Professional Staff

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Ulli K.Ryder - Director of ISE 

Ulli holds an MA and a Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity as well as an MPW from the University of Southern California (USC). She holds an additional MA in African American Studies from UCLA. Prior to joining the RISD community, Ulli served as the Dean of Arts and Humanities at the Bristol Community College.

In addition to working as the Director of ISE at RISD, Ulli is currently scholar-in-residence in the Office of the Chaplains at Brown University. She is co-author (with Dr. Marcia A. Dawkins) of the book Mixed Race 3.0: Mixing Risk and Reward in the Digital Age (Annenberg, 2015).

Ulli has also taught extensively. Working from institutions such as Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, Simmons University, and University of Southern California, she has taught courses on topics including race & media, Black Feminisms, Women & Health, and African American Rhetoric. Her expertise has also been sought by media outlets such as The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Huffpost, Feminist Wire, Cultural Weekly, MSNBC, CBS Radio, NPR, and PBS.

As the Director of ISE, Ulli is responsible for providing dynamic and collaborative leadership in support of RISD’s educational mission and is directly responsible for diversity leadership in the areas of student success and advocacy, campus education, and operational integration.  Ulli ensures campus engagement, advancing cross-cultural dialogues, the integration of multicultural experiences into campus life, and socio-cultural skill proficiency. 

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Jade Johnson - Assisant Director of Diversity Programs 

Jade Johnson is the Assistant Director of Diversity Programs in the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In this role, she coordinates programming that is intended to educate students, faculty, and staff on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her previous positions have included: Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion at the Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Graduate Assistant of the Office of Diversity Education (CMU), and host/producer of the Diversity Diagnoses podcast. 


Johnson holds a BS and an MA degree from Central Michigan University in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts with a concentration in Electronic Media Studies and Journalism. Johnson is a Michigan native, proud aunt, and a Jeopardy! fanatic.

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Jennifer Recinos- Assisant Director of First Generation Student Support

Jennifer Recinos is the Assistant Director of First Generation Student Support for the office of Intercultural Student Engagement. She will be managing the First Generation to College Pre- Orientation program (FGC PoP) as well as Project Thrive, our multi-year student support and learning community program. Both programs are designed specifically for RISD students whose parents did not attend or did not complete college. Jennifer has 7 years of higher education experience working within Arts Education and Admissions. She was born and raised in Providence, RI. She is a New Urban Arts and College Visions Alumn and identifies as a first-generation, queer, college graduate of Guatemalan descent. Jennifer graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in International Studies as well as Film, TV and Interactive Media. Food and Photography is always on her mind.