Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence

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Contact Us

Office Hours & Location

The IICC is open available 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday

615-322-5089 (p)
615-343-3702 (f)

The IICC staff can be found in the Multicultural Lounge located in Sarratt 337.

IICC Team Bios

Frank Dobson, Ph.D | Associate Dean | Sarratt 310

Frank E. Dobson, Jr., Ph.D., serves as Associate Dean of Students for Inclusion Initiatives & Cultural Competence, Director of the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and Faculty Head of Gillette House. Dobson also teaches at Fisk University, in Humanities.  Dobson, a native of Buffalo, NY, is a writer and scholar who has published two books and numerous articles.  He has worked at a number of colleges and universities, including Ohio University, Lafayette College, and Wright State University.  He is currently at work on several scholarly projects, including one on the career of the pioneering athlete and actor, Woody Strode.  He is married to Dioncia (Dee), his best friend.

Greg Fontus, M.Ed. | Program Coordinator | Sarratt 337B

Greg began working at Vanderbilt for the Office of Housing and Residential Education in June 2012 after graduating from the University of South Florida where he received both a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master of Education in Instruction and Curriculum. During his time at Vanderbilt, the Miami, FL native served as an Area Coordinator for the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons overseeing Hank Ingram, East, West, and Memorial Houses. Throughout his tenure here, Greg has received certifications from the National Coalition Building Institute as a diversity and social justice workshop facilitator (Fall 2012), was named the Dean of Students New Professional of the Year (2012-2013), attended the Social Justice Training Institute (Fall 2013), and was named the OHARE Staff Member of the Year (2014-2015). Some of Greg’s passions and include spiritual growth, sports, community activism, and inspiring youth.

Emily Hickey, M.Ed. | Program Coordinator | 615.322.1333 | Sarratt 313

Emily joined Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence in January 2016 as a Program Coordinator. She moved over to IICC after a year of working in the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center. Emily is from Toledo, Ohio where she attended the University of Toledo and earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications/Public Relations, and a master’s degree from the Higher Education Program. When determining her career path in higher education, she was eager to find a way to combine her community activism with her education. She is known for the advice she weaves into programming while tapping into her marketing and communications background. Emily sees things in the big picture and puts her pride past herself for the greater good. When she is not in the office you can find her in the mountains, being a tourist in a new city, or hosting a dinner party surrounded by friends and family. She considers nature her happy place, and one day hopes to visit all 58 national parks.

Sara Bickell | Administrative Support | 615.322.8563 | Sarratt 310

Sara Bickell is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She joined Vanderbilt’s Office of the Dean of Students in 2006 as an executive secretary, after working for thirteen years at Belmont University. Within the Office of the Dean of Students she provides administrative support for the department of Social Justice and Identity which includes Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence and its various multicultural student organizations.  She also supports the Vanderbilt Posse program, the student outdoor recreation course, Wilskills and the Driver Authorization compliance process.

Outside of work, Sara loves spending time with her family, especially with her two grandchildren.  Other interests include photography, art, craft projects, working with youth at her church and enjoying the outdoors.

Martha Harris | Administrative Support | 615.322.8563 | Sarratt 310

Martha Harris is the Executive Secretary in the Office of the Dean of Students and manager of the Pcards for IICC. She has been at Vanderbilt for 20 years. Martha graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Business Education. After graduating in 1974, she worked for IBM for 7 years then took a 6 month leave of absence when her first child was born that lasted 14 years. Martha loves working with students. She is married to Don, who is retired from IBM and the State of Tennessee.  Her son Preston works for the State Fire Marshall’s Office, and her son Zach and his wife Claire have two children, Evelyn and Dugger, the love of their “mophphee’s” life.

Jalen Blue | Graduate Assistant | Sarratt 333

Jalen is a first year student in the Higher Education Administration program at Peabody College. He graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Spring of 2016 with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. As a Graduate Assistant for IICC, Jalen hopes to be a part of creating a welcoming and accessible campus community. On the weekends, you will find Jalen spending time with his friends, watching football, going to the movies, and volunteering in the community.

Kathryn Farkas | Graduate Assistant | Sarratt 333

Kathryn Farkas is a first year student in the Higher Education Administration program at Peabody College.  She is coming to Nashville from Flint, Michigan, where she was born, raised, and developed a love for farmer’s markets and slam poetry.  She received her B.A. in Public Administration and Women & Gender Studies from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2015, and has since spent her time working as the Leadership Program Director at an all-girls, art-based, summer camp in Texas.  Kathryn is looking forward to going back to school, finding new restaurants, and changing the lives of college students.


Our Mission

The mission of the IICC is to promote an environment of cultural competency, inclusivity, and awareness on the Vanderbilt campus. We accomplish this through the creation of intentional programming initiatives and trainings for students, faculty, and staff that promote social justice, an ability to instigate and participate in constructive conversations surrounding difference, and holistic identity development. We provide structured support to our multicultural, international student scholars, as well as students with disabilities, and foster intentional partnerships with relevant offices on campus. Through our efforts, we are helping to move Vanderbilt forward as an institution dedicated to all forms of racial, cultural, gender, religious, and sexual identity expression and equipping our students with the tools they need to effect change in an increasingly diverse world.