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News

Michele Hancock named VP of College Culture for Inclusion

  • Michele Hancock
August 26, 2021

Carthage president John Swallow has promoted Professor Michele Hancock, Ed.D., to Vice President of College Culture for Inclusion, a new senior leadership position that continues a campus-wide commitment to an equitable learning and work environment.

Alongside her teaching duties in the Education Department, Prof. Hancock has spearheaded some of the College’s primary equity and inclusion initiatives.

“There is no aspect of Carthage’s work in diversity, equity, and inclusion that has not benefited from Dr. Hancock’s expertise, and no one is better prepared to meet Carthage’s current needs and advance the institution,” said President Swallow.

As a member of the Executive Staff, she’ll work with the president and other top leaders to bring about a “substantive and authentic” culture change in the Carthage community — an essential step to ensure that students from all backgrounds succeed. The appointment takes effect Sept. 1.

“We have the potential to create a culture of inclusion where every individual knows they add value to the Carthage community, an endeavor that is both challenging and noteworthy,” said Prof. Hancock. “The task before us is to institutionalize inclusive practices that support growth and help all to flourish.”

Among her wide-ranging responsibilities, Prof. Hancock is tasked with implementing the expansive anti-racism plan that President Swallow introduced last year. Its action steps fall under three overarching goals:

  • Close the gap in graduation rates.
  • Expand resources for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Infuse the teaching of U.S. racial history throughout the curriculum.

Prof. Hancock will lead the Office of Equity and Inclusion for Culture Change, which becomes a separate unit in the Carthage organizational structure. She will supervise both the director and assistant director of equity and inclusion — positions previously housed in the Division of Student Affairs.

Working on an equal footing with other vice presidents, she can influence all aspects of the College’s work.

“I am thrilled that the amazing work of so many people at Carthage has led us to a senior-level equity and inclusion role for the institution,” said Kimberlie Goldsberry, vice president for student affairs. “Michele has the institutional context, passion, and experience to set the foundation for this new, independent unit to thrive.”

In 2014, Prof. Hancock came to the College with a lengthy track record as a transformative K-12 educational leader. She taught at the elementary school level for 25 years, rose to chief administrator of diversity and leadership in Rochester, New York, and oversaw a 6 percentage point increase in the graduation rate as Kenosha Unified district superintendent.

Prof. Hancock, who holds a Doctor of Education degree in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College, made quick strides at Carthage. She launched the Urban Teacher Preparation Program, established a J-Term service learning tour to Africa, and directed the Accelerated Certification for Teachers offering.

Besides serving as director of diversity for two years, Prof. Hancock developed a couple of key elements in the College’s equity and inclusion strategy: a certificate program for faculty and staff and the Anti-Racism and Intercultural Seminar Experience (ARISE) for all first-year students. She teamed with campus partners to design the Wiggan-Kenniebrew Black Alumni Network (and its associated scholarship and experiential learning funds), as well as the competitive DEIL fellowships.

The Quality of Life Committee at Carthage honored Prof. Hancock with its 2019 Person of the Year award. Nominating colleagues described her as a strong, collaborative leader who ensures “that as many voices can be heard as possible” and persistently raises “the awareness of race and ethnicity on campus.”

Please congratulate Michele Hancock on this important and well-deserved promotion!

A place where all belong