Campus News

Kristen Surla selected as the inaugural HR Director of Diversity and Inclusion

February 10, 2023

Office of Communications

Headshot of Kristen Surla
Photo credit: Courtesy Office of Human Resources

The Department of Human Resources is excited to announce the addition of Kristen Surla as the inaugural human resources director of diversity and inclusion. Surla will play a key role in promoting a culture of inclusive excellence and advancing our strategic diversity hiring initiatives. She will report to Joe Vitale, chief human resources officer, and serve as a valued member of the HR leadership team.

Surla 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, 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. She is also a former member of the Oberlin community, having served as the former Asian Pacific Islander Diaspora Community Coordinator and Assistant Director for the College's Multicultural Resource Center.

Surla earned a master's degree in higher education at Loyola University Chicago, and a bachelor's in sociology and English at Loyola University Chicago. She is completing her PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, where she studies approaches to decolonizing curriculum efforts within environmental education. 

Please join us in welcoming Kristen Surla back to the Oberlin community, as she begins her new role on February 20. We are confident that she will bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and passion to her new role, and we are excited to support her work in advancing our shared goal of fostering a more inclusive and diverse workplace.

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