Stephanie Sanders, PhD, to join Ford School as first ever diversity, equity, and inclusion officer

June 22, 2017

The Ford School announced today that it has found its first diversity, equity, and inclusion officer: Stephanie Sanders, PhD, who will start her new role on July 31st.

As part of the faculty and staff leadership of the school, Stephanie will champion the vision, implementation, and on-going refinement of the Ford School’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This new position will collaborate with faculty, staff and students to create programs, initiatives and opportunities to further the school’s commitment to a respectful, diverse, and inclusive culture. Stephanie will also have a faculty appointment as a lecturer as she will be teaching DE&I-related course offerings in our curricula.  

Stephanie comes to us most recently from Old Dominion University, where she has served as the director for Diversity Initiatives in the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity. She previously served as the assistant director for Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio University in Athens, OH.

Through the lens of Critical Race Theory, Sanders’ research agenda examines students who transition from urban environments to rural predominantly White college environments. As a practitioner and scholar she is interested in pipeline initiatives, urban education, and diversity in higher education.

Stephanie has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Patton College of Education at Ohio University, and an M.S. in Speech-Language-Hearing Science, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas.

Based on her scholarship and professional praxis, Dr. Sanders has received a number of awards and honors. In 2011, she received the Emerging Leader Award from the Ohio Diversity Officers Collaboration. In 2013, the Ohio University Board of Regents recognized her capacity building efforts related to diversity education and cultural competencies. Most recently under her leadership, Old Dominion University was selected as a first-time recipient of the 2015 Hampton Roads Employer Inclusion and Diversity Initiative Award.

Adding senior-level teaching and programming expertise to the Ford School team was a key element of our 5-year plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read Dean Collins' year-one DE&I reflections here.