Kristen Surla (she/her/siya) is excited to join the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan as the DEI Training Specialist focused on faculty and staff development. Kris is transitioning into the University of Michigan from her previous role as the Course Coordinator for Student Leadership Training within the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University (MSU). During her 3 years in the position, Kris revamped a teaching apprenticeship program for first-time graduate and professional educators to prioritize culturally-informed curriculum and evaluation, racial justice, and digital access and literacy in leadership studies. Throughout her time at MSU, Kris was widely involved across campus through her appointments as an assessment consultant for the Council of Racial and Ethnic Minorities summit and a fellow at the Hub for Innovation and Educational Technology. She is currently finishing her PhD in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education Program at MSU and received her B.A. in English and Sociology and her M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago. Her dissertation research interrogates the navigation of academic socialization, funding structures, and identity capitalism by BIPOC graduate students in science fields.
Kris brings 8+ years of experience working in higher education including her role as Assistant Director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Center of Urban Research and Learning at Loyola University Chicago, and the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania. Across all of her prior roles, Kris demonstrated a commitment to increasing access and full participation of BIPOC, immigrant, first-generation, low-income, and LGBTQIA+ communities. Kris has collaboratively published on many topics related to her interests including Asian Americans, Affirmative Action, and the Political Economy of Racism: A Multidimensional Model of Raceclass Frames in the Harvard Educational Review and the forthcoming Towards ‘Decolonizing’ Curriculum and Pedagogy (DCP) across Disciplines and Global Higher Education Contexts: A Critical synthesis in the Review of Educational Research. In addition, she is a co-founder of the Chosen Collective which provides DEI organizational change, assessment, and strategic planning to leaders in education, nonprofit, and corporate sectors.
As a complement to her academic work, Kris uses art as a way to connect with her local and global communities around topics of social justice, equity, and access. She created a digital ethnographic archive entitled Academic Ate: Real Talk from Pinay Scholars about Life, Work, and Identity in Academia, which was presented at McGill University in 2019. She has enjoyed her time in Michigan through her involvement in the Greater Lansing community as a facilitator for the Queer Poetry of Color group via The Thought Club and as an affiliate of Queering Medicine.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org