Christie Cruise, PhD, Associate Dean of Students/Diversity Initiatives and Affirmative Action Officer (left) and Turan Mullins, Director, Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Maryville Announces Office of Diversity & Inclusion

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Maryville University has established the Office of Diversity & Inclusion to provide strategic leadership in promoting a diverse campus community, create greater access to higher education among underrepresented student groups, and foster meaningful dialogues, programs and partnerships in support of academic excellence and inclusivity.

The restructure of this department, formerly called the Office of Multicultural Programs, reflects a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion goals recently adopted as part of Maryville’s new strategic plan, A New Century of Higher Education: Maryville 2022.

“We are realigning our efforts to help the University pursue more intentional diverse student, faculty and staff recruitment, and strengthen our commitment to providing an inclusive campus environment,” says Nina Caldwell, EdD, vice president for student life and dean of students.

As part of the restructuring, Christie Cruise, PhD, has been named associate dean of students/diversity initiatives and affirmative action officer.  Previously, she served Maryville as assistant dean and director of the Office of Multicultural Programs. She is a former director of the Office for Diversity Initiatives and Intercultural Relations at Gainesville State College (now University of North Georgia) in Gainesville, Ga. Cruise also worked in admissions and served as an academic advisor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her PhD from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She is a mentor for NASPA Undergraduate Program (NUFP), a program for underrepresented students who aspire to be student affairs professionals.

Turan Mullins has been named director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Mullins joined Maryville in 2009, and served as the University’s assistant director of admissions and assistant director of multicultural programs. Previously, he served as an admissions counselor for Southeast Missouri State University. Mullins is working toward his master’s in strategic communication at Maryville. He is a 2014-2015 member of the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Leadership Program, and a Give Respect, Get Respect facilitator for the Diversity Awareness Partnership of St. Louis.

Cruise and Mullins are co-founders of the Consortium of Higher Education Professionals for Inclusion and Equity (CHEPIE). Mullins currently serves as president-elect of the organization.