Kijua Sanders-McMurtry

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer

Mount Holyoke College

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Kijua Sanders-McMurtry

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer

Mount Holyoke College

Dr. Kijua Sanders-McMurtry serves as the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She began her time at Mount Holyoke in the summer of 2018 and has been instrumental in the transformative change of the institution including stewarding their anti-racism action plan and establishing the College's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion which supports students, faculty, and staff at the institution.

Originally from Pasadena, California, Sanders-McMurtry was inspired to become a full-time diversity educator after the deaths of Sakia Gunn and Matthew Shepard. Both individuals were targeted and killed because of their gender and sexual identities. Since that time, she has become a nationally recognized advocate for diversity and inclusion, Sanders-McMurtry has been quoted in publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Inside Higher Education and Insight into Diversity magazine. Her research has been published in the Journal of Higher Education and she has presented nationally at a wide range of conferences and institutions.

She has held numerous leadership positions with professional organizations, including serving as the co-chair for trans inclusion with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and was named a Diamond Honoree with the American College Personnel Association. Prior to Mount Holyoke, she worked for twelve years in a variety of leadership roles at Agnes Scott College. In addition to diversity education, she has worked in the areas of financial aid, honors education, student development and leadership, and Title IX. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Agnes Scott, Atlanta Technical College, Mount Holyoke, Georgia State University and the University of Georgia. Her background also includes time spent as a public health research associate with ORC Macro, International.

Sanders-McMurtry holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies, as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology from Georgia State University. A high school dropout, she credits her non-traditional academic journey to her mentors at Pasadena City College, where she completed an associate’s degree in social sciences.

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