CPH names interim diversity, equity, and inclusion liaison for students

Published on March 27, 2019

portrait of Cassie Harrington
Cassie Harrington

The College of Public Health is pleased to announce the creation of a new resource for our students. During the College Town Hall on March 2, 2019, and subsequent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee meeting, we heard from students that a DEI point of contact for students was needed in the college. As a result, Cassie Harrington has been named to serve as the interim student DEI liaison in addition to her current position as assessment and evaluation program coordinator in the college’s student affairs office.

“This reflects a transition from simply focusing on diversity to more expansively considering issues of equity and inclusion,” says Paul Gilbert, chair of the college’s DEI Committee. “Because of differences in power, students may have a hard time bringing up problems with the people who grade their work or administer their programs of study. Cassie is in a unique position to serve as a trustworthy sounding board and accessible guide to the resources and processes in the college and across the campus.”

Cassie’s office is located on the first floor, room S140 CPHB, and she can also be reached at cassandra-harrington@uiowa.edu or 319-384-1512.

In this interim role, effective immediately, Cassie will:

  • respond to diversity, equity, and inclusion-related issues among the student body as they arise, serving as the point person for student concerns and then providing resources and referrals to students specific to their needs and issues;
  • serve as the subject-matter expert in bias awareness for CPH students;
  • identify opportunities to implement student diversity-related activities;
  • continue to find ways to cultivate our college climate of inclusion and respect for all students;
  • serve on the CPH DEI Committee;
  • help ensure the academic success of our student population; and
  • collaborate with collegiate leaders on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Following completion of an overall review of our entire academic services unit, and review of this interim appointment, we will be better prepared to articulate duties and permanently name an individual to this important role.

As a reminder, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Jeff Dawson and Human Resources Director Kay Shie serve in similar capacities for faculty and staff, respectively.

The college continues to be dedicated to hearing and learning from all students, faculty, and staff experiences. We look forward to sharing additional initiatives of our leadership and DEI Committee in the near future.