Ozarks Technical Community College hired Daniel Ogunyemi as the institution’s first college director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Ogunyemi began his duties at OTC today, Feb. 8.
“More and more people from underrepresented groups are choosing OTC to further their education,” said Dr. Hal Higdon, OTC chancellor. “It’s important to have someone who focuses on making sure we are doing all we can to foster an equitable and supportive environment for our students and employees.”
According to census data, only 8% of the residents in OTC’s 12-county service region are “non-white.” Yet, the OTC system, with a non-white enrollment of 18%, is much more racially diverse. Diversity can also include socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and age along with other physical, mental or behavioral characteristics.
“I want anyone from any background to know that they can come to OTC and get a great education,” Ogunyemi said. “In my new role, I will focus on finding the barriers to accessing an education at OTC and work to change them for the better.”
Ogunyemi is no stranger to OTC, having taught psychology as a part-time instructor. He comes to the college from Burrell Behavioral Health where he worked in diversity, equity and inclusion for the mental health provider. Before Burrell, Ogunyemi worked for CASA of Southwest Missouri as the organization’s volunteer coordinator. He also has experience in the local human services field with Lutheran Family and Children Services of Missouri and The Arc of the Ozarks.
A native of Louisiana, Ogunyemi earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling psychology from Southwest Baptist University. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling from Evangel University. Ogunyemi and his wife, Ki, live in Springfield with their young son.