Gateway Technical College’s dean of Learning Success Tammi Summers has been named to lead the college’s newly formed Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Summers, known regionally and nationally for her work in the area of diversity, equity and mental health issues, has been promoted to vice president, as well. Summers’ office will work with all areas of the college to implement equity-minded strategies to improve student success outcomes and retain quality faculty and staff.
“Gateway has a rich history in celebrating the importance of diverse cultures,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. “Establishing the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion serves as a cornerstone for our commitment to build upon our mission.
“Dr. Tammi Summers is a leading expert in social justice and serves as an inspiration to the Gateway community. I am extremely happy that Dr. Summers is joining the Gateway executive leadership team as the college’s first vice president for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”
In addition to her work as dean, Summers has chaired the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee for the past four years along with her co-chair Jomarie Coloriano, Gateway multicultural support specialist. She also helped direct the college’s cultural climate survey early last year, in addition to playing a pivotal role in similar efforts in the Wisconsin Technical College System.
“I’m excited about this opportunity, and looking forward to the impact the work this office will have on diversity, equity, and inclusion programming for our staff and students at the college, as well as the local communities that we serve,” said Summers.
The creation of the office is a natural progression of work by the college – and Summers – to create a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture for staff, students and faculty. Diversity and inclusion has been listed in the college’s mission statement for decades, and it is also one of the listed goals of the college’s Vision 2021 plan.
“Diversity of individuals and perspectives has been a core value of Gateway’s for many years,” said Summers. “With the office, we will now have a centralized place for programming and we can be more intentional on how we support these efforts throughout the college.
“We will be using data to determine where we might have gaps and where we can make improvement and changes in equity, diversity and inclusion, which will benefit students and staff at the college.”
Summers said the office will collaborate with all areas and groups of the college for their efforts. “I’m looking forward to be able to work with all departments and divisions on this. It’s something that will have the ability to reach the entire Gateway community.”
Summers earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Special Education. Summers, Ph.D., earned her doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Urban Education focusing on Adult and Continuing Education.