Wendy M. Nicholson Appointed LaGuardia's First Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Wendy M. Nicholson Appointed LaGuardia Community College’s
First Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

portrait shot of Wendy M. