I write to share an update regarding our Dean’s Office leadership team. Nicole Hodges Persley, our associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), has accepted a position as an associate professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City and will leave her current roles at KU at the end of the fall semester.
Associate Dean Hodges Persley has been a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at KU, extending far beyond her current role. As a member of the College’s leadership team, she developed the Community Care Series, the Graduate Student of Color Network, lunch and learn conversations with College department leaders, and several other programs to foster conversation and shared understanding about issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
As an associate professor of theatre and dance, she led the Interactive Theatre Troupe, has directed plays for University Theatre, and is the Artistic Director of KC Melting Pot Theater in Kansas City, which has provided professional opportunities for KU graduate and undergraduate students in theatre. She incorporates discourses of diversity, equity and inclusion in her courses as well, from acting, to African-American theater, to hip-hop, and race and performance. She also served as chair of the Department of Theatre and serves as president of the Black Theatre Association.
I am grateful to Nicole for all her contributions to the College and KU. Please join me in thanking her and wishing her well in her next steps.
John Colombo, PhD
Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
Professor of Psychology