Meet the Dean

reneewhiteRenée T. White was appointed to lead the College of Arts and Sciences as Dean in 2011. White encourages all students in the College of Arts and Sciences to become leaders in their chosen field. To support this, White just completed two very successful years of her innovative three-year pilot project, the SURE (Simmons Undergraduate Research Experience) fellows program. This program provides funding for students to attend conferences, present their research or serve as a research assistant to a faculty member.

Dr. White works across disciplines to build new programs and create opportunities that encourage innovative approaches to teaching and learning. With this in mind, she co-founded the first Vision 2020 college chapter in the nation at Simmons College and initiated the college’s membership in the Clinton Global Initiative University Network, which supports, mentors, and provides seed funding to leading student innovators and social entrepreneurs. In addition, she spearheaded Global Connections, the first all-college diversity graduation requirement for undergraduates at Simmons.

Dr. White is the editor of three books, including the acclaimed Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, and Revolutions, and author of Putting Risk in Perspective: Black Teenage Lives in the Era of AIDS). She has served as editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children & Youth and the People of Color Caucus newsletter for the Society for Values in Higher Education. She also serviced as editorial advisor to the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. Before her appointment as Dean at Simmons, she served as a professor of sociology and Black studies and as Academic Coordinator for Diversity and Global Citizenship at Fairfield University. She started her academic career at Purdue University where she held a joint appointment in the department of sociology and the African American Studies Research Center.

Dr, White also was a WYE Faculty Fellow at the Aspen Institute and completed a National Endowment for the Humanities summer Fellowship in Black film studies. Her current research examines the impact of public discourse on social policy concerning reproductive rights. Dr. White holds an AB from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

  • Gender, Reproduction and Sexuality
  • Inequality and Stratification
  • Racial and Ethnic Studies/Race Theory
  • Urban Sociology
  • HIV/AIDS: Global Frontiers in Prevention/Intervention
    Cynthia K. Pope, Renée T. White, Robert Malow, editors
    Routledge, 2009
    "In this textbook and reference, Pope, White, and Malow have meticulously assembled a resource that offers myriad cutting-edge issues in HIV/AIDS research, policy making, and advocacy from a global perspective… Without question, this book provides a wealth of information and presents a unitary geographical, sociological, and public health frame of reference for the analysis of HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention on a global scale." -- Eric Fenkl, Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care

  • Putting Risk in Perspective: Black Teenage Lives in the Era of AIDS
    Renée T. White
    Rowman & Littlefield, 1999
    "Renée White listened carefully to teenage women speaking about love, sex, motherhood, HIV disease and the future, keeping in sight the links between the women's personal behaviors and broader social contexts. Her meticulous analysis shows us that adolescents and health organisations may hold different views about what constitutes risky sexual behavior, why condoms are so seldom used, and why current health education fails to have an impact on the lives of young black women living in poverty. Dispensing with many popularly held assumptions about teenage sexual behavior, this book clears the path for more finely tuned and effective forms of health intervention and evaluation."-- Shirley Lindenbaum, Professor Emerita, CUNY

  • Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, & Revolutions
    T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting and Renée T. White, editors
    Rowman & Littlefield, 1997
    Honorable Mention: Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights and Bigotry in North America, Outstanding Book Award for 1998
    "A diverse collection of interdisciplinary voices that eloquently testifies to the ongoing historical and transnational resistance waged by women of color around the world against the many and varied forces that oppress them."--Angela Y. Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz; author of Blues Legacies and Black Feminism

  • Fanon: A Critical Reader
    Lewis R. Gordon, Renée T. White, and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, editors
    Blackwell Publishers, 1996
Selected Appearances

"Cultivating a Culture of Excellence: Retaining the Best and the Brightest" African American Women in Higher Education-New England Annual Conference, Brockton, MA. (2014)

“Summative Policy Panel Discussion: Where do we go from here?” Higher Education for Democratic Innovation Global Forum 2014, Belfast, Ireland. (2014)

“Shaping the Decade Ahead: Vision, Values and Actions” American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. (2013)

“Sisterhood: There is Power in Caring for Each Other.” Audre Lorde Cancer Awareness Brunch, Fenway Health, Boston, MA. (2012)

Invited Lecture, "Beyond AIDS 2012: Black Women and Girls.” International Black Women’s Congress 28th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (2012)

“HIV/AIDS and Adolescents” Georgetown University, Georgetown, D.C. (2012)

The Council of Europe—The International Consortium for Higher Education, Democracy, and Civic Responsibility, Oslo, Norway. (2011)

“African American Women and HIV/AIDS: Ethical implications.” BIT Life Sciences 3 rd Annual World Vaccine Congress. Beijing, China. (2011)

“African American Women and Social Justice.” The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, New York City. (2011)

“HIV/AIDS and Human Rights.” UNESCO Intergenerational Conference: Human Rights as a Tool for Social Change. (2005)