Arts & Culture Patron: Dr. Sheldon B. Wrice

Sheldon Wrice is currently the Vice President for Inclusion and Equity /Chief Diversity Officer. In this critical position within the University administration, Wrice provides strategic leadership for campus diversity, program oversight, diversity advising and mentoring, community relations and outreach, and policy duties that result in a learning and workplace environment that is welcoming and supportive to all.

As chief diversity officer, Wrice supervises the Office of Inclusion and Equity, Office of Multicultural Development, Multicultural Center, and the Women’s and Gender Resource Center. The Office of Accessibility has dual reporting lines to Student Affairs and the Office of Inclusion and Equity.

He also serves as the Director of Pan-African Studies and Professor of Technical Writing and Composition. Prior to his present role, he served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Education in the Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences, Chair of the Department of Associate Studies at The University of Akron’s Summit College. He teaches Composition, Technical Writing, Diversity in American Society, and The Black Experience. He has also served as an adjunct graduate faculty member in the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University.

He is an active member of the Akron Civil Rights Commission, Kappa Alpha Psi Inc.,100 Black Men of Akron, Inc., National Council of the Teachers of English, American Library Association and Sigma Pi Phi Inc. Dr. Wrice has also been an active member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity – Beta Rho Chapter since 2018.

Dr. Wrice received his Doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron in May 1995. He also holds an M.A. in Urban Studies, an M.S. in Technical Education, an M.A. in Multicultural Education, a Master of Library Science degree, an MPA in Public Administration, an MA in Instructional Technology, and a B.A. in English. Dr. Wrice is a graduate of S.C. State University, Clark-Atlanta University, Georgia State University, and The University of Akron.

1. What is your earliest memory of the arts (attending a function, organization, or art-making)?

Since I was fortunate to attend elementary school on the campus of South Carolina State University campus, I was able to attend all of the plays and productions presented by the Drama Club on the campus. This had a significant impact on my life as a child and later as an adult.

2. What was your first introduction to the arts/culture scene in Summit County?

I would have to say the various concerts and productions presented by the University of Akron School of Dance, Music and Theater.

3. How do arts/culture/environment in Summit County impact your life?

As a lover of the arts, I look forward to any and all programming that addresses art, dance, and music. These types of programs appear to quench my thirst for creativity.

4. What artist/arts organization in Summit County do you wish more people knew about?

I wish people know more about the Shirla McClain Gallery, which is located in the Buckingham Building on the campus of the University of Akron. This gallery showcases the works of notable African Americans within the area.

5. What is a “can’t miss” Summit County arts/culture/environment experience?

For me, it would have to be The Juneteenth Celebration that takes place at Stoner/ Hawkins park.