Instructional Administrators' Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Instructional Administration Team is committed to leading and supporting instructional efforts with equity at the forefront to dismantle systemic racism, as outlined in the statements below. Our top priorities are: removing equity barriers to transfer, fully implementing Guided Pathways, and recruiting and supporting minoritized students, faculty and staff. We are each personally and professionally committed to this work on behalf of faculty, staff and students.

Suzy Ames, Vice President of Instruction

My equity work centers on assuring Instruction continues to close equity gaps and transforms from an open access institution to open success institution. This is demonstrated in:

  • Assuring LWTech’s curriculum prepares students to thrive in a diverse workforce;
  • Assuring faculty are equipped with professional development and tools to effectively support and teach students through culturally responsive pedagogy to create a more equitable classroom environment;
  • Expanding Guided Pathways, which assures all students have a supported, clear path to meet short-term and long-term goals.

I commit to:

  • Continuing to educate myself on historical and present-day racism;
  • Speaking out against racial injustices;
  • Not only recruiting, supporting the retention of faculty and staff of color
  • Fully supporting students’ ability to learn in an anti-racist institution

Tuấn Đặng

My equity work centers on understanding the student. My work focuses on creating opportunity for and intrusively supporting students. My work helps guide students through multiple pathways to attain their career goals in a way that is individualized to their specific needs. My equity work centers on creating more flexible, forgiving systems in order to include all students, no matter their background or history.

I commit to being uncomfortable. I commit to sharing my experiences and learning from those of others. I recognize that my experiences are limited and I commit to listening to the experiences of others with authenticity, curiosity, and compassion. I commit to focusing on equity with intention rather than by reaction.

My work includes:

  • Adapting the individualized and continuous advising processes as needed so High School students can maintain progress on their pathway of choice.
  • Helping students and families navigate our multiple high school programs which allow students to enter and re-enter pathways to their High School Diploma and Degree.
  • Providing and expanding intensive resource supports ranging from scholarships to an in-house lending library of books and tools.
  • Actively discussing issues of equity as a staff and incorporating these into the actions and goals of our High School accreditation.

Mike Potter

My equity work centers on three areas:

  • Improving our hiring practices to increase diversity and equity in our workforce, particularly faculty. I serve on the EDIC Hiring practices sub-committee and am dedicated to fully implement the Diversity & Equity in Hiring & Professional Development (DEHPD) guidelines.
  • Identifying equity gaps by program and working to improve student outcomes, particularly young men in all programs (who as a group seem immune to the work of The Four Connections), and women in IT, Engineering, and Game Design.
  • Advocating on the LWTech, state, national, and international levels for Bachelor's degrees offered by community & technical colleges as a pathway proven to close equity gaps in baccalaureate attainment, and serves to dismantle one of the foundational components of systemic racism in higher education.

I commit to speaking against implicit bias expressed as doubts about the performance capabilities of current or prospective employees based on their name, race, accented English, country of origin, institution conferring their degree, and/or their work experience outside the U.S.

Doug Emory

My professional equity work centers on two areas:

  • Redesigning precollege student pathways. Precollege programs enroll a disproportionate percentage of students of color, and the length of remedial pathways has both limited access to college and created a barrier to college completion. My division’s precollege reform work includes revisions to placement testing, a shortening of the math and English precollege pathways, articulation between basic education and college academics, and expansion of newer delivery systems such as I-BEST.
  • Improving completion and transfer rates for students of color. This initiative includes both working with the state system to remove race-based barriers to transfer and expanding proven educational models for increased student success. Examples of proven models include I-BEST, which dramatically increases student completion rates and undergraduate research (UGR), which increases retention, completion, and transfer rates for students from historically underrepresented populations, particularly for those students intending to enter STEM fields.

I commit to serving on the committee reviewing our degree requirements, increasing the transition rates of students from Basic Education into college, and learning more about systemic racism and its effects. 

Vicki Chew

My equity work centers on:

  • implementing Degree Planner to ensure all students have a full academic plan with a clear path to completion
  • leading the Collaborative Advising Model to provide all students with advising and the support needed to complete
  • identifying and analyzing data to eliminate equity gaps with a focus on the rollout of course level dashboards

I commit to improving my understanding of racial inequities, participating in ongoing courageous conversations, and advocating for institutional change.

Dave Rector

My equity work centers on eliminating barriers, and providing individualized support, for F-1 international students to enable them to achieve their educational and career goals. This work includes personalized support:

  • adjusting to studying at LWTech, and the US in general
  • navigating systems related to living in the US (e.g.: SEVIS, DMV, etc)
  • navigating on-campus systems (e.g.: scholarship opportunities, on-campus jobs, academic/immigration advising, and connecting with resources/individuals)

I commit to think carefully about my words and actions, reflect on my own biases, and to communicate openly and honestly with students and my colleagues as I continue to learn and grow.

