President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion

The President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion builds on the foundational work that has been done at Mount Holyoke throughout its 175 year history to create a campus community that values diversity as core to our mission. The Commission is part of the College's Strategic Plan 2011-2016 and reflects our continued commitment to making an inclusive community central to who we are.


The values of inclusion, equity, diversity, and justice are central to Mount Holyoke’s identity as a pioneering liberal arts college for women. They remain at the core of its mission and institutional functioning and are the foundation for every aspect of student life and learning. They also inform:

  • faculty and staff hiring, training, and evaluation;
  • student recruiting, admission, and retention;
  • campuswide communications and assessments;
  • strategic planning and budgeting; and
  • campus climate checks and measures of accountability.

In the preface to Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education-Making it Work (2009, John Hopkins University Press) Daryl Smith, a professor of education and psychology at Claremont Graduate University, explains the need for colleges and universities to “build institutional capacity for diversity in the same way they build capacity for technology.” With guidance from the President’s Commission, Mount Holyoke aspires to do just that while also celebrating and supporting the diversity and inclusion work already happening on campus.

What is the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion?

The President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion brings together students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership to advance:

  • organizational and systemic change at all levels.
  • an institutional model grounded in data, mission, outcomes, and success indicators.

The commission is not a programming committee nor do its efforts replace campus diversity work. Rather, it supports and engages those efforts and initiatives while determining practice and policy for the College.

The Commission


  • Cerri Banks, vice president for student affairs and dean of the College; and 
  • Sonya Stephens, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty


  • Chris Abbuhl, director of human resources 
  • Diane Anci, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission 
  • Mara Breen, assistant professor of psychology and education 
  • Courtney Brunson ’16
  • Erica DeBlase, counseling service clinician 
  • Aime DeGrenier, manager of community technical support, LITS 
  • Alison Donta-Venman, director of institutional research 
  • Shannon Gurek, vice president for finance and administration 
  • Marcella Runell Hall, dean of students 
  • Catherine (Kate) Harwood ’16
  • David Hernández, assistant professor of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American studies 
  • Christine Hutchins, vice president for communications and marketing 
  • Selena Lin '15, Student Government Association vice president 
  • Annette McDermott, interim dean of religious and spiritual life
  • Kymberly Newberry FP’16 
  • Kate Wasserman, coordinator of new student orientation and project assistant to the deans; staff for the commission