Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity and Inclusion
In short, what do you do?
I oversee the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Office of Service and Spiritual life. I work with the University president to develop, implement, and assess initiatives to create a more inclusive and socially just campus. I collaborate with Maryville constituents to create culturally meaningful programs that are educative, developmental, and socially engaging. Additionally, I facilitate workshops and trainings on topics related to diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
Diversity progress in higher education requires not only policies on paper, but also the resources needed to put these initiatives into effect and fully integrate them into the university’s culture. How is Maryville breathing life into its mission of a having a diverse and inclusive student body?
Maryville is succeeding in its mission to build a diverse and inclusive student body through the active recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups of people, providing professional development on diversity, inclusion and equity topics for faculty and staff and creating programs that educate and celebrate different cultures. We are committed to creating an inclusive campus that is accessible for all students. We have increased our Multicultural Scholarship Program from five awards to over 30, including two Dr. Donald M. Suggs Scholarships that provide a full-tuition, room and board scholarship for African – American high school students from St. Louis. President Mark Lombardi also established the full tuition Martin Lombardi scholarship for two African – American students from anywhere in the country, personally endowed and named for his father.
You’ve participated in fellowships with the National Association for Campus Activities, the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Focus St. Louis. In what ways have these opportunities been most valuable to you?
These opportunities have allowed me to connect with a diverse range of committed professionals and explore a variety leadership concepts and principles. St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative was especially impactful because of the local connections I was able to make with top professionals in different industries. This group has become a major support network for me, both personally and professionally. Shout out to Cohort 9!
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” is one of my favorite quotes. It always reminds me that no matter how talented I think I am, the moment I stop working hard is the moment when I am at risk of not achieving my full potential.
How do you like to spend your time out of the office?
I enjoy my favorite restaurants and trying new ones, music, movies and reading. Outside of work, I am usually with friends and family pursuing one of these activities.