ISU administrator hired to lead diversity efforts at IWU

Illinois Wesleyan University hires Dakesa Piña as its first leader in charge of diversity,...
Illinois Wesleyan University hires Dakesa Piña as its first leader in charge of diversity, equity and inclusion.(Illinois Wesleyan University)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BLOOMINGTON (25News Now) - Illinois Wesleyan University has hired its first vice president in charge of diversity, equity and inclusion, in keeping with President Georgia Nugent’s goal of creating a cabinet level position devoted to diversity.

Dakesa Piña currently directs diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for Illinois State University’s College of Business.

“I am excited to join the Illinois Wesleyan community in its efforts to provide the most enriching, progressive, vibrant and welcoming community possible for its students, faculty and staff,” said Piña in a prepared statement.

As a trained therapist, Piña is an expert at coaching people and groups through conflict resolution, identifying personal bias, and building empathy, compassion and humility, a news release said.

For her work at ISU, Piña was recently named the first recipient of the Higher Education Diversity Equity and Inclusion Leadership Award from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Locally, Piña worked as a staff counselor at ISU’s Student Counseling Services and was a Countering Domestic Violence Adult Counselor at Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington.

“To become a more inclusive, equitable and just community, we must all work together,” said President Nugent.

“I look forward to welcoming Dr. Piña into the Titan community and our leadership team,” she added.

Piña starts her new job at IWU on July 1.