The campus community has a chance to welcome Dr. Kimberly L. Martin as the new director of the Cultural Center at an open house there from 3-5 p.m. Friday, April 5. Everyone is invited to stop by, enjoy some light refreshments and meet Martin in person.
Martin, a Michigan native, has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and student affairs, having served as the coordinator for Leadership and Service Learning at Wayne State University, the assistant dean of Students of Community Engagement and Involvement at Purdue University and most recently as the coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She started at UofL in late February.
During her career, Martin has continually demonstrated her commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice issues. She has previously served on both university-wide and departmental diversity councils to address issues of disparity and bias in the recruitment and hiring of faculty and students of color. Most recently, her dissertation, “Nevertheless They Persisted: Exploring Sense of Belonging Among Black Female Doctoral Graduates,” was nominated for Dissertation of the Year at Oakland University. We had the chance to talk to Martin about her experience and her plans for the UofL Cultural Center.
UofL News: What brought you to UofL?
Martin: The great opportunity to serve as the Director of the Cultural Center. It is the perfect way for me to meld my passion – helping under-represented students thrive in college – and my career.
UofL News: What are your plans for the Cultural Center?
Martin: Right now I am just getting my bearings. But my long-term goals for the center include making it one of the best cultural centers in the region in terms of services and programs we can offer under-represented students.
UofL News: What challenges does the Center face?
Martin: Money. Budgets have been cut; resources are scarce. We are surviving, but I want us to be thriving.
UofL News: What issues should be top of mind at the university? What positives are you seeing?
Martin: Diversity is a thread that I have seen woven throughout everything since my tenure at UofL; it is a priority for the president. It is stated on the website that UofL will be “ubiquitously recognized as a great place to learn, a great place to work and a great place in which to invest because we will celebrate diversity, foster equity and strive for inclusion.” In order to do this, the university needs to invest in the center and initiatives that foster this goal. I think the strategic planning that is going on right now is a step in the right direction.
UofL News: What is your educational background?
Martin: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Master of Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.
UofL News: Any personal interests? Family? Pets? Hobbies?
Martin: I have a main coon cat named Toonces (it’s an old Saturday Night Live skit). I love live music, good food and hanging out with good friends. Looking forward to my first Derby experience.