• Dr. Erik Malewski

    Chief Diversity Officer and Professor of Curriculum Studies

    Erik L. Malewski is Chief Diversity Officer and Professor of Curriculum Studies at Kennesaw State University. Prior to his appointment, Malewski was Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies at Purdue University where he conducted research and taught courses focused on diversity, multiculturalism, equity, and global issues in education. Malewski has held leadership roles in national and international research organizations and is well published in prominent journals and texts. He has worked in educational equity, private industry, social service, and diversity consulting prior to his current role.

    Originally from metropolitan Detroit, Malewski holds a doctorate in curriculum from Pennsylvania State University, where he also earned a Master’s in Higher Education Administration. His Bachelor’s in Interpersonal, Intercultural, and Organizational Communication is from Loyola University Chicago.

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    Dr. Laurie McDowell

     Diversity Planning Analyst

    Laurie McDowell assumed the position of Diversity Planning Analyst in February of 2015. Prior to joining Kennesaw State, McDowell served in various roles in higher education in both public and private institutions. McDowell's experience includes directing a university transfer and partnership program at a community college, writing grants, conducting training, directing the administrative planning and institutional research activities at a comprehensive university, and coordinating assessment activities at a non-profit university. McDowell has both chaired and served as a member on various committees including a multicultural task force and a diversity committee. In addition to her experience in higher education, McDowell worked for several years in public and non-profit health and human services agencies.

    McDowell holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education Administration from Barry University, a Masters in Health Services Administration, and a Bachelors in Political Science. McDowell enjoys seeing new places, meeting new people, and exploring new ideas and experiences.

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      Sara Gheesling

      Diversity Specialist

      Sara Gheesling assumed the position of Diversity Specialist in June 2018. Prior to joining the Office, Gheesling served as a counselor intern at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Atlanta campus. While at SCAD, Gheesling provided mental health counseling services, interventions, and workshops to undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to this role, Gheesling has experience in conducting academic research, teaching and providing academic coaching to undergraduate students, and working in first-year student programs. Gheesling has also served as a Victim Advocate Assistant for the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia.

      Gheesling holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Berry College. Gheesling has been passionate about diversity and inclusion since her journey through her undergraduate program, and has dedicated her life to advocating for socially just practices in the various roles she has held. Gheesling enjoys outdoor activities (hiking and running), engaging in creative expression, spending lots of quality time with her partner, friends, and family, and loving on her sweet puppy and kitten.

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        Danielle Porter

        Administrative Associate III

        Danielle Porter joined the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as Administrative Associate III in August 2017. Prior to joining Kennesaw State, Porter served as an Executive Assistant at NC State University in the Office for Outreach & Engagement and Industry Expansion Solutions. Porter earned a Bachelor's in Education from the University of Georgia and worked several years as an early childhood educator. Porter's passion for diversity and inclusion stems from the values she instilled in her students and practices in her daily life. Porter enjoys travel, cooking and her Georgia Bulldogs! 

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          Erica Brown

          Administrative Associate II

          Erica Brown joined the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in August 2017. Brown earned a Bachelor’s in Communications from Savannah State University in 2014 and a Master’s in Human Resources from Central Michigan University in 2017. An active member in her local community, Brown has a passion for helping others and hopes to impact positive change and fairness for all through her lived examples.