Meet the Staff

Renee Thomas

Renee Thomas

Director
Phone: 765-494-3091
Email: rathomas@purdue.edu

Renee A. Thomas currently serves as director of the Purdue University Black Cultural Center. She has 20 years of experience in higher education administration with expertise in program development, student services, community engagement and fundraising. Thomas is committed to promoting a campus climate that ensures the inclusion of diverse students, faculty, and staff in all aspects of the university. During her tenure, Thomas has been known for her ability to nurture, support and mentor students, and she plays an active role in enhancing student success and retention. She is service oriented and encourages global citizenship and academic achievement. [Read more]


Bill Caise

Bill Caise

Assistant Director
Phone: 765-494-4630
Email: wpcaise@purdue.edu

Bill Caise, a native of Kentucky, is from a small town just outside of Lexington. Caise did his undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky and received his MFA from the University of Iowa. While at the University of Iowa, Caise appeared in the world premiere productions of Karin Coonrod's "Everything that Rises Must Converge" (an adaptation of Flannery O'Connor short stories), Robert Alexander's "The Last Orbit of Billy Mars" as well as the Hansberry award-winning production of Levy "Lee" Simon's "The Bow Wow Club." Some of Caise's favorite roles have been as Cutler in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom", Boy Willie in "The Piano Lesson", Nick Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as well as Chasuble in "The Importance of Being Earnest". [Read more]


Juanita Crider

Juanita Crider

Program Advisor
Phone: 765-494-3097
Email: jcrider@purdue.edu

Juanita M. Crider currently works full time as the Program Advisor for the Purdue University Black Cultural Center. She is also a doctoral student in American Studies at Purdue who has completed course work and is preparing for qualifying exams in the summer of 2017. Her research interests are examining representations of aging/elder black females in contemporary black feminist literature, film television and visual culture with special focus on representations of elder sexuality. [Read more]


James Dekle

James Dekle

Artist in Residence
Phone: 765-494-3095
Email: jdekle@purdue.edu

James Dekle is a native of Statesboro, Georgia. Dekle came to the Black Cultural Center from Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as Choral Director for the Dekalb Early College Academy and the Atlanta Music Project, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides intense music education for underserved youth. James Dekle received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, FL, and a Master of Music Education degree from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. [Read more]


Carla Smith

Carla Smith

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 765-494-3092
Email: smit1410@purdue.edu

Carla Smith is a native of Gary, Indiana. She received her Associates Degree of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies from Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, Indiana. Carla has over ten years of experience working in diverse professional roles such as legal assistance, administrative support, and quality control facilitator and trainer. She is studying Industrial Engineering Technology here at Purdue University. [Read more]


Danicia Malone

Danicia Malone

Program and Facility Manager

Danicia Malone serves as BCC Program and Facility Manager.  She is an arts & culture ambassador and urban planner pursuing her PhD on the User-Experience of Race. Her research is focuses on the context of Race & Space – Growing Critical Cultural Capacity in the Built Environment. As a Next City Vanguard Fellow and Intercultural Competency Facilitator, she challenges the ideas of public space and place-making to encourage a people-centric status quo. [Read more]