Following an exhaustive search, Michigan Tech has named Wayne M. Gersie as its first Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion effective Nov. 1.
In his role, Gersie will work to identify and address organizational and systemic issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion on Michigan Tech’s campus. This includes developing policies and best practices in operational areas including human resources, finance and academic affairs.
“I would like to thank Kellie Raffaelli and the members of the search committee for a terrific job,” said Rick Koubek, president. “Wayne’s extensive expertise in diversity and inclusion will greatly complement our ongoing efforts and I look forward to working with him to advance these important initiatives.”
Gersie currently serves as Assistant Research Professor and Chief Diversity Officer for the Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State, and is the founder and principal of Oasis Strategic Consulting LLC. He has earned his PhD in Workforce Education and Development, with emphasis on Human Resources and a Masters in Counselor Education, both from Penn State. Additionally, he holds certificates from the Harvard University Institute for Management & Leadership Education, Cambridge MA and Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Additionally, Gersie has been recognized for his service with multiple awards, including The Pennsylvania State University, College of Engineering Ally recognition award. The Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Equity and Inclusion Award, The Penn State Multicultural and the Resource Center Faculty/Staff Diversity Recognition Award. He has also served his community, region and nationally as a committee member, panelist, and keynote speaker for many organizations including The Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission Advisory Council for Centre County, The Penn Civilians, Chair and member of The Penn State Council of College Multicultural Leadership, National Association for Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, American Society of Engineering Education, Black Engineer of the Year Award, Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, The Tapia Conference and the National GEM Consortium.
"I am humbled and honored to accept this role," Gersie said. "I very much look forward to collaborating with the faculty, staff, and students across the University, as Michigan Technological University strives to reach its diversity, equity, and inclusion aspirations. In the words of Helen Keller, 'Alone, we can do so little. Together we can do so much.' Campus culture will be enhanced as we work together with respect and openness towards a community where differences are valued, equal access, opportunity, and representation are achieved, and we are able to sustain an inclusive environment where all feel a sense of belonging."
The Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion position was created based upon the recommendation of the Tech Forward Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and will serve a member of the senior leadership team. After a review of all applicants, the search committee recommended four finalists, who interviewed on campus in late August and early September.