Deidra Davis, Texas A&M instructional assistant professor of urban planning, is the new assistant dean for outreach and diversity at the College of Architecture.

“Our college is unwaveringly committed to a climate of respect, diversity, and inclusion for all, and Davis will be instrumental as the college strives to fulfill this commitment,” said Jorge Vanegas, dean of the college.

Davis succeeds former associate dean for diversity Cecilia Giusti, associate professor of urban planning.

Her research and teaching interests include environmental justice, land contamination, community engagement, equitable planning, environmental land use, and sustainability.

In her current research, Davis is working with a team of scholars to monitor trace-level metal measurements in an area of southeast Houston near the Houston Ship Channel and looking to teach students at Furr High School, 4 miles away from the channel, how to advocate for a healthy environment at their school and homes.

“The importance of educating the youth is because they are at such a prime state in their development,” she said. “What these students become passionate about in high school could have an impact on what they choose to study in school and what they do with their lives.”

Davis earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Resources and Policy in 2017 and a Master of Science in Geography and Environmental Resources in 2012, both at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 2009 at Chicago State University.

Before she joined the Texas A&M Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning faculty in 2019, she taught environmental justice, human geography, and weather, climate and society classes at the university’s Department of Geography.