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Student Affairs & Inclusive Excellence

Student Life: Get Involved!

Overview & Mission

Having a demographically diverse campus community is educationally important (cf. Gurin for University of Michigan), and continues to be the focus of much quality scholarship and programming in US higher education, with similar applications in the workplace, marketplace, and civic involvement (eg, the legal professions [PDF]). Such compositional diversity, including a wide diversity of identities, is a necessary, but insufficient, element of Inclusive Excellence.

Using the oft-cited food metaphor, it is not enough, however, simply to have a number of individual ingredients present in the kitchen; they must also come together for their still-distinct colors, textures and flavors to create an engaging and nourishing dish. In fact, the critical-thinking, communication, collaboration skills and experience strengthened when engaging constructively across difference are among those employers most seek (ref NACE). Thus having diverse individuals learning, living and working on campus is little more than cosmetic, if they do not interact across identities, or if their interaction is infrequent, superficial, or outright negative.

Therefore, IEE provides students with information, skills, and opportunities for constructive engagement across difference, in support of SAIE and the University's larger missions.

Our Staff

headshot of Thomas E Walker, PhD, Director

Thomas Walker, PhD
Director

303-871-4614 | Email
pronouns: he/him/his

Thomas previously served as the Assistant Director of Arizona State University's (since closed) Intergroup Relations Center, where he coordinated diversity education programs, provided social justice training, and served as a diversity consultant for the ASU and larger community. While at ASU, he also served as liaison to the LGBTIQ communities, as Tempe campus Classified Staff Council president, as advisor to several student organizations, and as volunteer textbook reader with Disability Services.

more about Thomas

He has been engaged in the diversity and social justice field for three decades, working with NCCJ-Anytown, the National Coalition-Building Institute, the Southern Institute for Education and Research, C Harris Companies, Inc, the Social Justice Training Institute, and the University of Michigan-based Multiversity Intergroup Dialogue (MIGR) Research Project. At ASU, he taught public speaking, small group communication, intro to communication, intro to intergroup relations, and intergroup dialogues.

At DU, he's taught for the undergraduate Compass First-Year pilot and International Living and Learning Community and the graduate Higher Education programs. He has served on the DU Sustainability Council, Campus Safety Advisory Board, and numerous working groups and search committes. He is currently an officer with DU's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and a reviewer for and Editorial Board member of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education .

Thomas studied at the University of Manchester (England), completed his bachelor's degree in Interpersonal and Group Communication at Tulane University, and earned both his master's and doctorate in Intercultural Communication at Arizona State University.

Thomas' DU Portfolio site | LinkedIn profile


headshot of Neda Kikhia, DU DialogUes Program Manager

Neda Kikhia
DU DialogUes Program Manager
303.871.2037 | Email

Neda joined the DU community once again as the Program Manager for the DU DialogUes program, adding staff to a list of student, campus leader, and alumn. Trained in Community Organizing, Neda looks for opportunities, events, and programming that focus on elevating the voices and stories of people that move folks to action. She is a Colorado local who is passionate about community engagement and its potential to initiate sustainable community change. She is an avid podcast listener, travel enthusiast, and spoken word fanatic.

more about Neda

While at DU for her bachelor’s, Neda pursed a double major in Communication Studies and Religious Studies, with a minor in Leadership Studies. She also studied at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey and will gush about the city, the country, its history, and much more immediately upon it coming up in conversation. She is currently pursing her Masters in Communication Studies with a focus on US Immigrant Narratives and the Muslim Community. Between her studies, Neda worked in College Access and Youth Leadership Programs with focuses on social and environmental justice, as well as educational programming. She most recently came from managing Events and Outreach for The Spring Institute, a Denver-based nonprofit that is a nationally recognized provider of effective intercultural learning programs and services for immigrant, refugee, and host communities. Neda also worked as the Community Outreach Coordinator with a local foundation called the Philanthropiece Foundation where she focused and organized on Climate Justice, Indigenous Rights, and Immigrant Rights. Neda is a certified speaker for the Colorado Muslim Speakers Bureau (CMSB), a non-profit organization that gives educational presentations about American-Muslims and their faith as a means of promoting religious literacy, mutual respect, and understanding. Ultimately, Neda is excited to be joining DU once again, and can be found at local coffee shops such as Kaladi's.

Neda’s LinkedIn profile


photo of Amina Bouayad, DU DialogUes Graduate Coordinator

Amina Bouayad
DU DialogUes Graduate Coordinator

Amina is a first generation college graduate who earned her Bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Denver. Born and raised in Colorado, her passion for education was cultivated by a desire to serve local communities in a sustainable way. She aims to support and celebrate underrepresented college students through culturally-based programming. Amina likes to dance and read and typically spends her free time hanging out with one of her five siblings.


headshot of Laura Beltran

Laura Beltran
Program Assistant

Laura is a fourth-year undergraduate student, double-majoring in Finance and Real Estate. This is her fourth year with IEE, and she has come to love the work they do for their community. She hopes to continue to grow and learn more about different cultures and communities within the campus. On her free time, Laura likes to spend time with family and friends.


headshot of Jessica Rangel

Jessica Rangel
Program Assistant

Jessica is fourth year undergrad student, currently majoring in Communication and minoring in Marketing. She's always had a passion to create change and hopes she can do that here.

 

 


headshot of Jordan Kurtz

Jordan Kurtz
BIRT Support

Jordan is a second year master's student in the Counseling Psychology program. She earned her bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she was primarily involved in research labs dedicated to investigating the impacts of intimate partner violence on child development. She loves hiking, black labs, and cooking with friends.