In her role as HR Generalist for MRIGlobal in Kansas City, Jennifer Lindsey ’10, ’15 is intimately familiar with the importance of widening representation in STEM fields. Now, in addition to recruitment goals and affirmative action planning, Lindsey was named Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead to manage and facilitate DEI initiatives.
“I think there can sometimes be a little bit of shock value whenever someone introduces new ideas,” Lindsey said. “There was a sense of, ‘wow, we’ve never done this before amongst our group’ but also a sense of excitement as we cultivated and strengthened a cultural shift to where it’s okay to talk about these feelings and ideas. As a black employee, I had to do internal work myself to feel comfortable having these conversations. Seeing the rest of our staff also begin feeling more comfortable is what I’ve most enjoyed.”
With more than 400 employees in Missouri, Virginia and Maryland, Lindsey said accounting for and addressing differences in staffing and cultural environment can be challenging. It also highlights the importance of introducing minority students to STEM fields at an early stage.
“Representation matters. There were challenges I faced during my time as a student that I don’t want future students to have to deal with.”Jennifer Lindsey ’10, ’15
“We have partnerships where we work with students that are in STEM fields, and we noticed there are more minority students getting involved in STEM in college, but they weren’t graduating at the same rates as their white counterparts,” she said. “Our desire is to help at an introductory level, to provide support and guidance as they navigate the STEM field early on to prepare them for post-graduation and beyond.”
One of Lindsey’s responsibilities as a member of the Alumni Board’s Professional Development Committee is to help identify career opportunities for current students. She said she felt a responsibility to help provide guidance for young men and women unaware of the possibilities available to them as Avila graduates.
“Representation matters,” Lindsey said. “There were challenges I faced during my time as a student that I don’t want future students to have to deal with. I think by being on the Alumni Board and bringing my perspective—candidly—we can improve the experience for all Avila students and show them the careers that are available to them.”
To become involved in the work being done by alumni board committees, contact Bailey Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find a list of Alumni Board members at www.avila.edu.
Planting the Seeds
In only five years, the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence has made an indelible mark on the entire Avila community
In the best season in program history, Avila Football earns share of KCAC Conference Title
Opening the Door
Jennifer Lindsey ’10, ’15 seeks opportunities for STEM students of all backgrounds
CSJ values guided Mary Morrow-Bax ’64 during pivotal personal and professional challenges