Lisa Meehan

My equity work centers on ensuring all Funeral Service Education graduates have been exposed to a multicultural curriculum and are prepared to succeed in a diverse workforce.

I commit to practice being quick to listen and slow to speak and showing empathy for all. I commit to learning more about white privilege and the impact it has on society. I commit to engaging in activities and conversations that may be uncomfortable but are necessary to move forward.

Michael Richmond

My continued equity work centers on supporting the Strategic Plan through the Visions and Goal of;

  • Valuing diversity and welcoming students from all backgrounds and levels of educational attainment
  • Empowering faculty and staff to reach their potential in a supportive environment that values collaboration, transparency, respect, and integrity
  • Attracting and retaining diverse employees that view LWTech as an employer of choice. Associated core themes and these Strategic Plan Strategies:
    • Identify and integrate institutional qualities and activities that create an inclusive environment and help employees feel valued
    • Establish comprehensive professional development opportunities for all employees
    • Engage employees in a shared sense of purpose and community
    • Identify and implement approaches to attract diverse, culturally competent employees to the college

I commit to continually learning about racism, privilege and to seek scholarly knowledge paired with learning about experiences shared by all humans through these lenses.

Sally Heilstedt

My equity work focuses on implementing best and emerging practices for increasing the success of all students at LWTech, with emphasis on the success of minoritized students. I have the great honor of working with multiple teams on campus whose primary focus is on supporting equitable learning outcomes for students.

  • Our offices of Professional Development and eLearning lead efforts in digital accessibility and universal design for learning (UDL).
  • The LWTech Library Learning Commons is the center of work with open educational resources (OER), removing financial barriers and introducing the use of open pedagogy. Open pedagogy increases representation in and engagement with course materials by including students in their production.
  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) provides in class and out of class opportunities for additional learning and support in courses with high enrollment and traditionally lower pass rates.
  • In partnership with faculty and my team members, I facilitate implementation of the 4 Connections, the Transparency Framework, and culturally responsive teaching (CRT; new resource in development), all of which are classroom-centered equity practices.

I commit to continuing this good work, while also challenging myself and others to more overtly address racial disparities that persist even with its implementation. In order to do so more effectively, I commit to:

  • centering the experiences and expertise of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as we enhance equitable practices in our classrooms
  • continuing my lifelong antiracism education by engaging in book clubs, research, listening sessions, social media challenges, etc. with both white and BIPOC friends and colleagues
  • decentering myself as a person with white privilege when designing professional development related to equity
  • learning more about and facilitating implementation of antiracist pedagogy

Aparna Sen

My equity work centers around:

  • Understanding and embracing the various backgrounds and cultures of my students within the health science programs.
  • Working with my colleagues to eliminate barriers that hinders students from pursuing their educational goals.
  • Reducing implicit bias during hiring employees within my division.
  • Embracing the The Four Connections – especially “Practicing Paradox” when we work with diverse students.
  • Hiring faculty and colleagues of color and from diverse backgrounds.

I am committed to:

  • Sharing my experiences as an immigrant and speaking up more often.
  • Learning from others and listening to their experiences.
  • Continuing to educate myself in matters to racial injustice and equity.

Cindy Ko

On a personal level, my equity work centers on social justice issues around poverty, human trafficking and immigration. Professionally, I promote a culture of respect, empathy and fairness in our program. 

Moving forward, I commit to:

  • Continue to recruit and increase diversity in our programs
  • Examine my own bias, and acknowledge I’m a part of this injustice system and will find ways to contribute to the solution
  • Speak up against racist jokes and stereotyping statements
  • Be a better listener and validate feelings of others

Lauren Cline

My equity work centers around:

  • Ensuring the nursing program provides curriculum which address social determinates of health
  • Reevaluating the admission process and moving towards a more holistic admission for nursing

I am committed to ensuring we have diverse student population which resembles to communities and families we serve. 

Albert Ames

My equity work centers on increasing the number of minority students, faculty, and advisory committee members in our program. I commit to seek the support of the local chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), in this regard.

I commit to learning the culture, values, and norms of the black race in an historical context. I commit to respect their cultural norms while interacting with them in any setting.

My equity work centers on helping integrate knowledge of white privilege, racism, slavery in a historical context in our educational system. I commit to working with Doug Emory to start a new course in black history at our college.