After having served two years as the Associate Director for the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Dr. Kathy Lechman has returned to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences as Assistant Dean and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Lechman earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from the College of Education and Human Ecology where her dissertation focused on examining the influence of student perception of instructor cultural intelligence, sense of belonging and intent to persist. She has a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from the McGregor School of Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the College of Wooster. Kathy has been with OSU since 2001 when she started her career with OSU Extension as Leader, Diversity Development. She became Director, Equity and Inclusion and then later Assistant Dean of Equity and Inclusion for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. During her time in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, she developed numerous professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students.
Dr. Lechman is an experienced mediator, facilitator and trainer with prior experience at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, and the Cleveland Municipal Schools. Throughout her career, she has focused on mediation, conflict resolution, personnel development, career development, mentoring, and creating and implementing strategies to address workforce diversity. Throughout her tenure at the university, Kathy has also served as the Interim Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity (2018) and as Interim Associate Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (2017).
In her role as Assistant Dean and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she serves as a change management agent, providing counsel to faculty and staff, leads college-based diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and oversees the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Working closely with the Dean and the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Staff Affairs, Kathy will work with the DEI Team to ensure that all CFAES faculty, staff, and students feel valued for their individual talents and unique cultural perspectives.