Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Kirkwood DEI Statement:

With a sense of determination and responsibility to address systemic inequities, we will serve our community through prioritizing equitable outcomes for historically marginalized populations. We commit to strengthen equity and inclusion practices, pedagogy, and policies that foster belonging and a supportive community for students, staff, and faculty. 


Plurilingual Voices Panel

Betsy Baertlein, Global Learning Faculty at Kirkwood, led a discussion highlighting the importance of plurilingualism and respecting multilingual students during International Education Week. A student panel shared their experiences.

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DEI for Students

Equity Team

The members of the Kirkwood Equity Team are a diverse cross-section of the Kirkwood community who work as a hub to facilitate and align its DEI efforts and programs across the college. 

The Kirkwood Equity Team’s objectives:

1) Coordinate and disseminate updates related to DEI work at Kirkwood

2) Develop communications strategies for awareness of DEI work

3) Advocate for change by evaluating campus climate for students and employees

The Equity Team’s current members are

  • Darek Benesh, Associate Dean - Global Learning
  • Erica Bernard, Assistant Professor - Nursing
  • Eliot Blake, Professor English - Communication, English, and Media
  • Nick Borders, Director of Student Services
  • Jennifer Bradley, Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Jon Buse, Vice President, Student Services    
  • Wes Fowler, Vice President, Human Resources
    • Andrew Freeman, Program Director, TRIO, Student Equity, Inclusion and Support
  • Shelley Milks,Coordinator, Orientation - Dean of Students Office 
  • Melissa Payne, Associate Vice President, Student Services
  • Karla Scriven, Academic Advisor - Advising Department
  • Sreeja Sreelatha, Talent Acquisition Specialist - Human Resources
  • Serena Tarr, Associate Professor, Sociology - Social Sciences
  • Amanda Thompson, Supervisor - Learning Services
  • Dawn Wood, Dean - Global Learning
  • Mialisa Wright, Director - Student Equity, Inclusion, and Support

Kirkwood Student Gloria Wa Lumbu

“My instructors have really encouraged me when I doubted myself, telling me ‘You can do it!’ Even my classmates help and cheer me on!”

Gloria Wa Lumbu,
Democratic Republic of the Congo