Cheryl Nuñez Appointed as the VP for DEI

Caroline Ward

Staff Writer

 

 

 

In February, President Sarah Bolton announced the appointment of Cheryl Nuñez as new Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the College. Nuñez was selected as the vice president following a national search conducted by a committee of students, staff, faculty and trustees.

Nuñez has over 24 years of experience working in leadership positions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Before joining the College, she served as the first Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at Olympic College, during which she developed the office of Equity and Inclusion and built numerous initiatives to support students, staff and faculty. She also received commendation from the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities for her work at Olympic College. Furthermore, Nuñez served as the first Vice Provost for Diversity at Xavier University and at Northern Kentucky University as the Director of Affirmative Action & Multicultural Affairs.

“We are fortunate and delighted that Vice President Nuñez will be joining us to advance equity, inclusion and diversity at Wooster,” said President Bolton. “From a strong pool of national leaders, Vice President Nuñez stood out for the creativity, experience, dedication and blend of scholarly frameworks and effective actions that she brings to her work. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with such a terrific leader on the crucial priorities of inclusive excellence.”

Her past work includes leading and designing various DEI projects. For example, Nuñez has led the process for campus-wide diversity, equity and inclusion strategy development as well as supervised workshops on curriculum redesign and integrative pedagogical strategies. She has also designed strategic workforce diversity and inclusion training efforts, implemented Bias Response Protocols and tracking and reporting tools such as an Equity Scorecard. Her experience further includes launching an institutional diversity supplier program and organizing forums, dialogues, public lecture series and conferences featuring high-profile scholars and activists to build community-wide capacity for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Nuñez earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in Educational Foundations from University of Cincinnati. She is certified in Title IX and Civil Rights investigation procedures, complaint processing, counseling and resolution, as well as Affirmative Action law and plan development. 

Nuñez succeeds Dr. Ivonne García, who left the College in 2021 to serve as senior instructional coach for anti-racist pedagogy at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

At Wooster, Nuñez will oversee the final stages in the implementation of the 2017 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, as well as implementing initiatives designed to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive community at Wooster.

Since August, Associate Professor of English Leslie Wingard has served as Wooster’s interim Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer for Academic Affairs, Sháqūez Dickens has served as Interim Associate Director of the Office Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for Staff, and Kayla Campbell has served as Interim Associate Director of the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity for students, also collaborating with the staff of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in supporting students.

Seniors Look Back At Their Time at the College

Sam Killebrew

Senior Staff Writer

 

 

 

In the week preceding finals, the College of Wooster Class of 2022 looks ahead to their graduation day. The first class to see the beginning and (likely) the end of higher education’s response to a pandemic, the Voice caught up with some seniors to gauge their feelings as their undergraduate careers come to an end.

The first senior we interviewed, Doug Morris, is a neurobiology major from Atlanta, Georgia. A Posse Scholar, Senior Admissions Intern and Secretary on Scot Council, Doug fits under many student identities here at Wooster. 

What are your initial thoughts and feelings as the semester ends?

There is a part of me that is sad to be leaving the friends, faculty and staff with whom I have created such special bonds over the years, but I am also very excited to start a new chapter of my life.

Now that you’ve come to the end, do you think Wooster was the right choice for you?

Wooster was absolutely the best school for me. I have learned to thrive in this environment, and I have learned things both inside and outside of the classroom that I know would not have been possible had I chosen to attend a different school. If I had to do it over again, I would absolutely make the decision to come to Wooster.

What’s the most important thing you’ve gained at Wooster?

The College of Wooster is an incredibly diverse campus. It has allowed me to truly understand and empathize with various perspectives. I believe this is an extremely important quality, especially in today’s climate.

What’s next?

I will be taking some time to shadow doctors in low-resource areas. My travels will take me to Ghana, Tanzania, then Sri Lanka over a six-month period. After returning to the United States, I am hoping to work for the National Cancer Institute while applying to medical schools.

 

The next senior we caught up with was the Voice’s very own Bijeta Lamichhane, a mathematics and communication studies double major from Kathmandu, Nepal. As International Student Association president, News Editor for the Voice and professional hammocker, Bijeta is leaving Wooster–and a notable presence–behind.

What are your initial thoughts and feelings as the semester ends?

I’m overwhelmed, excited and scared. There is so much that I have learned in the past four years, and I’m very excited to go out there and apply those learnings. But leaving Wooster is going to feel like leaving home, so I am terrified as well, especially because I do not know where I will end up next.

What were the best and worst parts of your Wooster experience?

