LMC equity with a Kwist

At the college level, equity can be roughly defined as the intentional commitment to fair and just treatment of all members of a university community, and inclusion can follow as the strategic integration of equity and diversity in every aspect of higher education. However, this broad definition only alludes to the involvement and responsibilities of Los Medanos College’s new dean of Equity and Inclusion, Sabrina Kwist.

                  Kwist comes to LMC from Mills College and succeeds Interim Dean Ruth Goodin who retired in December.

                  “I am really looking forward to learning through conversations, through attending events and looking at what students, staff, and faculty want in order to achieve equity and inclusion for the college,” said Kwist.

                  As Dean of Equity and Inclusion, Kwist will hold a broad range of institutional and management responsibilities at LMC that include leading, coordinating, establishing and executing equity goals among students and faculty, co-chairing the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee and serving as a member of the president’s cabinet to name a few.

                  “There was a long vetting process and we are very happy and excited about Sabrina,” said President Bob Kratochvil. “She really enjoys students.”

                  Her enthusiasm for students and community is apparent in her extensive involvement in academic and empowerment organizations. During her undergraduate education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, she dedicated time to the Program of Determined Students and the Associated Student Commission on Racial Equality. More recently, she was involved with the Solidarity Lounge and Summer Academic Workshop at Mills College, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

                  Kwist confided that much of her passion, motivation and success comes from her perspective as a first generation college student who relied on the communities she grew up in to help her achieve a greater sense of identity and strength.

                  “Sometimes you have to accept help, it doesn’t mean you’re not strong,” reflected Kwist. “Excellence is a daily practice, it’s holding yourself to standards and moving toward your dreams, and your mindset is affected by the community and company you keep.”

                  Mary Oleson, who works on Institutional Equity and Advancement alongside Kwist, shares the same sentiments about her as Kratochvil.

                  “She is compassionate and perfectly matched for the job,” said Oleson. “We the staff are doing our best to support her in her new role.”

                  For students, LMC’s new Dean of Equity and Inclusion is accessible and inspiring, as well as worldly and relatable. She commutes from Oakland by BART, loves sports and hip-hop, plays fantasy football and has visited 26 countries around the globe.

                  “Please invite me to spaces, events or a just a cup of tea to talk about what equity and inclusion means to you here at LMC,” said Kwist with a smile.

                  Kwist, currently works Monday, Wednesday and Friday until April while she finishes transitioning from her work at Mills College to her new full-time responsibilities at LMC. She can be found on the fourth floor of the College Core in Room CO-408.