Kijua Sanders-McMurtry

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

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

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. 

Photo of stoles made of boldly colored kente cloth

Honoring students of color and their mentors

Mount Holyoke’s Stoling Ceremony this year was both virtual and in person, the better to honor faculty and staff who support students of color.

President Sonya Stephens onstage, address class of 2021 graduates in her royal blue academic regalia.

Congratulations, Class of 2021!

Mount Holyoke hosted its first-ever virtual Commencement for its 184th ceremony to honor graduating seniors and send them on to do great things.

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart to speak

Mount Holyoke’s Kijua Sanders-McMurtry will be joining child-safety activist Elizabeth Smart in a special dialogue for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Recent Mentions in the Media