Dear Students and Families: The first day of classes is now less than 40 days away. We are all excited by the prospect of a return to an academic and student experience that resembles our pre-pandemic campus environment. A critical…
New Staff within Office of Diversity and Inclusion Enhances Efforts to Create More Welcoming Campus
To continue to build its efforts in creating an equitable, diverse, accessible and inclusive campus, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has welcomed new staff members and student advisors. The new staff members, working with Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith A. Alford, are Eboni Britt, executive director of strategic communications; Melanie Domanico, equal opportunity and accommodations specialist; Ebony King, diversity and inclusion specialist, who also serves as the Posse program liaison; LaShan Lovelace, director; Mallory Mitchell, program coordinator for the Posse program; and William Myhill, interim director and ADA/503/504 coordinator. They join Stacey White, administrative specialist to the chief diversity and inclusion officer. The office has also hired a temporary graduate student worker, Prachi Sankpal, and seven student worker advisors to build connections and enhance the office’s work with other students. Diversity fellow positions will be supported by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well.
“The work of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is to foster greater understanding among people and nurture a diverse campus. It takes a dedicated approach of staff to advance our core values at the University,” says Alford. “Our staff members are engaging with people, providing programs and training, and creating opportunities for dialogue across campus all to the greater benefit of our university.”
Eboni Britt became a permanent member of the team after completing a special assignment earlier this year with the office in which she served as the project manager assisting in the organization of listening and dialogue sessions, the Campus Climate Pulse Survey, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion audit as commissioned by the Board of Trustees’ Special Committee on Climate, Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to her current role, Britt oversaw a strategy team in the Division of Marketing and Communications, and had previously worked in the University’s Office of Human Resources. Britt has worked in marketing at a variety of organizations in the region, including Eric Mower and Associates, Kodak and the POMCO. She earned a master’s degree in public relations from the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Britt is originally from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has three children.
A vocational rehabilitation counselor, Melanie Domanico has over 20 years of experience assisting individuals with disabilities with securing and maintaining gainful employment. Domanico joined the University in 2017 in the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services. In her role as the equal opportunity and accommodations specialist, she coordinates accommodations for faculty and staff, and partners with the ADA coordinator to improve campus accessibility. Prior to joining the University, Domanico worked in both public and private sector vocational rehabilitation since 2000. Her experience includes facilitating accommodations and development of return to work programs for many employers in the areas of short-term disability, long-term disability and workers compensation. She earned a B.S. degree in psychology from SUNY Binghamton and an M.S. degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from Hofstra University.
Ebony King ’04, G’06 previously served as the senior director of diversity and inclusion at Buena Vista University. King has over 14 years of experience in student affairs in various roles in multicultural engagement, international student services, student activities, student organizations, Greek life, and diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives. King is originally from the Bronx, New York, and a Syracuse University alumna with an undergraduate degree in social work from the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the School of Education. She looks forward to giving back to her alma mater by building collaborative partnerships with students, faculty, staff and alumni.
LaShan Lovelace previously served as the director of the center for diversity and inclusion at Radford University. During his time at Radford University, Lovelace served in multiple capacities within the Academic and Student Affairs divisions. He has over 10 years of student affairs, higher education management and diversity, equity, inclusive and accessibility experience. As a diversity and inclusion professional, he has developed a significant track record of transformational contributions toward organizational equity, diversity and inclusion goals. From access and success, education and scholarship, and institutional infrastructures, Lovelace continues to work collaboratively to create initiatives that positively impact policies, practices, processes and people.
Mallory Mitchell ’06 joined the office in July, transitioning in the same role as Posse program coordinator from the Office of Community Engagement. Syracuse University partners with the Posse Foundation to admit high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential from Miami. Selected students receive a full-tuition Syracuse University Posse Leadership Scholarship. Mitchell engages with Posse Miami scholars, mentors and staff to facilitate the various programs for scholars throughout the year. Mitchell graduated with a bachelor of music from the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Education, and performs in a string quartet. After several years teaching music in a public school, she attended Northeastern University to earn a master of education in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2011. Mitchell is grateful to be back at the University and supporting such a vibrant group of scholars.
William Myhill is a disability rights advocate, administrator, teacher, trainer, researcher and writer who has worked in the fields of education and law for, with and among the disability community for 30 years. William joined the University in 2005 and served as director of legal research and writing for the Burton Blatt Institute until 2018, at which time he was appointed the University’s interim director and ADA/503/504 coordinator. In this role Myhill provides disability leadership, guidance and consultation to remove and prevent the barriers in our community that impede persons with disabilities from full participation in the fabric of University life. He earned a B.A. in sociology and M.Ed. in special education from the University of Texas, Austin, and a J.D. from the University of Iowa, where he served on the law review.
Graduate student Prachi Sankpal, who is a master’s student in the School of Information Studies, joined the office this fall as a part-time worker, and provides technical support with the office’s website and assists with research.
The diversity, equity and inclusion student advisors (also known as “E-Squad,” which stands for Equity Squad) foster an inclusive environment, providing experiences related to equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion. They also provide individual and shared guidance that promote a sense of community and encourages campus engagement, and value the diverse social identities that constitute the entire University community.
The seven student advisors are Yadi Flores, an undeclared sophomore; Olivia Gladu, a first-year student majoring in political science and economics; Brittnee Johnson, a senior majoring in political science and pre-law; Malique Lewis, a first-year student majoring in communication and rhetorical studies; Tanvi Reddy, a junior studying architecture; Aicha Sacko, an undeclared sophomore; and Jenna Swetland, a sophomore majoring in political science and citizenship and civic engagement.