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Lasana Omar Hotep

blank_photo_200x133Lasana Omar Hotep officially joined the Merritt family on October 28, 2013, as the Director of Student Activities and Campus Life.  He has more than nine years of higher education experience, particularly developing programs and advising student organizations that contribute to the success of underrepresented and underserved populations. Lasana currently serves as the Interim Dean of Special Programs and Grants and the Director of Student Activities and Campus Life at Merritt.

He joins Merritt College after serving as Director of College Student Educational Services and Multicultural Affairs at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) in Avondale, Arizona.  Prior to working at EMCC, he worked for Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for the Study of Race and Democracy where he hosted international conferences, community based forums, and cross-cultural dialogues, most notably, the Black and Latino Coalition Symposium.  He also worked at ASU in Multicultural Affairs as an advisor to culturally based student clubs and Greek-Lettered Organizational councils, and also co-founded the nationally recognized African-American Men of ASU (AAMASU) High School to College program.

He has served on various shared governance committees such as the Behavioral Invention Team, Student Affairs Leadership Team, Maricopa District Male Empowerment Network Committee, and the Diversity Coordinators Committee.  One of the highlights of his tenure at EMCC was the creation and implementation of the Learners Invested in Networking and Knowledge (LINK) student success program that included a summer bridge experience, mentoring program, and mandated tutoring for incoming students.

As a higher education professional, Mr. Hotep’s areas of expertise include developing student success initiatives, student organizational advisement, and program assessment.  As a scholar, his research and writings focus on African/African-American history, Black Manhood, and Hip-Hop History.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas State University in Speech Communications and History (double major).  His Master’s Degree is in History with a concentration on Black Male History and Manhood from Arizona State University.  He has presented his student affairs and academic research at numerous conferences including the Black, Brown and College Bound Summit, the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) National Conference, The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History Conference, and the Barack Obama and American Democracy Conference.  He has contributed chapters to several publications, including African American Men in College ( Jossey-Bass 2006), The State of Black Arizona (2008), Be A Father to Your Child: Real Talk from Black Men of the Hip-Hop Generation (Soft Skull 2008), The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life (Atria 2008), and Icons of Black America (Greenwood 2011).