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In a memorandum sent out by Dean Michael R. Heithaus, faculty and staff learned Dr. Wanda Raiford has been appointed director of the Liberal Studies Program.

Dr. Raiford joined Florida International University in 2012 as a faculty in the Department of English, for the Writing and Rhetoric Program. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Iowa, her JD from the University of Miami School of Law and her BA in American Literature from Brown University.

Her efforts within the Department of English include creating a rhetorics of privilege and dispossession, examining how issues of epistemic injustice determine communication practice and give shape to individual, group and institutional interactions.

Her prior professional experience includes being a 2015 Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellow, an appellate attorney with the Office of the Florida Attorney General; a senior programmer in international public diplomacy, designing programs for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; and a legislative aide to a U.S. senator, among others.

Dr. Raiford is currently writing her first book, an examination of the social-political and social-structural links between sexual violence and exploitation of enslaved women during America’s slave-holding years and the country’s current rape-culture crisis.

As director of the Liberal Studies Program, she will lead student success initiatives impacting both the liberal studies and interdisciplinary studies degree tracks within the program.