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Update:

In accordance with the Illinois State mandate, masks are required on L&C campuses and vaccinations or weekly testing is required for team members and students. Visit www.lc.edu/coronavirus for information on submitting vaccine documentation and free testing on campus.

New DEI Director Seeks to Foster Sense of Belonging on L&C Campus

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Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Marketing and PR, linlow@lc.edu

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College is strengthening its commitment to empowering students and team members this fall with the addition of a new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence.

Mya Lawrence, of St. Louis, joined the team Aug. 4, and is looking forward to working closely with students and her peers.

“Lewis and Clark is an institution that is invested in making positive changes, not only at the school, but throughout the community. This drive to be more visible is empowering for all stakeholders,” she said. “Enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at L&C fosters a sense of belonging for all.”

Lawrence attended Metro Academic and Classical High School, earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2008, and her Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Cultural Diversity from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dean of Student Support Services Sean Hill believes Lawrence will play an essential role at L&C.

“Her knowledge, experience with first-generation college students and awareness of diversity issues make her a welcomed addition to our team,” Hill said. “Mya’s leadership and insight will help create a more welcoming and inclusive space for all members of the campus community.”

As director, Lawrence will collaborate with campus team members and students to develop and implement a DEI blueprint; serve as co-leader of the campus Diversity Council and on the Minority Affairs Committee; organize and implement training and workshops to continually build competence around diversity and inclusion; and organize and implement programs that promote success and retention of ethnic minority students, international, LGBTQIA+ students, and any underrepresented student population.

“My work will have an intentional approach to create space that encourages students to think differently and learn more about themselves and their peers through cultivating a more inclusive campus environment,” Lawrence said. “Diverse representation and inclusive learning environments provide more perspectives and dialog for students. Students benefit from seeing themselves represented in the classroom and in leadership, as do faculty and staff.”

Lawrence plans to spend her first 60 days getting acclimated to campus, meeting team members and students and beginning to hold open discussions on diversity-related initiatives and programming.

“The best part about what I do professionally is serving students,” she said. “I enjoy working to provide a space for every student to feel included and developing a sense of belonging on campus. It is very important to me to develop relationships with the student body and to provide a voice that represents their concerns and needs.”

To learn more about DEI at L&C, visit www.lc.edu/diversity.

To contact Lawrence, email mylawrence@lc.edu or call (618) 468-6030.