University of Maryland Dean of the College of Education Kimberly Griffin visits Blair

Feb. 24, 2024, 12:37 p.m. | By Giorgia Toti, Tejusvi Vijay | 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Dr. Kimberly Griffin visited Blair’s Black Student Union to share her work and experiences promoting diversity and equity in higher education programs.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, University of Maryland dean of education Dr. Kimberly Griffin visited the Blair Black Student Union to share her journey from a high school student to university faculty leader.

When Griffin was younger, she did not expect to be a college dean. She believed she would become a pediatrician, later attending Stanford University to major in Psychology. At Stanford, she discovered her passion to work in higher education to better the system for students.

She pursued her master’s degree in higher education at the University of Maryland and doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since then, she has focused her research on analyzing the lack of diversity in STEM fields, specifically in regards to higher education opportunities. Years later, she was offered a faculty position at UMD and rose her way through the ranks to become the Dean of the College of Education. 

After providing her story, Griffin took questions from the audience, covering topics from college admissions to personal advice. When discussing how UMD was addressing the 2023 Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in college admissions, Griffin highlighted UMD’s goal and mission regarding the importance of diversity, equity, and justice. While there are actions universities can take, like offering questions on applications that encourage students to reflect on their identity, Griffin stated that for the most part, students just need to continue working hard, making good choices, and letting colleges put in the work. 

When asked specifically about her research experiences, Griffin spoke about her work analyzing the disconnect in diversity between higher education classes and faculty members. She found that even if many students wanted to eventually serve their community, many graduated from their schools with the impression that the faculty environment was not welcoming. “It’s really hard to solve issues that affect communities of color if we don’t have any people of color in the room,” Griffin said in regards to her research. 

Towards the end of the session, student questions transitioned from Griffin’s work to her advice for students. Griffin covered topics like dealing with imposter syndrome and the value of having mentors. She pulled from her own experiences as a graduate student and faculty member to reaffirm that struggling is part of the process and that it is okay to struggle.

When asked to provide one piece of advice for Blair students, Griffin said, “Be yourself. That’s enough.”

Last updated: Feb. 24, 2024, 12:39 p.m.

Giorgia Toti. Hello! I am Giorgia Toti, a junior at MBHS, and this is my first year as a writer on Silver Chips Online. Along with a love of writing I am a part of Girl Scouts and am finishing my final Gold Award project, a coxswain … More »

Tejusvi Vijay. Hello! My name is Teju (she/her) and I'm a staff writer. Outside of SCO, I enjoy playing board games, watching Disney movies, and telling puns. More »

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