Nia Keith ’09

Nia Keith, Mass Audubon VP for DiversityNia Keith ’09 (New England, MS in Environmental Studies, Environmental Education) has been promoted to the role of Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) at Mass Audubon. This is a new executive-level position that will help advance organization-wide DEIJ priorities for the organization.

In her new role, Keith will be responsible for building on and advancing the organization’s DEIJ strategy to ensure it is creating a positive, inclusive, and equitable work environment, and support the organization’s work to create greater access to nature for everyone. As part of this work, she will lead corporate culture change initiatives, including staff and management training and leadership development programs, support the DEIJ Board of Directors’ Committee, and implement programs such as the Mass Audubon Environmental Fellows Program.

“I am thrilled that Nia is taking on this critically important new role at Mass Audubon, and serving on our Executive staff leadership team,” said President David O’Neill. “I have had the opportunity to work with Nia over the past nine months on the Action Agenda and I have been thoroughly impressed with her overall leadership skills and her devotion to helping Mass Audubon realize its commitment to becoming a more inclusive and more equitable institution.”

Since 2020, Keith served as Mass Audubon’s statewide Climate Change Education Manager. In this role, she focused on creating standards for program development, delivery, and evaluation of climate change curricula, with an emphasis on climate justice. She also led a team that helped develop the DEIJ goals for the Action Agenda, an ambitious set of initiatives that will guide the organization over the next five years.

Outside of her work at Mass Audubon, Keith co-founded and has served as an officer with Professionals of Color in the Environment (POCIE; pronounced “posse”). This professional organization for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) works to collaborate and network throughout the Commonwealth, promoting DEIJ integration into the environmental sector.

Mass Audubon protects more than 40,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half-million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

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La’Shelle Jefferson ’22

La’Shelle Jefferson ’22 (GSLC, PhD) recently joined Central State University Faculty as full-time Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice. Read more about Dr. Jefferson and her dissertation What Factors in the Life Experience of African Americans Cause Them to Comply with or Confront Law Enforcement Officers? here.

Ileya Grosman

PhD in Leadership and Change student Ileya Grosman has been selected as the lead photographer and co-creator of “Why We Work?”, an exploratory photo essay of dignity, work, purpose, and Catholic values. By capturing people in their practice: a barber and rural veterinarian, to baker and translator, Ileya and fellow partners highlight what is true and timeless in the deeper motivations and desires of work. The project will be featured at the New York Encounter, February 17-19, 2023 in New York City.

Jill Krahwinkel

Jill Krahwinkel, PhD, Associate Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling in New England, offered two presentations at the Pennsylvania Counseling Association’s 54th annual conference, which took place from October 14th-16th of 2022. Her first educational session, How to Meet the Basic Needs of LGBTQ+ Clients Utilizing Choice Theory/Reality Therapy, and a second, round table session entitled Racial/Ethnic Experiences of Underrepresented Masters-level Students in CACREP-Accredited Counseling Programs both aimed to highlight the voices of marginalized individuals as well as educate others on the best practices in not just counseling, but also in greater academia. Both sessions were well-attended by professional counselors, counselor

Maya Townsend

PhD in Leadership and Change student Maya Townsend, Founder and Lead Consultant of Partnering Resources, delivered the keynote address, “Centering Humans: A Call for Radical Humanity at Work” at the Organizational Network Analysis Summit 2022. The conference brings together a diverse mix of voices: researchers and business analysts, human resources specialists, change management and organizational development consultants, communications specialists, and leaders of private and public organizations.  Townsend specializes in helping individuals, teams, and organizations thrive in our networked world.

Matthew Solomon ‘21

Matthew Solomon’s ‘21 (Online, BS) first documentary feature, Reimagining Safety, will have its Official West Coast Premiere on Friday, February 3, 2023, at the San Pedro International Film Festival. In Reimagining Safety, ten experts—including LA County District Attorney George Gascón, USC Law professor Dr. Jody Armour, and law enforcement expert Alex S. Vitale—discuss the false premise that more police and more prisons make us safer while providing practical and actionable solutions toward achieving systems of safety that work for everyone. The film is already receiving very positive feedback and support from social justice organizations and newly elected progressive leaders. The

Alo Johnston ‘15

After thousands of hours of research, conversations with hundreds of trans people, and a personal journey through transition, Alo Johnston ‘15 (Los Angeles, MA in Clinical Psychology) announces the publication of his first book, coming February 21, 2023, through Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Am I Trans Enough?: How to Overcome Your Doubts and Find Your Authentic Self is a work that explores historical narratives that fuel internalized transphobia and reveals the effects of a transphobic world on those coming out or questioning a life as a trans person.  Johnston hopes to cultivate a space with this text for readers to engage with

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