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Eastern Gateway Community College adds diversity office

STEUBENVILLE — Eastern Gateway Community College has created a cabinet-level Office of Institutional Diversity to lead conversations, strategic planning, coordination and accountability about diversity, inclusion and equality programs and policies across the college.

“Across the country, we have all heard the calls to address systemic racism in real and meaningful ways,” Interim President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Geoghegan said. “We have a diversity committee, established proactively by members of our staff and faculty, but we need to do more. We are starting at the top by instituting an office focused on promoting diversity, inclusivity, equity and opportunity for our students, staff and faculty.”

Staff and faculty at Eastern Gateway Community College proactively created a voluntary committee to promote and support a diverse representation of employees that will engage our students in activities, trainings, and celebrations of cultural differences and encourage both employees and students to reach beyond ethnicity and strive towards equal involvement and equal access to opportunities for education, information, and resources. The new office will enhance and elevate their work.

Specifically, the Office of Institutional Diversity will:

ł Co-chair the existing Staff and Faculty Diversity Committee and establish an action plan for that committee’s work.

≤ Review and recommend changes to human resource policies and procedures.

≤ Develop a recruitment and retention program for minority staff and faculty.

≤ Create programming that provides mentoring, support services and resources for students challenged by gender, racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, ability, immigration, age, military status, or economic inequities.

≤ Work with EGCC’s Vice President of Student Affairs to integrate equality and diversity best practices into student services and events.

≤ Work with EGCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs to ensure courses and textbooks promote diversity, promote inclusive conversations, and provide tools for addressing unintentional bias and overt discrimination.

≤ Provide advice and counsel to the President of Eastern Gateway Community College as a member of the President’s Cabinet, and work across the college’s administration to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion best practices are trained and implemented.

≤ Create engagement opportunities for students, staff, faculty and the general public on issues of social justice and equality.

Karla Gregory-Martin will lead the new office as vice president. She currently serves as the Vice President of Workforce, Aspire and Community Outreach at Eastern Gateway Community College. In that role, she leads the organization’s adult employment and training initiatives, as well as the high school equivalency program, Aspire. Under her leadership, Aspire has become one of the top programs in the state of Ohio. She was the first Black female to serve as a vice president at Eastern Gateway Community College.

Gregory-Martin, a mother of four and grandmother of one, is very involved in her community and a supporter of many causes including the rights of women, minorities and children with disabilities. She sits on the Workforce Development Board for Area 16, Board of Trustees for Jefferson County Community Action Council, Inc.; Advisory Committee for the State Aspire Program; and is a member of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association. In 2019, she was honored as the YWCA Woman of the Year for Education.

“The role of education to transform lives is not limited to what takes place in the classroom, but throughout the culture of the campus and its community,” said Gregory-Martin. “The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity will be a champion for the kind of transformation that will make Eastern Gateway Community College a more vibrant, safe and equitable place for everyone.”

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