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Student Affairs and Academic Support

Jan. 26, 2022 Minutes


  • Dennis Pruitt
  • Kirsten Kennedy
  • Silvia Patricia Rios Husain
  • Alicia Bervine
  • Ray DeJesus
  • Shay Malone
  • Shanna Robinson
  • Zo Sediqi
  • Kaitlin Yoffie
  • Debbie Grabski

Opening Remarks

Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs thanked the council members for their commitment to diversity and hard work in the coming year.  

  • The Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support is here to support the council.
  • Focus on recruiting, training, developing, and retaining employees.  We need to take care of our employees in order to deliver the services that our students need.
  • Become authorities and help model diversity in our division and throughout the institution.  
  • Incoming President Michael Amiridis is highly committed to diversity.
  • Molly Peirano, AVP for civil rights and Title IX has been hired.


Diversity officers, introduced themselves, shared their preferred pronouns and why they applied to be on the council.  

Members of the council:

  • Kirsten Kennedy, associate vice president for student housing and sustainability, co-chair
  • Silvia Patricia Rios Husain, associate vice president for student success, co-chair
  • Alicia Bervine, director of human resources, Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support
  • Ray DeJesus, assistant director of custodial staff, University Housing
  • Shay Malone, director of multicultural student affairs, Student Life
  • Shanna Robinson, Gamecock Guarantee coordinator, TRIO Programs
  • Zo Sediqi, manager of mentorship and experiences, Career Center
  • Kaitlin Yoffie, coordinator for residential student conduct, Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity


Initial goals of the council will be to:

  • Create and maintain structures and resources that support DEIA initiatives.
  • Develop a Student Affairs and Academic Support DEIA knowledge bank.
  • Identify DEIA education and training resources.

Initial Areas of Focus

  • Hiring and onboarding practices.
  • Student employment and leadership opportunities.
  • Employee and student participation in DEIA training.


  • Where do we start?  Focus on planning and mapping out steps forward.  Who, what, when, where?
  • Assess systems already in place so as not to duplicate efforts.
  • Be ambassadors to our departments; share our work.
  • The council will meet weekly as a full group or in subcommittees.
  • Meeting minutes will be approved by co-chairs and posted on the DEIA webpage.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.