Best part: The community! My friends as well as the faculty and staff members are exceptional. I’ll miss walking into a random residence hall at 12 a.m. for warmth, only to find some friends chilling in the lounge, and joining the conversations. Also, the beauty of this campus, especially the area behind Galpin where I set up my hammock.

Worst part: There have been times when I have felt like our community is more problem-oriented than solution-driven. But I am thankful to have worked with people who always gave me hope, like my co-editor Sam Boudreau.

What will you be taking away from Wooster?

To listen to people and learn from everybody, and to just try to be more accepting and kind.

The last senior we chose out of a pool of valuable students was Frank Adams, a history and Chinese double major from Brooklyn, New York. Like our other interviewees, Frank was involved in many facets of campus life, such as Woo91, holding several executive roles in En Passant Academy (chess club) and frisbee, among other things. 

What’s something you won’t forget about the last four years?

I will never forget the foosball table in Calcei House. I spent so many hours in that room hanging out during house parties and just playing foosball for what felt like all day every day. It’s really all we did for a long time. Jasper, Alison, Mariam and I all got skilled and competitive. We all had distinct playing styles. The most classic matchup was me and Alison vs Jasper and Mariam. To this day Calcei still feels like home. 

What’s your most important takeaway from Wooster?

I have become more confident in my ability to learn. By taking a wide range of courses from history and Chinese to beginners drawing, I feel that my range of skills is growing and my aptitude in learning new things has increased. 

Looking back, was Wooster the right choice for you?

I do think that Wooster was a good choice for me because I have left with a degree, I’m happy and I’m in a great relationship. It’s impossible to say if that’s because of Wooster, but I’m doing well so that’s all that really matters. 

What’s next?

After Wooster I am going on a TREK to Buenos Aires for documentary filmmaking and I hope to get a position in the documentary world after. I am also looking at positions in museums, history research. I’m mostly looking in New York, Pittsburgh and North Carolina. 

 

As students study for exams and prepare to move out of their dorms, our seniors look ahead to the rest of their lives. After completing IS and signing on to opportunities that will utilize their experiences and resources gained at Wooster, the class of 2022 looks ahead at the next chapter of their lives. The Voice wishes them the best of luck.

Scotlight: Co-Editors Aspen Rush and Jonathan Logan

Emilie Eustace

Features Editor

 

 

 

Introduce yourself:

Hi! My name is Jonathan, a.k.a. J-Lo, and I’m a senior physics major as well as a member of the men’s soccer team.

How long have you been working for the Voice? What got you started working here? What positions have you held?

I’ve been working here for three years. I just applied for Chief Copy Editor and Sports Editor the spring of my freshman year after seeing the email asking for applicants. I started out as CCE and was the editor of the Science and Environment section, which I founded. Senior year, I was Co-Editor in Chief. 

What have you learned about yourself working for the Voice? What have been some of your favorite memories from your time at the Voice?

I have learned that I need to be in a position where I am passionate about the work I do, not necessarily in a position to guide or dictate the direction that an organization goes in. One of my top memories would be the issue with the first S&E section last fall and interviewing people for our staff last spring. The first edition with the S&E section was really special to me because it was the first time that I had actually written for the Voice and the first time I saw my own writing in print. I enjoyed working with people last spring because I was going through a coming-of-age process, and a process where I was becoming more aware of how people’s backgrounds shape them and how their experiences shape their reality. I enjoyed asking questions that would make people think about what drove them and made them who they really are.

What is something that you’ve been the proudest of during your time here, like an article you’ve written or a direction you’ve pushed the paper in?

Two things: the thing I’m most proud of was my interview with Al that was published in the protest edition. The second thing would be, again, the first edition with the S&E section. I would like to see science become less institutionalized and more about curiosity and asking simple questions. We’re too focused on problem solving and efficiency but not focused enough on connecting the natural world to the science that we do and how it makes us feel.

What do you hope to accomplish/who would you like to be after college?

I read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson starting two years ago, and in the second book, the author focuses on how the Martian government is formed. What particularly stood out to me in this whole trilogy was this chapter devoted to a seaside town called Odessa. They had built their society around the idea that you don’t necessarily have to be credentialed to do the things you love. In Odessa, there was a co-op that was focused on making the seaside town more sustainable and ensuring that the water they had pumped up from beneath the Martian surface (they were terraforming) did not flood the town. All citizens worked at one of many co-ops where they weren’t necessarily trained, but all citizens grew around this idea that they could continuously evolve their understanding of their new world and do new things in life by working at these co-ops. My favorite co-op was called Deep Waters, which did all of the hydrological science to ensure the town didn’t flood. I want our society to look like that and if I had it my way, I’d start up my own science-driven co-op and make sure it had a purpose other than making money. I’d start my own Deep Waters. 

