Kristen Surla

  • Director of Diversity and Inclusion


As the HR Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Kristen leads the College and Conservatory in developing strategies to increase compositional and curricular diversity at Oberlin through recruitment and retention efforts of our faculty and staff. 

Kristen has a deep commitment and knowledge to DEI efforts across Oberlin as the former Assistant Director and Asian Pacific Islander Community Coordinator in the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC). She returned to Oberlin due to the innovative scholarship, student activism, and administrative initiatives that continue to make Oberlin a DEI leader in higher education.

Kristen brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having served as a diversity, equity, and inclusion program manager within the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. She has also held various positions at Michigan State University (MSU), including being leadership educational coordinator for undergraduate education in the College of Education, teaching fellow in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation, and assessment consultant for the MSU Council on Race & Ethnic Minorities in Education. 

In addition to her administrative role, Kristen is also a higher education scholar whose research focuses on academic socialization and decolonizing curriculum. She is completing her PhD in higher, adult, and lifelong education Michigan State University.