CWU Announces New Diversity and Equity Center Director

  • January 7, 2019
Aerial shot of Ellensburg campus

Following a national search, Central Washington University has named Abby Chien as director of the CWU Diversity and Equity Center (DEC). She will begin her new position on Feb. 1, 2019.

The vision of the DEC is to provide high impact, transformational, community building and educational programs for the CWU community and to nurture leaders grounded in the core concepts of intersectional identity development, diversity education, equity, and social justice.

Chien will provide leadership for the center – which directly supports efforts around student success, retention, and inclusion – and work collaboratively with the campus community in addressing issues related to historically underrepresented, marginalized and/or underserved students. She will supervise three full time staff and a large group of students, as well as support the Equity and Services Council (ESC) member groups.

Jeff Rosenberry, executive director of Student Involvement, said he looks forward to welcoming Chien to CWU and believes her experience and skills will help pave the way for enhanced student support from the Diversity & Equity Center.

“Abby brings significant experience in student development, inclusion and social justice initiatives,” Rosenberry said. “She will be a great addition to our team as we continue to improve our connection with students and work towards new opportunities through multicultural support for all Wildcats.”

In partnership with Rosenberry, Chien will help to develop the vision, direction and actualization of an inclusive co-curricular learning environment.

"I'm thrilled to be joining CWU," Chien said. "My career path has been shaped by a sense of inquiry and desire to create or contribute to spaces that center communities, identities and individual experiences all at once. It is clear that the DEC is a hub for building inclusive communities, and I'm excited about the energy and potential to learn with and alongside students, faculty and staff to maximize the impact of the center. I look forward to joining a University community that is student-centered and actively engages the student experience."

Chien previously served in Residence Education at the University of Connecticut, Retention & Student Success Coaching at Saint Louis University and most recently in Multicultural Affairs at the University of Michigan. She is currently co-chair for the MultiRacial Knowledge Community within NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), working to provide education and advocacy for the experiences of multiracial individuals and transracial adoptees in college.

Chien has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Western Illinois University and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. She continues to play the oboe, and looks forward to exploring outdoor recreation opportunities and the surrounding areas.

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