Office of Multicultural Affairs
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) fosters learning and working environments on campus where students of color are empowered through educational, social, and leadership initiatives. OMA engages in strategic recruiting efforts and programming that meets the needs of faculty and students.
OMA is committed to creative leadership and strong advocacy that fosters and enriches campus diversity with a goal of promoting cultural understanding, inclusion, and positive relationships that support students’ success.
This vision of academic and cultural success is embodied in these seven principles:
- Scholarship – Tech students are the best and brightest; academic excellence is expected and encouraged.
- Unity – Tech students should feel a sense of harmony on campus.
- Community – Tech students are a part of the Loyal Blue community.
- Commitment – Tech is committed to diversity and inclusion of all students.
- Engagement – Tech students participate in activities promoting leadership skills.
- Self-acceptance – Tech students are embraced for who they are and what they bring to campus.
- Social and emotional well-being – Tech students have access to services that promote self-care.
DeVaria Ponton, M.S. – Director of Multicultural Affairs
Jimmy Washington – Coordinator of Multicultural Gifts and Advancement
Devonia Love-Vaughn, MSW – Dean of Inclusion Initiatives and Student Success
Office – 2nd Floor Student Center
Phone – 318.257.2077
Fax – 318.257.2961
The Office of Multicultural Affairs is serious about contributing to the themes of TECH 2020. Our greatest impact will be to Theme 1: Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Undergraduate and Graduate Student Body and University Community.
Service contributions to the Tech community will be in the following ways:
- Promote and implement strategic approaches to recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds
- Provide workshops and advising that support and promote degree completion
- Collaborate with Career Center and Counseling Services to offer a holistic approach to student success
- Foster leadership opportunities
- Offers trainings on diversity, cultural awareness, sensitivity and inclusion
- Sponsor activities that promotes and honors diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion
- Empower students to develop relationships with faculty, staff, and alumni
- Evaluate student satisfaction and motivation to gain greater understanding of needs and services
In 1989, Jerry Baldwin, an African-American football coach working at Louisiana Tech at the time observed that underserved and underrepresented African-American students needed an office that specifically served them. He identified the need for a “go-to-person” for African American students. Coach Baldwin and Dr. Jean Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs, recognized that there was a lack of coordination and organization between minority student-led organizations as well as low levels of campus-wide participation. As a result, the University Minority Affairs Committee (UMAC) was formed in November 1989 to proactively address concerns of minority groups on campus. This committee formed the foundation for what would become the Minority Affairs Office.
The Minority Affairs Office was first established in 1992 under the direction of Mertrude “Mert” Douglas to serve as a front-line resource for African American students. From its inception, the Minority Affairs Office’s focus was geared toward empowering African American students by helping fledgling minority groups better organize and tap into campus-wide resources. Because of the office’s scope, students, faculty, and administrative staff began to view the office as the information hub for Black students.
In anticipation of a shifting demographic paradigm at Louisiana Tech, the Minority Affairs Office was renamed in 1994 as the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).