by Amory Thomas / Editor in Chief
Lisa McBride is a new Salem State faculty member and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. McBride has held positions at multiple universities and institutions around the country, including Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, California University within the Pennsylvania State University System (Cal U), Florida State University, federal criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of Justice, and worked within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with more info to be found on her press release.
She said when she was first starting out as a police officer, she was placed temporarily in a homicide case near Ferguson, Missouri because she was an undercover officer. A serial killer was targeting women of color within the area, and McBride (being a woman of color) was assigned to act as a sort of lure for the killer.
On average, “34 percent of targets within serial killings are black women,” McBride said. Not only was this investigation related to her identity, but also made her want to be more active in the fight against crime. On the last day of her undercover assignment, the serial killer had approached her at a bench in a park, and put a knife against her throat. This action of hate against her identity only fueled her drive for her wanting to make a change in how we regard people.
As a freshman criminology major at Indiana State University, she had a white, small-town roommate who had never met a black person before. While she learned and grew with her, her roommate did the same for her because they both had “cross cultural interactions…we always learn something from other people” she said.
Today, she and her roommate are still friends and keep in touch. During her time at Florida State University, McBride became the new head of Diversity and Inclusion at the request of the school’s president at the time. Although she didn’t have much experience serving in this role, she was familiar with many of the ideas and real world experiences of the what it takes to do the job.
McBride explained how SSU has an “inclusive excellence,” and said that by having people “see multiple identities within other people,” they can overcome this challenge and create an inclusive and positive environment on campus.
McBride also stressed that diversity and inclusion do not automatically translate to “race and ethnicity.” Instead it translates into all kinds of identities, such as LGBTQIA+, Hispanic, Latino, disabilities, homeless, drug addiction,and any other past experiences. “Life is a journey” she states, “and storytelling is important.”
From Feb. 27 through May 25, McBride has teamed up with Dr. Sue Rankin, part of “Rankin & Associates”, who bring campus climate surveys to schools, to “collaborate with institutional teams to develop recommendations for change through policy development and programmatic initiatives,” McBride said. Together, they will conduct a campus survey to gauge the public opinion of the university in terms of inclusion.
On a more personal note, McBride drives a red motorcycle, has 84 pairs of glasses, has a passion for shoes, rock and jazz music, old movies, plays the drums, has a daughter and granddaughter, and loves sports of all kinds.
Her office is located next to Human Resources in between the Sullivan building and Upper North Dining Commons on the first door on the right. Don’t be afraid to stop by and learn more about her. She’s here to be a resource to all students and make sure SSU has an appropriate and satisfying sense of inclusion, representation and opportunities for all.