Stephanie Milton, Olin’s new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator arrived at Olin in January. Stephanie took a few minutes out of her day to answer some questions as she digs into her new role.
The Wire: Welcome! We are excited to have you on campus. Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your background and how you came to be at Olin?
Stephanie Milton: My background is in student affairs. A few years ago, though, I decided I wanted to explore theology so I entered the seminary. When I completed my program, I was trying to decide how and where I should help people. One of the ways people do that is through palliative care and bereavement. I worked at Emory Hospital and then moved over to the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (AVAHCS). There I focused on veterans and their history of moral injury and trauma. I have also worked both at small colleges, such as Spelman College, and in the UC system at the University of California Santa Cruz.
The Wire: Tell me what interested you about the work here at Olin?
SM: I was looking for something student-facing. When I came to campus, I got this art school vibe from the students: they are very creative and that appealed to me. This is a start-up culture and very hands-on and I think that isn’t found just in the curriculum but everywhere.
I really like working in the DEI space because it’s very rewarding to see students and others have those a-ha moments. I have come to realize that the results of my work are not always visible while people are on campus, sometimes it’s only after they have graduated that they reach out and tell me what it meant to them. The Title IX piece is different. I hope people feel comfortable with me because I want people to know I’m approachable: “Hi, I’m here. Let’s talk.”
The Wire: What are you looking forward to at Olin?
SM: I’m looking forward to meeting as many students as possible and hearing what they want and what they are cautious about. I’m looking for a balance between my dual roles in the DEI and the Title IX space. And I can’t wait to experience the whole academic year. I have heard about EXPO and Commencement. I’m looking forward to being a part of this community.
I also have to learn all the acronyms! Students have been sharing things with me like “MVP” and it took me a while to realize it was minimum viable product.
The Wire: What is coming up?
SM: We have definitely hit the ground running here. We are planning films and discussions for Women’s History Month. We are planning a restorative justice workshop. I also want people to know there is always dark chocolate in my office. So, come on by.