Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MxCC

About the Council

Reports to: Executive Council, as advisory to the Cabinet and the Campus CEO

Purpose: The Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a representative body of the college community charged with creating urgency and accountability for maintaining a campus environment where all are valued, respected, and included; and where our workforce reflects the composition of our student body and engages with them in culturally relevant ways.

The Council is a leadership group charged with reimagining the college as a change agent in our community by leading efforts to examine MxCC’s Strategic Plan, programs, policies, procedures, and campus culture through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Council will help guide the college community through a process of education, understanding, and discovery; application of action items and best practices; and how DEI can become fully integrated in the daily work and life of MxCC.


group of students standing together outside in front of fall foliage, smiling at camera

Members Elected 

  • Aquia Brown-Welch, Alumni Representative and Co-Chair

  • Juliann Holzer, Continuing Education Assistant

  • Dr. Nutan Mishra, Instructor of Sociology and Anthropology and Co-Chair

  • Christian Moore, Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice

  • Venishia Nakandala, Student Representative

  • Ijego Nwachuku, Professor of Early Childhood Education

  • Ingrid Orellana-Rivera, Director of Student Activities

  • James Quinlan, Professor of Chemistry

  • Donovan Reinwald, Librarian

  • Annie Scott, Director of Information Technology

  • Joy Thompson, Enrollment Services Assistant

  • Katherine Tocto Quituisaca, Student Representative

Ex-Officio Members 

  • Donna Bontatibus, Interim Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs

  • Sara Hanson, Associate Dean of Student Affairs

  • Kimberly Hogan, Interim Chief Executive Officer

  • Hilary Phelps, Disability Services Coordinator

Subcommittees: The Council is empowered to create subcommittees of its own members. It may invite other members of the MxCC community to participate, provided the Council informs the Executive Council as a matter of courtesy and so that they may be recognized for their service.


Education, Understanding, and Discovery

  • Develop an MxCC Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for campus ratification.
  • Conduct a campus climate survey to establish baseline data and to indicate possible initiatives and action items.
  • Engage the college community in professional development events designed to strengthen a culture of understanding regarding DEI. Consider organizing events by department, discipline, division, or all-college.
  • Select a guest speaker for a mandatory all-college meeting/convocation (possible partnership with other colleges in the Capital-East Region).
  • Consider ways for the college community to reflect on the MxCC Strategic Plan through a DEI lens.

Application of Action Items and Best Practices

  • Explore best practices by collaborating as appropriate with the Center for Teaching, Center for Civic Engagement, Achieving the Dream Core Team, CSCU/CSCC DEI Councils, and other network resources.
  • Transform New Student Orientation and consider the overall student experience through a DEI lens.

Integrate DEI in the daily work and life of MxCC

  • Make recommendations to the Cabinet on possible policy changes and actions intended to improve the campus climate related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Establish annual goals/metrics


Refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and world views that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more.

The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff in every stage of their MxCC education and career development, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of marginalized groups.

The act of creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued. An inclusive climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions so that all people can fully participate in the College’s opportunities.

Source: University of California-Berkeley Toolkit for Diversity Equity, and Inclusion © 2015, University of California Regents,

Joint statement of commitment to equity, diversity, and excellence in student success and leadership development (June 2020)

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) denounce all acts of racism, hate, violence, and injustice. We stand with the individuals who have been marginalized, oppressed, and murdered due to their ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, and sexual behavior. As associations that represent community colleges serving 42% of undergraduates in the United States, we place a premium on equal access to the American Dream for everyone. We condemn rhetoric and actions by individuals and groups that threaten individuals based upon the color of their skin, their ethnic backgrounds, or their identification as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. We stand in solidarity with organizations that seek to end systemic racism, and we strongly encourage our community colleges to place a critical lens on their policies and procedures to ensure that all students engage with higher education on an equal playing field. Further, we support our community college leaders becoming allies to organizations seeking to improve educational and workforce opportunities, as well as other public services to ensure a better America. (

Achieving the Dream Equity Statement

Community colleges are an indispensable asset in our nation’s efforts to ensure and preserve access to higher education and success for all students, particularly students of color, low-income students, and other historically underrepresented student populations1. However, student access and success in higher education continue to be impacted by the effects of structural racism and systemic poverty. Achievement gaps among student groups reflect structural inequities that are often the result of historic and systemic social injustices. These inequities typically manifest themselves as the unintended or indirect consequences of unexamined institutional or social policies.

Achieving the Dream believes that access to a high-quality education in an inclusive environment is the right of all individuals and imperative for the continued advancement of a strong democracy and workforce. Achieving the Dream also believes higher education institutions have an obligation to work toward equity for their students. Equity is grounded in the principle of fairness. In higher education, equity refers to ensuring that each student receives what they need to be successful through the intentional design of the college experience.

Achieving the Dream expects colleges to dismantle the barriers facing underserved students. Colleges must routinely scrutinize structural barriers to equity and invest in equity-minded policies, practices, and behaviors that lead to success for all students.

The MxCC Strategic Plan 2017-2022

See the Strategic Plan here.

Potential Worksheet: How have our goals and strategies advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion, toward truly putting our students at the center of Middlesex Community College?

Strategy 1-1: The academic curriculum of the college will be responsive to shifting workforce demands and student interest and incorporate innovative and emerging teaching methods and delivery modalities. 
Strategy 1-2: The support services and systems that underpin a student’s experience will be improved, through assessment, reflection, and increased training and communication. 
Strategy 1-3: Through college-wide initiatives and events, student clubs, and student leadership development, all members of the campus community will feel connected, enriched, and engaged.  
Strategy 2-1: The College will pursue relationships with key legislators, decision makers, collaborators, and other institutional funders to pursue and secure funding, contributing to our financial resiliency as an institution. 
Strategy 2-2: The College will cultivate and deepen its relationships with current and potential donors through an array of approaches. 
Strategy 2-3: The College will strengthen its marketing efforts and leverage a wide range of channels to share the story of the College and stories of student success. 
Strategy 2-4: The College will develop and promote programming to the broader community and strengthen linkages to the business community. 
Strategy 3-1: The College community will develop and implement campus-wide strategies to strengthen the connections across campus, communicate campus information, and improve workplace culture. 
Strategy 3-2: MxCC will continue to evolve its governance model by making adjustments to the model to improve functioning and when prepared, developing bylaws to formalize the model. 
Strategy 4-1: MxCC will continue to improve the campus facilities and spaces. 
Strategy 4-2: MxCC will leverage and invest in technology to enhance the classroom experience as well as continuously evolve campus-wide systems and processes. 





  • Coates, T. (2015)  Between the world and me.  Spiegel & Grau.
  • DiAngelo, R. (2018).  White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press.
  • Kendi, I.X. (2016).  Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America.  Nation Books.
  • Kendi, I.X. (2019).  How to be an antiracist.  One World.
  • Trepagnier, B. (2010).  Silent racism: How well-meaning White people perpetuate the racial divide.  Paradigm.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Colleges and Universities

Position Statements