By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma City University will host public forums with finalist candidates for the position of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion next week. The university’s search committee has recommended four finalist candidates for consideration by President Martha Burger, following a national search.
Finalists are Dr. Talia Carroll, former State Senator Angela Monson, Dr. Terrance Mitchell and Dr. Jobi Martinez.
Alumni and community members are invited to attend the candidate forums, which will be held from 4:15 to 5 p.m. each day from Monday, Feb. 24 through Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, 800 N. Harvey Ave.
The Feb. 24 forum is for Terrance Mitchell in room 509. Angela Monson’s forum will be Feb. 25 in room 509. Jobi Martinez’ session will be held on Feb. 26 in room 504 and Talia Carroll’s session will be Feb. 27 in room 509.
Each forum will include an introduction by the candidate, followed by a question and answer session.
The Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion (OSDI) administers programs designed to expand awareness, understanding, appreciation, and respect for OKCU’s culturally, ethnically, socially, and spiritually diverse campus community.
With nearly 15 years of experience, Talia Carroll has dedicated much of her career to improving the academic and social support offered to historically marginalized and underserved populations, with special attention devoted to enhancing campus climates and experiences for all students, faculty and staff. As director of the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) for five years, Carroll worked to transform support and mentoring opportunities for students.
Recently, Talia has contributed to the creation of the Interfaith Engagement Committee, supporting interfaith inclusion efforts at UNC. Carroll’s scholarship, research interests and practice reflect her commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and leadership. She has presented at several conferences and is a member of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education – NASPA and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Education in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in higher education from The Pennsylvania State University.
Former State Senator Angela Monson has a long-standing commitment to equity and inclusion, beginning with her service as a youth member of the Black Board of Education, an elected position established by the Oklahoma City Urban League to shadow the then all-white Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education. Monson has worked for fairness, justice, inclusion and equity for all through community-based efforts and through her personal and work endeavors. She values collaboration and the active engagement of all people.
Angela has steered the creation and growth of various coalitions representing the diversity both locally and across the nation to address policy and practice issues. The founding leader of many organizations and programs, Angela most recently served as the associate provost for Community Partnerships and Health Policy and as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her work has been focused on developing programs and expanding opportunities for underrepresented students,
Terrance Mitchell has served as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania since January 2019. He has worked in higher education for more than 28 years and has had responsibility for areas including diversity affairs, student activities, leadership programs, scholarship allotment, academic discipline, grant management and campus security. He previously served as chief diversity officer at the State University of New York College at Oneonta. He entered his career in higher education at the University of Oklahoma, followed by positions at San Francisco State University and Allegheny College.
Terrance is a founding member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and a co-founder of the College Readiness Program (CREED), an independent non-profit education consulting group. Mitchell holds a BA in journalism, an MEd in higher education and a PhD in administration and leadership studies. His dissertation is on “An Exploratory Study Regarding the Impact of Motivating Factors on Work Engagement in the Field of Diversity Work in Student Affairs and Higher Education.”
Jobi Martinez currently serves as the visiting assistant to the president for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Martinez works closely with the president and other administrative leaders on diversity, access, equity and inclusion initiatives. She is specifically charged with developing and advancing a diversity and inclusion strategic plan, a diversity and inclusion marketing and communication plan, and assisting the diversity and Title IX officer with implementing and advancing faculty, staff, student, and community initiatives. She led the university to receive its first Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.
Prior to joining UHD, Martinez served as the managing director and deputy chief diversity officer at Texas Tech University where she helped establish a division of 13 units committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and community engagement. In 2014, she left her position to complete her doctorate degree. During this time, she consulted colleges and universities on campus climate studies, diversity and inclusion marketing and communication, antiracism and strategic plans. Martinez is recognized as a national thought leader for her diversity leadership and media and communication research.
OCU’s Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion presents and sponsors events celebrating cultural heritages, including African American, Chinese, Hispanic, Indian, Jewish, Iraqi, Korean, Muslim, Native American, Saudi, Taiwanese, and other cultures from around the world present on OKCU’s campus. The OSDI presents gender-affirming programming, including LGBTQUIA+ and Ally activities, and promotes student activism and spiritual and interfaith activities.
For more information, visit okcu.edu.