Morgan Harthorne came to Eckerd this semester as the new Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion Programs. Two months in, she has lots of plans to revamp the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“This is my passion and I know it, so I am really excited about all of the opportunity here,” Harthorne said.
Harthorne has worked in higher education for five years. She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA and worked in the Service Learning Office for both Western New England University in Springfield, MA and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
Harthorne’s work in predominantly white, private universities eventually lead her to work with multicultural affairs, and diversity and inclusion programs.
“What I found through doing that work was a lot of my students weren’t coming from the local community, and didn’t know or understand the community,” Harthorne said. “That’s how I started to get into a lot of this cultural competence work, multicultural education, things like that, because how can you bridge a relationship with the local community if you don’t understand it?”
Harthorne has planned some changes for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which will be renamed to the Office for Diversity and Inclusion next year. She wants to cooperate with the admissions office to increase diversity on Eckerd’s campus, and will work with faculty and staff members to create a more inclusive campus through specific trainings and professional development opportunities.
Harthorne also wants to create Cultural Councilmade up of students, which would be an ECOS committee under the liaison for The Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
She hopes that various club heads will meet to discuss issues on campus and in the community. According to her, the council will allow for cultural clubs to work together and have a broader reach.
Harthorne encourages students to come visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which is located on the Wireman Chapel side of Fox Hall.
“The biggest thing that makes Eckerd unique is that everyone here is pretty open to the conversation,” Harthorne said. “You all are aware that you are predominantly white and financially privileged, and I think that knowing and being aware of that changes the conversation already.