Kijua Sanders-McMurtry

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer; Title IX Coordinator

Originally from Pasadena, California, Sanders-McMurtry was inspired to become a full-time diversity educator after the deaths of Matthew Shepard and Sakia Gunn. Both individuals were targeted and killed because of their gender and sexual identities.

A nationally recognized advocate for diversity and inclusion, Sanders-McMurtry has been quoted in publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education and Insight into Diversity magazine. Her research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education and she has presented nationally at a wide range of conferences and institutions.

She has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as the co-chair for trans inclusion with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and was named a Diamond Honoree with the American College Personnel Association. She previously worked at Georgia State University and ORC Macro, a public-health research firm.

Sanders-McMurtry holds a doctorate in educational policy studies, a graduate certificate in women’s studies, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in sociology from Georgia State University. A high school dropout, she credits her non-traditional academic journey to her mentors at Pasadena City College, where she completed an associate’s degree in social sciences.

Recent Campus News

More than 300 recent alums filled the Kendall Field House for 2020 Commencement.

Celebrating the class of 2020 in person

Mount Holyoke College fulfilled its promise to the class of 2020 of an in-person Commencement and did so in joy and community.

A view of the audience and attendees of Mount Holyoke's 185th Commencement.

Learning, dancing, soaring

In person once again, Mount Holyoke College’s 185th Commencement focused on resiliency, justice and joy.

Map of Massachusetts indicating where indigenous tribes lived

Repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains

Mount Holyoke College has repatriated ancestral remains the College had possessed for over a century to their home communities.

Kijua Sanders-McMurtry at the lectern at Convocation 2021.

Mount Holyoke receives diversity award

Mount Holyoke has received the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine. 

This is a close-up headshot of Kijua Sanders-McMurtry smiling.

Sanders-McMurtry on Lowery Institute board

Kijua Sanders-McMurtry, vice president for equity and inclusion at Mount Holyoke, is now on the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute board of trustees. 

Recent Mentions in the Media