Thomas Edison State University (TESU) President Merodie A. Hancock, PhD, announced plans to celebrate this year’s Edison Day, the annual staff development day commemorating Thomas Edison’s birthday, with a special keynote speaker.

Aisha Thomas-Petit has been invited to deliver a keynote presentation at noon on Feb. 11, 2022, that is open to the public. Thomas-Petit, chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion officer at AMC Networks Inc., will speak about her work in the film and media industry as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, followed by a question-and-answer session from the audience.

As TESU undertakes its year-long 50th anniversary celebration, the university is focusing on a different university priority for each quarter. The focus during the first quarter is on TESU’s commitment to DEI. Thomas-Petit is expected to bring a uniquely informed perspective to those overarching themes.

“Aisha brings a wealth of experience and perspective that will be valuable for our team here at Thomas Edison State University, and I am pleased to be able to share her insights with the greater Trenton community,” said Hancock. “As we embark on building our own diversity, equity and inclusion roadmap to support our students and drive innovation, it is vital that we listen to the perspective of a seasoned executive.”

The public is invited to join the conversation, “DEI: Making an Impact Beyond the Screen,” on Feb. 11, via a free registration link.

Thomas-Petit joined AMC Networks in 2020 as its first chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer. In this role, Thomas-Petit builds on the company’s current DEI foundation, partnering with senior leaders to advance the company’s DEI goals. She plays an integral role in setting the strategy, road map and success measures to build, develop and retain a diverse and inclusive community of talent within the company’s workforce as well as behind the camera and on-screen.

Previously, she worked at ADP where she rose through its ranks, culminating as the head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility. Thomas-Petit also spent more than seven years at Barclays Capital, where she ultimately became the human resources director for Global Operations. Prior to Barclays, Thomas-Petit spent eight years at JP Morgan Chase, where she held several leadership roles.

Thomas-Petit holds a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing and business strategy from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Syracuse University, where she graduated magna cum laude. She resides in New Jersey with her family.

The University was chartered as Edison College on July 1, 1972, by the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education. The first such institution of its kind, the resolution establishing the school noted it was created “to enable individuals to receive academic recognition for skills and knowledge acquired in a variety of ways and would permit New Jersey residents to complete part or all of their work toward a baccalaureate or associate degree without formal attendance at a campus.” Since then, the university has grown from offering correspondence courses to state-of-the-art online education and from just one associate degree to more than 100 areas of study that span associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Due to social distancing concerns, this year’s Edison Day activities, including the public keynote address at noon will take place virtually. Please join the TESU community on Feb. 11, 2022, for this Zoom webinar event.