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Kameron Kadooka named new director of Equity, Access and Inclusion in the College of Science

By Cari Longman

The College of Science is thrilled to announce Kameron Kadooka as its director of Equity, Access and Inclusion (EAI), effective April 1. This new position is a step forward for the College, driven by the Diversity Action Plan, “2021-2024: Embedding Equity, Access and Inclusion.” With guidance from our science community, the action plan was designed around improving outcomes for underrepresented students, faculty and staff in the College of Science.

The diversity action plan will be the College’s guide to increasing EAI progress over the coming years. Encompassing equitable hiring, an inclusive climate and innovative access to learning and research, it outlines key strategic goals aligned with specific actions and accountability structures to achieve greater diversity and equity in all units of the College of Science.

"Equity work is culture change work, and I hope to see the culture of the College of Science move towards one that is welcoming of all"

As EAI director, Kadooka will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the specific goals and actions outlined in the diversity action plan, as well as embedding values and actions supportive of EAI in our classrooms and institutions in the College of Science. Kadooka has served as the interim director for EAI in the College of Science since last October, sharing duties with Andy Karplus, Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and biophysics on a part-time basis.

“As interim director, Kameron has been an excellent partner in helping to launch the College’s diversity action plan,” said Roy Haggerty, College of Science dean. “He is thoughtful, experienced in this work and passionate about helping to make the College a more equitable and inclusive place where all people can feel like they belong.”

“I would also like to thank Andy Karplus for all the work is has done in partnership with Kameron to get the diversity action plan off the ground,” said Haggerty. “His deep experience in the College and the care he has for our students and his colleagues have helped to lay the groundwork for what I hope is deep and lasting positive change in the College.”

An alumnus of Oregon State, Kadooka’s commitment to increasing OSU’s diversity and equity is evident though his previous roles, including as coordinator for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program in the Educational Opportunities Program, an academic advisor and an admissions advisor.

As LSAMP coordinator, Kadooka oversaw programs to increase the recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented minority students in STEM programs at OSU. One of those signature programs is the LSAMP Summer Scholars Bridge Program, in which Kadooka introduced participants to the resources and tools available to help them navigate their college experiences. Participants in the program have a higher first-year retention rate than all other OSU first-year STEM students.

Kadooka has helped students overcome systemic barriers, connected them to resources when they struggle to pay for college, and regularly coaches students to advocate for themselves while working behind the scenes to address inequities and improve university policies.

As interim director of Equity, Access and Inclusion, Kadooka has worked to further embed equity in all processes, procedures and policies in the College of Science. He led the initial implementation of the Diversity Action Plan and oversaw the development of the College’s new EAI website. He has served as Chair of the EAI leadership council and worked with the members of EAI subcommittees to identify and alleviate barriers to recruitment, retention and success of faculty and students of color in STEM.

“I am excited to make lasting and impactful change to the way everyone experiences the College of Science,” said Kadooka. “Equity work is culture change work, and I hope to see the culture of the College of Science move towards one that is welcoming of all, one that is equitable and accessible to everyone, especially those with marginalized identities.”

Karplus will step down as part-time associate director effective March 31.

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