I want to help students realize that they do not have to walk in the stereotype that society has put on them, but to walk in their authenticity and know they belong here and deserve to take space here and be involved and be developed to become the awesome leaders of the future.
The Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity (LGCIE) recently appointed a new director, Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, to continue building on the center’s work.
When looking to make a career move, Pitterson-Ogaldez knew she wanted to work for an institution committed to advancing diversity, equity, and belonging. That’s when she discovered Bridgewater State University.
“The different initiatives, the task force...it was obvious that Bridgewater is moving in the right direction,” she said.
Impressed by what she found, Pitterson-Ogaldez applied for the LGCIE director position.
Vice President of Student Success and Diversity Sabrina Gentlewarrior said that throughout the interview process Pitterson-Ogaldez was impressive.
“Sharon’s experience and commitment to support the success of every student, one student at a time, and her excitement to join BSU in our racial equity and justice work, made her the ideal selection at this time of our institutional work,” Gentlewarrior said.
Prior to BSU, Pitterson-Ogaldez worked at Penn State University as the coordinator of Diversity and International Programs for Diversity and, responsible for multicultural international LGBTQIA+ students, “advocating on their behalf and supporting them,” she said.
From assisting with visa applications and academics, to housing, signing up for food service and helping with the overall transition to college, Pitterson-Ogaldez’s goal was to always ensure each student she encountered was able to discover their own path to success.
“I hope to help them develop their passion, to embrace their sense of agency, and help them realize they belong here, to help them find their way,” she said.
Since taking on director duties in October, Pitterson-Ogaldez is happy to see students come to LGCIE and take advantage of all the center offers.
“It’s a great resource for our students to be able to come into a center that understands who they are, their backgrounds and the challenges they face,” she said.
Pitterson-Ogaldez looks forward to getting to know the students better and learning more about the BSU culture, most importantly she wants to make sure LGCIE serves as resource to help elevate student voices.
“I want to help students realize that they do not have to walk in the stereotype that society has put on them, but to walk in their authenticity and know they belong here and deserve to take space here and be involved and be developed to become the awesome leaders of the future.”
Gentlewarrior is confident Pitterson-Ogaldez will achieve this and looks forward to watching it unfold.
“Sharon picked BSU because of our commitment and believes we are a campus firmly committed to institutional transformation. I’m certain BSU will find Sharon a joyful leader and partner in this essential work,” she said.
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