilt’s sociology department, where he has taught courses on prison life, criminology, deviant behavior, social problems and statistics for social scientists.
From 2002 to 2010, he also served as director of the workforce investment act for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and held the same position with the Tennessee Department of Labor from 2010 to 2014.
A 2014 appointment as a senior fellow at The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt has allowed Noble to focus more intently on his research project, Lost in the Ivy: Archive of the African American History and Experience at Vanderbilt University, which to date includes interviews he has conducted with roughly 400 African Americans affiliated with Vanderbilt from 1963 through 2017 about their experiences at the university.
Through the years Noble has been Involved in a number of initiatives at the university, including service on the executive board for the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, as a member of the Chancellor’s Diversity Discussion Group and the black cultural center’s advisory board, and on the Student Conduct Review Board. He is faculty adviser to the student group Revitalizing and Empowering Vanderbilt’s African-American Male Population (REVAMP) and has served as mentor for the Posse program at Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt was the first institutional partner for The Posse Foundation that administers one of the most comprehensive and renowned college access and youth leadership development programs in the United States.
A native of Kankakee, Illinois, Noble is a three-time alumnus of Vanderbilt. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with honors from the university in 1997, and subsequently earned a master’s degree in 1999 and a doctorate in 2003. As an undergraduate he was a member of the Vanderbilt Commodores football team, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Black Student Alliance, the SEC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, D.A.R.E., and many other community service projects. In 1996 he was one of 11 college football players in America recognized on ESPN for his community service efforts as part of the College Football Association’s Good Works Team.
“Clearly, Dr. Noble, one of Vanderbilt’s own, brings a wealth of talent and experience to his new roles. We are delighted to bring someone of his insight, experience and commitment to these posts within the Office of the Dean of Students,” said Frank Dobson, associate dean of students. He also leads the Office of Social Justice and Identity, which oversees the black cultural center among a number of other offices charged with educating students on issues of social justice, identity and advocacy.
Noble is married to Kristin (Carter) Noble, a member of the Vanderbilt University Class of 2003. She currently is a resident in pediatrics at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. In July 2017 she will begin the Fellowship Program in Neonatology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They have two children.