Rhonda McRina became director of diversity and inclusion at Hawkeye Community College on July 1 and hit the ground running.
“I’m excited to be part of an organization that strives to create a culture of mutual respect,” McRina said. “My first priority is to listen and engage students, faculty, staff, and community leaders in meaningful conversations on ways to make our campus even more welcoming and inclusive.”
McRina has served as a counselor at Hawkeye since 2002. She was previously assistant director of University of Northern Iowa’s Classic Upward Bound Program, an instructor with City Colleges of Chicago–Europe, and career counselor with the Army Career and Alumni Program/Right Associates. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and sociology and a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She is a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University. McRina is currently a member of the Waterloo Community School District Board of Education and a former commissioner and chair of the Waterloo Commission on Human Rights.
“Rhonda’s experience and education are an excellent match for this position,” said Dr. Jane Bradley, vice president of academic affairs. “She has been an active member of the community and a valued employee of Hawkeye for years.”
As director of diversity and inclusion, McRina assists in the development and implementation of plans supporting academic success and inclusiveness among diverse student populations. The college previously had an associate director of diversity and inclusion, vacated by Quentin Hart when he was elected mayor of Waterloo.
“Because of Mayor Hart’s work and Hawkeye’s strategic commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, the decision was made to elevate the position to a director level with the goal of having an even greater impact on student learning and success,” Dr. Bradley said.
McRina is working to expand the diversity and inclusion initiatives already underway at Hawkeye, including the Multicultural Student Organization, scholarships for underrepresented populations, and building bridges for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learners to transition to credit and non-credit programs.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
Open, honest, relevant discussions with students, faculty, and staff about critical, current, and controversial issues affecting our diverse communities.
Self-guided learning opportunities where students can broaden their perspectives on cultural diversity by attending various community events and activities.
Multicultural Student Organization
Student-led organization created to be a platform for Hawkeye students to focus on diversity issues that shape our campus and our world.
Brothers of Knowledge for College
A group of African-American young men who are recent graduates of the Waterloo Community School District, now enrolled at Hawkeye. McRina meets with them regularly and is working to coordinate with other campus offices to provide mentors and access to campus resources.
Understanding the Immigrant Student Experience
November 14, 2016, 12:00 p.m.
Main Campus – Tama Hall
Five Hawkeye students from various immigrant backgrounds will share their personal stories about challenges and successes in pursuit of their educational goals.
Diversity in STEM Conference
March 24, 2017
Main Campus – Tama Hall
Keynote speaker is Dr. Pamela McCauley-Bush, an ergonomics and biomechanics expert and professor and director of the Ergonomics Laboratory in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at the University of Central Florida. She is recipient of a 2015-2016 Jefferson Science Fellowship from the U.S. State Department and author of “Transforming Your STEM Career Through Leadership and Innovation: Inspiration and Strategies for Women.”