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Search for the dean of students: Goldsberry looking to improve diversity, engagement and gender iden

Belmont’s round of open student sessions, featuring candidates in the running for the vacant dean of students position, concluded today with Dr. Kimberlie Goldsberry.

Goldsberry, the only female candidate of the three being considered, has over 20 years of experience in student affairs positions at five universities, the most recent is at Ohio Wesleyan University, where she currently serves as the dean of students.

Since earning a doctorate of philosophy in higher education from Ohio University in 2007, Goldsberry has had her sights set on Belmont and has been excited and energized about the campus community and dynamic.

“It was very exciting when this opportunity came to Belmont for a number of reasons,” said Goldsberry. “The size of the institution, the location of the institution, and, really, it’s very mission-driven.”

“There are so many opportunities that come from Nashville,” added Goldsberry. “It’s a broader learning laboratory for you, because you’re right there, immersed in the city and can take advantage of that. It was exciting from a professional perspective, but also to be in such a vibrant city is very attractive to me as well.”

One of Goldsberry’s passions as a student affairs executive lies in examining and broadening the university demographic, “with a specific focus on first-generation students, domestic diversity and those with learning and physical disabilities.”

Another is the implementation of modern technology and media to engage and inform the student population.

“I just participated in my first Vine on Sunday,” said Goldsberry in reference to her collaboration with the student government organization at Ohio Wesleyan University. She’s working with members to “promote student government in 60 seconds or less” through popular social media outlets like Vine and Twitter.

“I push out different contests and prizes and things like that,” said Goldsberry. “I really try to put out positive information about things that our student groups are doing, or programs, events, and deadlines that I know people are going to forget. People can see things in different ways if they choose to be engaged with it.”

Goldsberry ended her presentation by voicing a concern with the growing imbalance of gender ratios in student leadership and involvement, and her desire to see the rise of more initiative and growth programming for male students.

“On my own campus, we don’t see as many men challenging themselves for leadership positions on campus,” said Goldsberry. She provided a specific example, noting that students who participate in international studies programs are more than 75 percent female.

“I think part of it’s in the greater context of gender identity overall,” added Goldsberry. “It’s a conversation I’m looking to get started.”

Above all, Goldsberry emphasized the importance of becoming one with the student community and creating an environment of collaboration.

“I think it’s important, whenever you move into a new position, to take the time to learn about the community and what’s happening there,” said Goldsberry. “I think it’s really important to value the work of the people and what they’re doing already because you can really learn from them. They may have a lot of visions of where they want it to go, but they need someone to add to that voice and make it happen.”

-Katherine Foreman

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