The Gaylord College has hired Dorion Billups (2013, BA in Journalism; 2015, MA in Adult & Higher Education) to serve as the new Coordinator of Community Inclusivity. He will join the Gaylord College student services team in the Paul D. Massad Student Services Center.
Diversity and inclusiveness have long been important to the Gaylord College and valued in the journalism and mass communication fields, so even before the SAE incident became national news, the Gaylord College leadership team had identified these areas which needed to be addressed at the academic unit level as well as the campus level.
“When Unheard swept the OU campus, we knew there was urgency in helping our students to experience a deeper and more positive connection with one another, the Gaylord College, and the University of Oklahoma,” said Assistant Dean John Hockett.
Under Dean Joe Foote’s leadership scarce funds were identified and designated to create this key position making Gaylord College one of the first units on campus to directly address these issues.
As the new coordinator of community inclusivity, Billups will work with current and prospective students in the Gaylord College advising student groups, fostering and organizing large-scale mentorship programs, recruitment, academic advising, and helping to foster increased diversity throughout the Gaylord College, said Hockett.
“I am looking forward to creating a greater sense of unity throughout the college by working with the deans, faculty, staff, unity groups, and international students to highlight all of the wonderful communities within Gaylord College,” said Billups.
Billups is a 2013 journalism graduate and will complete his master’s in higher education in May. He brings to the position knowledge of student programming and a keen understanding of the value of community from working with OU Camp Crimson and the Graduation office. He is also very familiar with Gaylord College and its five majors after serving as a Gaylord Ambassador as an undergraduate.