Britt

Britt Rios-Ellis, M.S., Ph.D. serves as Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland University. Her focus is student success, equity, and ensuring fertile ground for research, access to high impact practices, and community engagement. As a bilingual (Spanish)/bicultural educational leader with inclusive excellence as her guide, Dr. Rios-Ellis seeks to collaborate in creating learning spaces and approaches that build opportunities for an interprofessional, intersectional, and interdisciplinary education. At Oakland University she has focused her efforts on strengthening and stabilizing the university during a time of enrollment decline and made considerable inroads in the following areas: 1) building a sustainable academic affairs structure; 2) diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to increase enrollment and retention of underrepresented minority students, faculty, and staff; 3) enhancing shared governance through the University Senate; 4) promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and culturally and contextually-focused pedagogical approaches; 5) ensuring breadth of equity in hiring practices; 6) building comprehensive approaches to stewardship of place; and, 7) implementing a student success dashboard to clearly measure and mitigate equity gaps. She has also raised much-needed funds, spearheaded innovative interprofessional initiatives, and shepherded the purchase of a new building adjacent to a highly underserved community to house primarily health and human services programs. She holds Bachelors’ degrees in Spanish and Political Science, a Master of Science in Health and Fitness Management, a certificate in Women’s Studies, and a Doctorate in Community Health from the University of Oregon. Britt completed Harvard’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education and the HERS Program for Women’s Leadership in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr. She also completed the Provost Academy of the American Association of State Colleges and University. As founding Dean of California State University Monterey Bay’s (CSUMB) College of Health Sciences and Human Services (CHHS/2014-2020), she doubled and diversified tenure-track faculty and established the sponsored CHHS Diversity Celebration Series. Britt co-founded the first Master of Science Physician Assistant Program within the 23- campus CSU system–raising over $2 million in health partnerships, launched two academic departments, and built the framework and support for the Master of Public Health. Britt also spearheaded multiple funded short-term study abroad trips in Latin America with a focus on diverse geographic regions in Mexico, garnering funding from 100,000 Strong and the U.S. Department of State. Furthermore, she spearheaded the Center for Community Health Engagement, a multipurpose, interprofessional space to optimize wellness for houseless populations, and established COVID-19 protocols for face-to-face learning, testing, and street outreach. From 1994-2014, Britt was a professor of health sciences at CSU Long Beach and the founding Director of the NCLR (now UnidosUS)/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training, and the community-based Centro Salud es Cultura, an applied research center strengthened by community outreach and programming. As Principal Investigator on multiple grants, including CSULB’s first Hispanic Serving Institution awards as well as the initial BUILD planning and programmatic awards, she spearheaded initiatives that honor, integrate, and evaluate the impact of cultural and linguistic capital into a S(H)TE(A)M approach, fusing humanities and the arts into culturally resonant, high impact practices educational programming. In 2013 she received CSULB’s singular and highest honor–Outstanding Professor. Dr. Rios-Ellis has led over $59 million in student-and community-strengthening health and education-related efforts funded by the NIH, US Department of Education, Office of Minority Health, USDA, National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), among others. She has consulted for the NIH, CDC, Mothers to Mothers (Africa), the Japanese Ministry of Education, the U.S. Mexico Foundation, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Pan American Health Organization, YMCA, and the US Department of State. Britt has authored peer-reviewed manuscripts on Latino and URM-focused education, HIV/AIDS, maternal-child health, nutrition, and obesity. She is the recipient of the Henry Montes Presidential Award from the American Public Health Association’s Latino Caucus, two Woman of the Year accolades, and the Sol Award from L.A. County’s Office of AIDS Policy. Dr. Rios-Ellis was a commissioned member of the CDC/HRSA’s Advisory Committee on HIV, Hepatitis and STD Prevention/Treatment, SAMHSA’s Advisory Committee for Women’s Services, and President Obama’s Advisory Commission for HIV/AIDS Disclosure Work Group. She has appeared on Spanish and English-language television for Telemundo, Univisión, CNN, and ABC World News.   Britt is married to musician/music educator Dr. Enrique Rios-Ellis and is the proud mother of Xóchitl, Enrique, and Itzél, three budding artists who inspire her every day.