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NKU Names Inaugural Diversity Fellow

Northern Kentucky University announced Monday that Dr. Danielle McDonald would serves as its inaugural diversity fellow, tasked with advancing the university's strategic inclusive excellence and global awareness goals alongside Chief Diversity Officer Darryl A. Peal.

Dr. McDonald serves as the assistant department chair for the Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Organizational Leadership and has taught criminal justice at NKU for the past twelve years.

Her courses examine how people experience the criminal justice system differently based upon their ethnicity, class and gender and discusses best practices to address these inequities.

“Danielle is a talented civic leader, and her research is translatable across all disciplines,” said Peal. “As our Diversity Fellow, she will lead our efforts to embrace diverse learners through new teaching strategies that create pathways for opportunities. One of the unique ways she promotes critical classroom discussions is by encouraging students to connect what they are learning with what they observe and experience in the community.”

A well-renowned scholar, Dr. McDonald navigates round table discussions nationwide about teaching race and criminal justice. She also presents these topics to the campus and community through events, like the Six at Six Lecture Series and the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. In 2017, she published a textbook titled “Race, Class, Gender and Criminal Justice: Examining Barriers to Justice.”

“I'm thankful for the university leadership continuing to be a voice for cultural/societal transformation,” said Dr. McDonald. “Given the global pandemic and social unrest, we're focused on elevating our campus community's diverse perspectives so we can better meet the needs of those who are currently being underserved.”

Dr. McDonald earned her Ph.D. in criminology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. from Virginia Tech in sociology with a criminology emphasis, and two B.A. degrees in sociology and psychology from West Virginia University.

-Staff report

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