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St. Bonaventure University

Ten staff members named to St. Bonaventure’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Aug 27, 2020 |

Ten members of the university community have been named to the Presidential Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Three St. Bonaventure students will be added to the commission early this semester, said Dr. Dennis DePerro, university president.

Earlier this summer, DePerro named Dr. Matrecia James and Dr. Kimberly DeSimone co-chairs of the reconstituted commission, formerly called the Committee on Equity and Inclusion.

“I’m confident Drs. James and DeSimone will prove to be a formidable tandem to push forward an agenda to improve our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts across campus,” DePerro said.

James, dean of the School of Business, and DeSimone, associate professor in the Jandoli School of Communication, worked with DePerro to sort through more than 40 recommendations for commission membership.

“I was gratified to see that many people recommended. It gave me a great deal of hope that there is a groundswell of support across campus for this initiative and a collective desire to make a difference,” DePerro said.

“To see another horrific tragedy take place this week in Wisconsin only underscores the urgency of the work ahead of us,” he said. “This university needs to play whatever part it can to make a dent in the systemic injustice too many people in our nation cope with far too often.”

Faculty and staff named to the commission are:

  • Chris Brown, executive director of Student Success and HEOP
  • Fr. Michael Calabria, O.F.M., Ph.D., director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Leslie Carlson, director of Human Resources
  • Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, associate professor, Jandoli School
  • Dr. Matt King, associate professor, English
  • Dr. Latoya Pierce, visiting professor, counselor education
  • Emanual Phillip, clubs mentor, Damietta Center
  • Dr. Tracy Schrems, assistant professor, adolescence education
  • Br. Angel Vasquez, O.F.M., minister-in-residence
  • Dahron Wells, counselor, Office of Admissions

The chairs said the commission’s guiding principles are rooted in the Franciscan values of community and individual worth. At the university’s annual Fall Convocation last week, James and DeSimone revealed the mission of the group:

“St Bonaventure University’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to respecting the uniqueness of each individual, to embrace diverse backgrounds, to advocate for equitable and inclusive communities, and to foster opportunities to develop multi-cultural competencies.

“The commission is dedicated to developing educational and social initiatives that reflect the individual self-worth of all regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, marital or veteran status campuswide.”