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Diversity Committee

Mission Statement

The Holland College of Arts and Media Diversity and Inclusion Committee seeks to intentionally foster equity, diversity and inclusion within the college, university, and service area through:

  • Recruitment and retention efforts
  • Curriculum advocacy and development
  • Creative activity

Current Membership

professionally shot portrait of Joseph Jefferson

Dr. Joseph L. Jefferson, Chair

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Department: Music
Where from: Jarratt, VA
Nationality: African American
Length of time served: Original Member, since 2018
Diversity Statement: “As a minority teaching in higher education, I feel that it is critical to be visible and vocal for those who feel unheard. This committee affords me the opportunity to do just that by advocating for underrepresented and marginalized groups of people.”


professionally shot portrait of Dr. Buck

Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck

Preferred Pronoun: She/Her/Herself
Department: Mass Media
Where you are from: Charleston, Missouri
Nationality: African American
Length of time served on Committee: Original Member – 2018
Why I am here “I have watched black students, faculty and professional staff leave this university at alarming rates, and those who remain have no one to look to for mentorship or advice. I want to use my voice to increase visibility of minorities by providing support that makes them feel they are seen, heard, and safe on this campus. Further, I want to ingrain representation and inclusion of diverse groups in our curriculum, campus culture, and this community. It’s important to me that I use my experiences, skills, and vision to lead and be a resource who can encourage, educate and enable others to pursue academic and career goals above and beyond any obstacles they may encounter.”


professionally shot portrait of Josh Harvey

Josh Harvey

Preferred Pronoun: He/Him/His
Department: Theatre and Dance
Where from: Virginia
Nationality: USA
Length of time served: 2 years


professionally shot portrait of Sophia Han with her instrument

Dr. Sophia Han

Preferred Pronoun: She/Her/Herself
Department: Music
Where from: Wuhan, China
Ethnicity-Nationality: Chinese-American
Length of time served: Since Spring 2020
Why I am here: “I want to use my visibility to provide our students, staff, and faculty of color the opportunity to be seen. I want to use my voice to help raise the voices of those who are unheard. My students inspire me to continue to defend and protect their equality on this campus regardless of their ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic background. This is why I am here.”


professionally shot portrait of Benjie Heu

Benjie Heu

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Department: Department of Art and Design
Where from: All over. Panama, Hawaii, Alabama, Massachusetts, Ohio, Mississippi, California, and now Southeast Missouri!
Nationality: Asian/Caucasian mix
Length of time served on committee: Since 2018, 2 years.
Why I’m here: “We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community—and this nation.” – Cesar Chavez


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Anthony Shepard

Preferred Pronoun: He/Him/His
Department: Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
Where from: St. Louis, Missouri
Nationality: USA
Length of time served: Founding member, since 2018
Diversity Statement: “I am here to ensure that there is a space for everyone on campus. It is my desire to assist the faculty, staff, and students with creating and maintaining a community in which we celebrate our differences.”

Past Membership

professionally shot portrait of Duane Jones

Duane Jones

Preferred Pronoun: He/Him/His
Department: Residence Life
Where from: Hannibal, Missouri
Current Location: Arlington, Texas
Ethnicity: Bi-Racial – African American and Caucasian
Length of Time: 1 year
Statement: “I joined the committee because of my commitment to diversity, inclusion, and visibility is something I hold near to my heart to serve every student I come in contact with.”

Contact

(573) 651-2210
tmessmer@semo.edu
River Campus Seminary 306

Holland College of Arts and Media
One University Plaza, MS 7895
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701