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K-State Today

October 12, 2022

New program coordinator for Community of Connection DEIB Initiative

Submitted by Office of Student Success

Tonya Winston has joined the Student Success team. Winston is the program coordinator for the Community of Connection DEIB Initiative. Winston is collaborating with a cross-functional team to advance the goals of the Community of Connection project that has received strategic investment fund support.

Winston brings to K-State more than 18 years of experience in business development collaborating with major Fortune 500 companies, government and educational organizations. Winston also is a small business owner and served on the inaugural BIPOC board for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Community of Connection DEIB initiative aims to create a coherent portfolio of opportunities for all students from populations historically underrepresented at K-State. This effort will expand on current funding streams from National Institutes of Health — i.e., Bridges to the Baccalaureate; National Science Foundation — KS-LSAMP; Department of Education — TRiO/McNair; and corporate entities — i.e., Project Impact, among others, to ensure we are meeting the needs of students in all disciplines and across the student lifecycle. We will identify and fill gaps in existing student opportunities by expanding our grant-funded and donor-funded initiatives. By creating efficiencies and centrally supporting these efforts, we anticipate improved success and clarity of pathways for incoming and current students.

Along with Winston, the leadership team currently includes Jeannie Brown Leonard, vice provost for student success; Be Stoney, interim chief diversity and inclusion officer; Mirta Chavez, interim associate vice president for diversity and multicultural student affairs; Brenee King, director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry; Graciela Berumen, assistant director of diversity and multicultural student affairs. We anticipate adding to this leadership team over time to reflect the functional areas that align with our infrastructure priorities.

We welcome collaborators in this work. A subset of the leadership team will begin making college and program visits to review and expand our existing BIPOC Student Success program inventory, initially collected in fall 2020 as part of the Action Plan for a More Inclusive K-State. We are eager to learn from the great work that is happening across campus and explore the challenges that our team might help address.

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