Regis, a leading Catholic university in Greater Boston, has launched a new Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE). To lead the new center, Michelle Cromwell has been appointed as the university’s first Associate Vice President of Inclusive Excellence and Chief Diversity Officer.
“Regis is a diverse community that welcomes students from all backgrounds without distinction and is dedicated to providing access to education for all,” said Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN, president of Regis. “Michelle is committed to having honest dialogues to seek solutions to complex problems. She will be a valuable resource for our community on matters of diversity, inclusion, equity, equity literacy and climate.”
The Center will support the university mission by cultivating Regis’ values with all constituents. Partnering with departments including Academic Affairs, Global Connections and Ministry and Service, the Center will develop training for equity literacy and sponsor events that promote open dialogue.
“My vision is to make inclusion excellent at Regis and to do this by encouraging the entire community to engage in practices that reposition diversity and inclusion as fundamental to institutional excellence,” said Cromwell. “When we understand these issues in deep and meaningful ways, we not only respond to them effectively, but we also use diversity and inclusion in the service of our students and to the university’s growth."
Cromwell brings more than 14 years of teaching, scholarship, and practice in the higher education arena. Before returning to Regis, she served as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer at The School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont. Prior to SIT, Cromwell was Associate Professor of Politics and Social Justice at Regis and the Director of the Honors Program. She was also instrumental in starting Regis’ annual Kente Stole Ceremony.
Michelle holds a doctorate in conflict analysis and resolution with a specialty in ethnic conflict and a master’s in dispute resolution, both from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She earned a bachelor’s in social work from the University of the West Indies, in Trinidad and Tobago. Her most recent publication, “The one-foot journey: Dismantling racism with peacemaking circles,” shows how the peacemaking circle can be used to have creative, courageous, and compassionate conversations about racism. It will be published this winter.