As a pillar of the Agenda for the Future (AFF) and rooted in Catholic Augustinian mission and values, Merrimack College is steadfastly committed to fostering a culture that values and nurtures diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all, across racial, cultural, political and other identities.
As such, Michael Mobley, the newly appointed special assistant to the president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, plans to leave no voice unheard while demographics on campus continue to shift.
“The role really looks at how we support the campus’ attempts at professional development and training, how we increase the representation of different student populations and recognizing that our community here in the Merrimack Valley and the Greater Boston area is becoming ever more diverse,” he said.
Mobley is an experienced mental health counselor and is an associate professor of clinical mental health counseling. After receiving his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Pennsylvania State University, he began his teaching career in counseling psychology at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1997-2008) and Rutgers University (2008-2012).
“Multiculturalism and diversity has been a specialty area for me,” he said. “I’ve done a number of presentations and workshops to the American Psychological Association, the American Concealing Association and the National Multicultural Conference and Summit, where I’ve served as one of the coordinators.”
Since 2020, Mobley has led Merrimack’s clinical mental health counseling master’s program. He previously held the same position at Salem State Univeristy (2012-2020) where he also served as its its co-chief diversity officer for seven months.
Mobley received his new appointment at Merrimack back in June. Over the past few months, he’s been examining ways to better integrate DEI into all aspects of the campus, working with the President’s DEI Advisory Council and actively organizing a faculty learning community for the upcoming spring semester. The series will assist professors on different ways to implement DEI into their syllabi.
“I think one of the long-term goals is to establish a full office for DEI,” he said. “(I’m looking to have) a dedicated person in this role full-time and having an office for staff that helps us with training and other needs to support the community.”
In collaboration with Jimmy Franco, Peter Rojas, and Christine Black (DEI Graduate Fellow), he is also planning Unity in Diversity Days, set for Wednesday, Oct. 11, and Thursday, Oct. 12, which will feature events, workshops and presentations dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at Merrimack. New this year, faculty and staff are encouraged to develop workshop presentations to support student engagement in learning about how DEI impacts their academic coursework, discipline, degree program, personal and interpersonal relationships, as well as career goals and aspirations.
“Unity in Diversity is really for the community and by the community — that’s the tagline I would use,” Mobley said.