Dr. Damira Grady, the Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Community Relations, has a personal commitment to the most vulnerable students and wants to normalize a 2 year technical degree as an opportunity. She was drawn to Dr. Daniel’s passion and commitment for this work and valued having someone champion her work on a different level.
Damira’s vision is to transition support services throughout the college, shifting from the current model where the support services are under their own umbrella. For example, since about half of all Madison College students are first generation, she notes that all staff and faculty should be trained to provide support. And while everyone at Madison College already holds student success at the core of their work, this mentality and change in focus, will take the work we are already doing to another level. The goal is to increase support and belonging for students, with particular attention to those who come to Madison College without having family who have experience navigating higher education.
When it comes to philanthropy, Damira is cautiously optimistic. She’s seen generosity launch pilot programs that have led to successful long-term projects, but she’s also seen how the ebb and flow of private gifts can feel unstable. She is looking forward to working with the Foundation to help philanthropy be as effective as possible in eliminating barriers and helping the students who need it most.
Dr. Grady has a Ph.D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education from Cardinal Stritch University, a master of science in Educational Psychology, and a bachelor of science in Educational Studies with an emphasis on Youth Leadership and Adult Education. She is also a licensed professional counselor. Throughout her career, Dr. Grady has led education and training initiatives focusing on equity and inclusion. She joins Madison College after serving as associate vice-chancellor of academic support for inclusive excellence and university diversity officer at UW-Oshkosh. Prior to that position she was at MATC – Milwaukee, working with adult education and student accommodations and served as a counselor. Prior to her tenure at MATC, she worked at Gateway Technical College as a career counselor.