Hodges named Assistant VP for Equal Opportunity and Minority Affairs
By Remekca Owens
Kimel Hodges has been named Assistant Vice President for Equal Opportunity and Minority Affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Ms. Hodges, who formerly served as Director for Diversity and Inclusion at CHRISTUS Health-Houston, will manage UT Southwestern’s institutional commitment to equal employment opportunity, minority affairs, and diversity and inclusion.
She also will serve as UTSW’s Historically Underutilized Business Coordinator, a key function in the university’s efforts to increase vendor diversity. Her core duties will focus on staff in administrative and support areas, as well as in UT Southwestern University Hospitals and Clinics.
Ms. Hodges will work closely with the Office of Human Resources and complement ongoing faculty diversity efforts led by Dr. Byron Cryer, Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development. She reports to Ruben Esquivel, Vice President for Community and Corporate Relations.
“We’re delighted to have Ms. Hodges on board,” Mr. Esquivel said. “Her success has been stellar in the private sector and in a health care system, and we believe her efforts will really close the gap in our overall commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Before gaining extensive work experience, including 11 years at the Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Mich., Ms. Hodges developed her management and diversity skills as the youngest of 10 siblings in a farming family in Jamestown, Tenn. However, her approach to diversity is perhaps best characterized by her favorite holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the 1946 classic in which the value of every individual’s unique contribution to the world is lauded.
“It’s so important that people can come to work and feel valued. Diversity is not just about gender or ethnicity – it’s really about learning to value the whole being, including all of the talents he or she brings to an organization,” Ms. Hodges said.
Much of her effort will focus on education and awareness. “I find it very rewarding to see people have those ‘aha moments’ that eventually come to frame not only what diversity and inclusion mean to an institution, but also what it looks like every day.”
Ms. Hodges is a graduate of Western Michigan University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business. She later earned a master’s degree in human resources management from Central Michigan University.
Dr. Cryer holds the John C. Vanatta III Professorship.