 

Introduce yourself:

Hi I’m Aspen Fedele Rush and I’m a senior. I’m a WGSS and History major.

How long have you been working for the Voice? What got you started working here? What positions have you held?

I have been working for the Voice since my sophomore year. The Viewpoints Editor reached out to me and asked me to write a viewpoint on something I was involved in on campus. I was the Viewpoints Editor, the Managing Editor and now I am the Co-Editor in Chief. 

What will you miss most about Tuesday night layouts?

I’m going to miss when it starts to get really late, around 10 or 11, and it’s just a couple of us left in the office. That’s when I’ve really gotten to know people I don’t hang out with outside of the Voice. I have gotten to know them on such a deep and intimate level, and I think that I’ll miss the laughter, tears and the support that I get from working here. And I’ll miss how it feels to walk into the office at the beginning of layout and see everyone laughing and talking.

What have you learned about yourself working for the Voice? What have been some of your favorite memories from your time at the Voice?

I feel like I’ve learned so much. I think that I have learned that I theoretically, knew I like to root for the underdog, that I like to hear a good story. Working for the Voice has given me the platform and the tools to make those stories mean something. I have learned the value of transforming those stories into words and into action (yes, that was an Audre Lorde reference). A lot of that has been learning to tell my own story.

One of my favorite memories is sophomore year Voice formal. It was one of the most chaotic events I have been to in my life. It was a combo of people who would never be in the same room together if it weren’t for the Voice. The majority of the Voice staff was intoxicated, some for the first time; there was a lot of truth-telling done that evening, and most of that truth-telling was people expressing how much the Voice meant to them. It was all love. And I knew everyone felt the same way as I did.

Conversely, what would you say is the hardest part of being in the Voice

It’s been very difficult to hear the stories of people who are suffering because of wrongdoing done by the College or by the Wooster community as a whole; only to hear those stories dismissed or forgotten; instead of taking those stories as an opportunity to heal the community for all parties involved. Most of those stories still weigh heavy. It’s been a hard lesson to learn that you have to keep pushing, but sometimes you have to give up. Or let somebody else take the reins.

What is something that you’ve been the proudest of during your time here, like an article you’ve written or a direction you’ve pushed the paper in?

I’m very proud of the stories that we’ve published that we knew would get pushback from administration or students. I very much believe in the idea that everyone’s story should be told. I would say that I am most proud of the story that I worked on last year concerning Howard Lorwy’s sexual harrassment allegations. Despite how proud I am of that piece and the traction that we got in regards to renaming Lowry, I will always be disappointed that I wasn’t able to give the survivors more, and the name of a sexual predator will still be on the building for generations to come. My goal for the paper has always been to tell the truth and often those are difficult truths. I feel that I have pushed for that during all of my time here. I am excited to see the incoming senior editors continue to push the envelope and members of the Voice have for over a century. 

What would you like the student body to know about the Voice and the work that is done there?

We work way more than you could possibly imagine. We get to the office around 4pm and senior editors often don’t leave until after midnight every Tuesday. It’s easy to criticize the Voice for whatever it may be, but always know that we are doing our very best and we do it for the students and we do it to tell our stories; to document our time here. And we also do it to hold the administration accountable for the promises they’ve made.

What do you hope to accomplish/who would you like to be after college?

I would like to keep telling stories. I don’t know what that means for me, I don’t know what kind of career I want to have. But working at the Voice in addition to my academic and personal pursuits have made me realize just how vital it is to tell stories. I would like to be authentic in my portrayal of myself and others. 

A Brief Moment Spent Reminiscing on The Last Four Years

Kayla Bertholf

Science Editor

 

 

 

When I started my four years at the College, I did not plan on participating in half of the organizations that I do now. However, my friends have influenced me to try and stick with more than I thought I would. This is one of my favorite things about Wooster, the people. The people at Wooster understand that you are busy yet still hold you to high expectations, all the while encouraging you to try new things and do the best you can. When I graduate and head out into the real world, I will miss the people the most. 

I especially did not expect to join the Voice editorial staff during my last year of undergrad, but I am sure glad that I did. Ed Boards are now one of my favorite parts of the week and I look forward to hanging out with the Voice staff. As one of the Science and Environment editors, I get to learn about new topics each week. The BCMB major in me got to talk about pollution in Lake Erie one week and volcanoes the next; it was fantastic. Some of my favorite memories from senior year are laughing at layout on Tuesday nights, and I cannot thank the Voice staff enough for making my senior year great. 

