Currently, I am the Executive Director for the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement at Indiana Wesleyan University. As a senior level administrator in this cabinet-level role, I help lead the work of the Department of Intercultural Learning and Development, Department of Intercultural Student Engagement, and Department of Multicultural Access Programs, all housed within the Office of Intercultural Learning and Engagement at IWU. As such, I oversee and help facilitate the work of the dedicated staff, student ambassadors, and overall team at IWU in ushering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice programs on the traditional Marion campus. In addition, I am also on concurrent appointment as an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Political Science Program at Indiana Wesleyan University.
At McMurry University (2013-2018) Prior to IWU, I helped create and sponsor the Diversity Affairs Council at McMurry University. DAC is a student organization committed to enhancing the climate of respect for diversity on campus. We dedicate ourselves to learning more about diversity in its complexities and exposing ourselves to new experiences. We want to foster a more inclusive campus environment by: being a reliable and trusted resource for students and student groups, challenging students to actively engage diversity related issues on campus, and working with administration to address and respond to student concerns. The Diversity Affairs Council was awarded with "Outstanding Organization," founder, Dr. Joel Olufowote, recognized as "Outstanding Faculty Advisor," and President, Erica Medina, honored as "Outstanding Student President" of the Council, in its first year of activity at McMurry University during the 2013-2014 academic calendar year.
In 2015, I created the Center for Community Inclusion at McMurry University. The CCI is a Center dedicated to the systemic and systematic understanding of issues surrounding diverse populations, institutional heritage, multicultural exposure, internationalization, among other ways, intended to serve McMurry University students, staff and faculty. As McMurry University continues to face the pressing demands of the 21st century on higher education, the Center will allow for a dynamic approach and perspective in weaving through the aforementioned issues by offering insight and discussion from a variety of university personnel and students. The CCI is a university “think tank” that is charged with understanding, through research, discussion and innovation, the complexity of issues facing the 21st century student. The idea of the CCI, an institutional office dedicated to campus wide understanding of diversity, inclusion and innovation through multiple lenses, has been brewing at McMurry University for a number of years and the burgeoning commitment to issues the CCI will focus on is further validated by President Harper and the University Cabinet.
At the State Department (2009-2016)
I am a former Program Assistant with the Study of the United States Institute and served on the administrative staff on-site at Southern Illinois University, one of the dozen host sites around the nation located in Carbondale, IL. The institute is sponsored by the Branch for the Study of the United States, Office of Exchange Programs, U.S. Department of State. Participants in the Study of the US Institutes are among the approximately 30,000 individuals who participate in exchanges managed by the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) each year. Other ECA exchange programs include the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program. Through a range of academic and professional exchanges, the Bureau seeks to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.
Former participants of this intensive six week study arrive from their home countries of Turkey, The Republic of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, and Vietnam, to name a few, and spend 4-6 weeks in Carbondale IL, Springfield, IL, St. Louis MO, Chicago IL, and Washington DC, learning about federal, state, and local political institutions and political processes in the United States. Former participants of this institute can now be found pursuing graduate degrees at Georgetown University, Harvard, Rutgers, Yale, MIT, among other top universities in the United States.
**Please visit the 'Contact Me' tab to view slideshow pictures of the aforementioned initiatives and activity**