Mia-Kay Fuller Named Assistant Director for Gender Equity and Sexuality
Effective Monday, October 3rd, Mia-Kay Fuller (they/them) has been named the Assistant Director for Gender Equity and Sexuality in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
In their role, Mia will lead the support, advocacy, and educational programming for LGBTQIAP+ undergraduate and graduate students as well as WPI alumni. They will also oversee student gender equity initiatives including, but not limited to supporting WPI women, non-binary individuals, and those of other genders. Additionally, Mia will collaborate with LGBTQIAP+ and female-supporting student organizations to further initiatives and support across campus.
"Mia-Kay brings valued expertise and experiences to the Division of Talent and Inclusion in this specialized role and position title. I look forward to the dedicated focus and vision this position will create for students and the WPI community in advancing our strategic goals and priorities." –Dr. Lauren Turner, Senior Vice President for Talent and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer
The creation of this position stems directly from the voice of the students, who have advocated for a staff position solely focused on the LGBTQIAP+ community at WPI. Theses voices were heard through direct advocacy from their student organizations or WPI-sponsored projects (Bunyea, L., Linzo, P., & DeJesus, C. (2017)).
As the Lead with Purpose: 2021-2026 strategic plan focuses on enhancing “the outcomes and experience of minoritized and underrepresented student populations at WPI”, ODIME expanded the role to be inclusive of both gender and sexuality when supporting our students’ successes.
"This has been an ODIME vision since very early on in my tenure at the Institute. Intentionally developing strategic alignments within the office to both meet the needs of the WPI community while also maintaining overlap across the various portfolios supporting our diverse student populations. This position completes the trifecta, and Mia brings voice and leadership to this space in service and advocacy to our students. Those student voices (past and present) were heard loud and clear, and this newly positioned role will now allow us to proactively design and curate intentional learning experiences around gender and sexuality while continuing to center the student experience." –Arnold Lane, Jr., Director of Multicultural Education and Community Engagement
Mia has been with ODIME since January 2020, and has strived to support, advocate for, and push initiatives that directly impact the LGBTQIAP+ community. Their passion to ensure higher education becomes a system where everyone can succeed has pushed forth initiatives for a rebranded Safe Zone training program, gender inclusive restrooms in every academic building, and the new Lavender Lounge space for LGBTQIAP+ students to join together in community. This new role also opens up the opportunity for Mia to explore toxic masculinity, misogyny, and sexism in the academy, STEM fields, and beyond.
With this new role comes new initiatives, including: unveiling of the new LGBTQIAP+ Advocacy Training (LAT) across campus (forthcoming), beginning a new LGBTQIAP+ networking and support group for faculty, staff, students, and alumni called Pride, and implementing women’s leadership programming alongside current campus efforts including the Women's Impact Network (WIN) and Women’s Research and Mentorship Program (WRAMP).
“Though Gender Equity and Sexuality has been a part of my role during my time at WPI thus far, this position allows me to focus in on these efforts in order to carry out what our students are asking for. I am excited to continue my current collaborations with students and campus partners (and begin new ones) as we work to meet what is asked of us as an institution. I have so many ideas for the direction this position could take and I cannot wait to see where WPI goes from here.” –Mia-Kay Fuller, Assistant Director for Gender Equity and Sexuality
Mia holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education in Student Affairs from Salem State University in Salem, MA, USA where they worked as the LGBTQ+ Student Advocate and Liaison in the Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office before becoming a Community Director for Residence Life and Housing at Curry College in Milton, MA. During both experiences, their focus has been on increasing support and recognition for the LGBTQIAP+ community and working to change the systems impacting underrepresented students in higher education.
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) promotes and oversees all student facing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) learning experiences, programs, services, trainings, and initiatives for WPI.