2022 Diversity Champion

Diversity Champions

OCC Names 2022 Diversity Champion at Inaugural Empowerment Summit Event

Michael Vollbach

OCC Social Science Faculty Michael Vollbach recognized for his inclusive teaching style and advocacy

Speaking out against insensitivity and prejudice. Constantly striving for improvement beyond the status quo. Continually envisioning new ways of inclusion for all. These are all qualities exemplified by Michael Vollbach, OCC’s 2022 Diversity Champion.

Vollbach, a Social Science Faculty Member at OCC's Royal Oak campus, was nominated by a group of his colleagues – Faculty members Lloyd Crews, Rodney Lake, Cheryl Neely and Nancy Shockley — who wrote:

“There are many things that distinguish [Vollbach] for this honor: his pedagogy and teaching style, his work on social sciences fighting for diverse search committees and creating a safe space in his classroom for all students.”

Vollbach is known throughout the department for his mentorship of new faculty members, dedication to weaving diverse and equitable pedagogy into class material, and tireless efforts to ensure that search committees for new hires treat diversity as a priority.

“While it is not always easy to stand up for DEIJ,” the nominators wrote, “Mike would say it’s the right thing to do.”

“A diversity champion is someone who embodies and serves as the conscience of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice, speaks out against injustice, shows respect for others through their words and actions and uses their influence to impact change,” said Kristina Marshall, OCC’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ). “We are proud of our 2022 Diversity Champion.”

Vollbach joins a long list of Diversity Champions recognized by OCC each year since 1999.  Previous recipients have been commended for their dedication to prioritizing DEIJ issues, commitment to students and colleagues, and leadership during times of change and uncertainty.

Congratulations are also in order for the 2022 Diversity Champion Honorable Mentions:

  • Nahrein Atkinson, Counselor at Royal Oak Campus
  • Michelle Fether-Samtouni, Sociology Faculty at Auburn Hills Campus
  • Anthony Thomas, Counselor at Orchard Ridge Campus
  • Marc Thomas, Dean of Teaching Excellence at Orchard Ridge Campus

Inaugural College-wide DEIJ Empowerment Summit 

The 2022 Diversity Champion was announced at OCC’s DEIJ Empowerment Summit on Friday, April 22. 

The summit was hosted by Marshall, Chancellor Peter Provenzano and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Andre’ Poplar. Topics ranged from the significance of DEIJ initiatives in the overall College strategic plan to a review of accomplishments since the launch of the DEIJ office in 2021 as well as a look ahead and opportunities for the entire college community to engage through education and change. 

“This summit reflects our commitment to providing meaningful and transformative change, in a time unlike any other,” said Provenzano. “I am very proud of the work of our Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice and how, together, we are increasing our understanding and awareness and taking action, with a great deal of work that lies ahead.”

A video reflecting on DEIJ at OCC was also unveiled during the Summit.The Summit closed with an inspiring keynote presentation from Bamby Salcedo, a prominent transgender Latina activist and President & Chief Executive Officer of TransLatin@ Coalition.

List of Diversity Champion:

  • 2022 - Michael Vollbach
  • 2021 - Beverly Stanbrough
  • 2020 - William Konkolesky
  • 2019 - Dr. Kim Davis
  • 2018 - Pamela Micallef
  • 2017 - Allison McFadden-Keesling
  • 2016 - Dr. Rosalind Reaves
  • 2015 - Nadja Springer-Ali
  • 2014 - Stacey Jackson
  • 2013 - Michelle Fether-Samtouni
  • 2012 - Sally Hanna
  • 2011 - Kelli Van Buren
  • 2010 - Pamela Dorris
  • 2009 - Eric Abbey
  • 2008 - Dr. Jacqueline Shadko
  • 2007 - Beverly Stanborough
  • 2006 - Lloyd Crews, Letyna Roberts
  • 2005 - Douglas Riddering
  • 2004 - Candy Geeter, Wanda Pernell-Harris, Dr. Maurice McCall, Richard L. Burt-Willson
  • 2003 - Nancy Nicholson, Rocio Oxholm-Flores, Elise Roman, Diana Schack
  • 2002 - JuliAnne Diesch
  • 2001 - Imagene Bailey
  • 2000 - Arlene Frank
  • 1999 - Dr. Martha Smydra

CONTACT INFORMATION

Kristina Marshall 
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice
Phone 248.341.2028