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ADA – East Central University alumnus Steven Denson has been named Assistant Dean of Diversity at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. His new leadership duties began October 1.

Previously, Denson served as Director of Diversity and Inclusion at SMU’s Cox School for 18 years. He initially joined the Cox School as Associate Director of Student Services in 1998 and remains committed to developing and implementing programs to support students.

“It is an honor to have my 22 years of work in diversity outreach recognized,” said Denson. “My office will continue to collaborate with Admissions and Student Services to recruit, retain and advance underrepresented student populations.”

Denson, a native of Wapanucka, Oklahoma, earned his bachelor’s degree in Government from ECU in 1991. He followed that with a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Denson has been a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation of Princeton University and was a former trustee of the American Indian College Fund. He has served as advisor to Secretaries of Labor in the Bush and Obama administrations, and is also a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation.

Denson was also a proud participant in ECU’s Gifted & Talented Lyceum that former State Senator Billie Floyd chaired in the 1980’s.

“That experience helped me decide on ECU, and then go on to graduate studies,” said Denson. “Billie and I are great friends to this day.”

In the past, Denson has worked with the ECU Alumni Association in hosting events at SMU and in the Dallas area and has hosted tours for ECU’s Business Scholar Leader program, which is under the direction of Wendell Godwin, dean of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business.

Denson serves as an adjunct professor for SMU’s Management & Organizations department, where he teaches negotiation. He guided a Cox Business School student team that won the Baylor Business Negotiation Competition.

Outside the classroom, Denson serves on the advisory panel of SMU’s Clements Center for Southwest Studies and on the community advisory board for KERA, which is the PBS affiliate for North Texas. In 2017, the Greater Dallas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Corporate Executive Diversity Award.


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