Our Community is a Snippet of Our World

Bijeta Lamichhane

News Editor

 

 

 

This VP was not sponsored by the College’s marketing team.

While I always looked at any graduation event as a celebration of getting a degree, May 16 for me will be just as much about celebrating the community that I was fortunate to be a part of, and everything I have gotten to learn from my interactions with people I have met here.

For many of us, the campus community will be the most diverse place that we will ever get to live in. We have people from all across the world, with all sorts of backgrounds and experiences living in this small space. Being here for four years is the one chance we have to try to understand all these experiences that are different from ours.

We have chances to learn about why people have the values and beliefs that they do. We have chances to understand different cultures and identities. We have chances to realize how stereotypes limit us from knowing somebody else. We have chances to understand, empathize, and learn every day.

And I know we have been taking those chances. We’re learning every time we meet someone who knows a language that we don’t and ask them to teach us a few words. We’re learning when we make mistakes in assuming people’s identities and make sure we get them right next time. We’re learning when we see people we care about struggle because of injustice and when we try to understand just how systems work.

While we always want to welcome this growth, I also understand that learning every day can be tiring. It’s easy to fall back into groups and cultures that make us feel comfortable and we can understand each other without trying too hard. It’s nice to be around those who always agree with us. And that’s okay. All of us are away from home, so we need the comfort of familiarity. The important part is to not get so comfortable that we leave campus without appreciating our differences. Because our community is a snippet of the world, and I’m sure we agree that the world needs more acceptance. So when we leave this place, I hope we leave to create our own spaces where there is a place for everybody who does not intend any harm.

I know for sure that I will be looking at my camera roll from August 2018 to July 2022 more than I will look at my degree. And I will turn to all the narratives that I had a chance to be a part of in buildings, offices, hammocks and hiking trails every time I need hope for a better world.

As We Flow, We Must Remember Our Ocean

Jonathan Logan

Editor-In-Chief

 

 

 

In the acknowledgements of my IS I left a note for my Mom and Dad: “Few are the parents that recognize the value in a child trained not specifically for any one job, but a child who sees the potential in every person and idea.” I reached a tipping point my sophomore year where I considered leaving Woo amidst a coming-of-age/identity crisis. My reasoning went something like “look at this mountain of debt I’ll be in and as a physics major, how will I ever find a job to pay off that debt?” I was missing the whole point of studying at a liberal arts school – a really good one at that. In my four years, I have seen a complete and total shift in student’s attitudes towards their Wooster education where we obsess over the future but fail to realize we’re all flowing downstream.

We all want to know how we can do the best in our classes so we can achieve the highest level of prestige later in life. This isn’t your fault; we all have great expectations and families who want us to get the best job or attend a top graduate school. Not to mention the fear of failing a class and our crammed schedules. We’re all obsessed with the right answers and because of the institutionalized nature of education, learning has become less about curiosity and patience and more about efficiency and productivity. I’m not trying to tear down the system, but I want all Wooster students to start to ask the questions “Why the $70,000 price tag? Why is education so intertwined with the idea of productivity? Why have I seen students leave a professor’s office hours in tears because they couldn’t get one problem right?”

Wooster is a reality to be experienced. I have this thought process where I imagine removing all of the drama, stress and striving from this place. Then, I imagine all of the people here and all of its history as a river (poetic, right?). There is an energy and passing of time unique to Wooster that all of us have glimpsed once or twice, but ultimately fail to flow with. Maybe you glimpsed it at a party or on a weekend in the fall when the absurdity of it all flashed across your mind and left you numb but stuck in a moment. It’s like Po’s inner peace journey in “Kung Fu Panda” in that you can only flow when you least expect it.

Wooster – its faculty, staff, student body and energy – is not at peace. The river we’re all floating down has lost its ocean. Our administration is making decisions that have dammed up our river, but our lives are so stressful on their own that we’re forgetting how to let go of the dangling tree branch and break the dam. I envision a bunch of rubber duckies bunching up against the dam before wondering how they got there.

In plain terms, Wooster and the liberal arts education are not designed to give you your life’s purpose or a job. It is designed to help us all meander down the same river. For me, I was too focused on not having enough and being fulfilled when I left Wooster. The reality was that I was too focused on the next thing or thinking I was better than Wooster. I love this place and all of the people I have met here, and, without sounding like an alarmist, I would like to implore all of you to help Wooster find its ocean again since we’re all downstream from someone.