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First diversity AVP candidate visits Pullman

Nolan said trust, dialogue is crucial to campus community

Jaime+Nolan%2C+associate+vice+president+for+community%2C+equity+and+diversity+at+the+University+of+New+Hampshire%2C+talks+about+her+job+experience+on+Tuesday.
Jaime Nolan, associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at the University of New Hampshire, talks about her job experience on Tuesday.

Jaime Nolan, associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at the University of New Hampshire, talks about her job experience on Tuesday.

OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

OLIVER MCKENNA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Jaime Nolan, associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at the University of New Hampshire, talks about her job experience on Tuesday.

BREANNE SEARING, Evergreen reporter

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The first of four finalists for the position of associate vice president for community, equity, and inclusive excellence presented to an audience of WSU faculty and staff Tuesday, emphasizing improved communication between students.

Jaime Nolan is currently the associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at University of New Hampshire, and hopes to use her experience here at WSU.

This position will serve as an advocate for WSU students, staff and faculty members to enhance campus diversity, according to the Division of Student Affairs’ website. It will allow the campus climate to foster multicultural engagement between students on campus.

“I think that [it] is incredibly important that whoever fills this position is able to hit the ground running with establishing trust among the community,” Nolan said. “They need to find some action steps in order to help build on [programs] already here.”

Nolan discussed her strategy of creating better networking and mentoring programs for faculty and staff. Her plans include advancing multicultural knowledge through creative research and scholarship opportunities across a wide range of academic disciplines.

“WSU is at a powerful moment of change and possibility,” Nolan said, “which would assist us in the campus-wide goal to the ‘Drive to 25.’ ”

She has adopted Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales’ four-pillar approach to improve connections and communication between students. Nolan said this would be an integral part of meeting the larger WSU mission of recruiting and retaining more students from diverse backgrounds.

Barbara Aston, assistant to the provost and tribal liaison, said she hopes the position will have a very specific focus on improving WSU’s climate.

“We want questions about serious social change to be addressed in a way that is very responsive and doesn’t alleviate the seriousness of the issue regarding responsibility of members involved,” Aston said.

Each of the four finalists will visit Pullman between Feb. 20 and March 1 to present in open community sessions. Nolan will speak again at 12 p.m. Wednesday in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

The second finalist, Michael Benitez Jr., will speak at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Chinook Student Center, Room 150, and 12 p.m. Friday in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center Living Room. Benitez is currently the dean of diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and Title IX officer at University of Puget Sound.

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First diversity AVP candidate visits Pullman