FSU appoints new director of nationally recognized CARE program

DeOnte Brown, the incoming director of CARE and assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies.
DeOnte Brown, the incoming director of CARE and assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Florida State University announced Wednesday the appointment of DeOnte Brown as the new director of the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE). He will start in the role Jan. 4, 2021.  

, who also will serve as assistant dean of Undergraduate Studies, comes to FSU from Clemson University where he is the assistant dean of students. He’s served in multiple administrative positions in student services at Clemson and taught numerous classes in Clemson’s College of Education

Prior to Clemson, Brown spent four years at Florida State working for CARE, including three years as program coordinator for the Upward Bound program which works with aspiring first-generation college students when they are in high school

Joe O’Shea, assistant provost and dean of undergraduate studies, said he’s excited to welcome Brown back to FSU.

DeOnte is recognized nationally as a leader in promoting student success and equity,” O’Shea said. “He has dedicated his career to supporting students and creating the conditions for them to thrive. I’m incredibly excited to welcome him back to Florida State for the continued advancement of our world-class learning environment.

Brown’s experience with CARE started when he participated in the center’s Upward Bound program as a high school student in Quincy, Florida. 

“My foundation as a student affairs professional is through CARE,” Brown said. “So, the opportunity to lead this center, which has grown so much, is very exciting.”

CARE’s mission includes the retention and success of first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students who have been disadvantaged through economic or educational circumstances. That effort extends toward motivating and attracting high school students to pursue higher education and then preparing them for success once they arrive. 

The center is a collaboration between the divisions of Undergraduate Studies and Student Affairs. 

Brown said his responsibility as director mirrors the center’s mission. 

“It’s really being an advocate for our first-generation community and our other underrepresented students and engaging our colleagues across campus on the needs of these students,” he said.

Brown, who is currently completing his doctorate in learning sciences at Clemson, earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.  

He’s won numerous professional awards, including being one of 10 people nationally to be named an Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate by the National Resource Center and Cengage

Brown succeeds Tadarrayl Starke, who moved to the University of Connecticut last September after eight years as CARE director. O’Shea credited the search committee helmed by Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Jarrett Terry for its efforts.