A sociologist, Dr. Carmen Henne-Ochoa’s professional experiences are grounded in over 15 years of teaching, scholarship, and service that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her research has focused on questions of social stratification and identity formation processes. At the core of her work and practice is interrogating disparities in the context of embodied difference (e.g., race, ethnicity, social class, national origin, (dis)ability sex, gender, sexual orientation) and their connection to larger systems of privilege, power, and oppression. She has taught numerous courses, among them Social Inequality; Education, Social Class, and Achievement in America; Classical Sociological Theory; and, Latin American Immigration. She values and privileges students’ personal narratives and lived experiences not as incidental but as central to their process of knowledge construction and to the quality of their learning experiences.
In her role as director, she is committed to leading efforts to strategically broaden and deepen the College’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Her focus is on creating concrete opportunities for faculty and staff to build knowledge and skills that are necessary for developing personal and collective growth, fostering genuine understanding and respect across embodied difference, and building a community in which difference, equity and inclusion are understood and embraced as necessary qualities for effective teaching, learning, and research.
Dr. Henne-Ochoa holds that achieving greater diversity, equity and inclusion is inextricably linked to meeting the challenges and opportunities of an ever-changing world. Such changes require students, faculty, and staff to redefine how we understand and achieve excellence in education. Excellence in teaching, learning, and research, today, more than ever, demands critical and creative thinking that attends to and recognizes the value of diversity of experience and perspective.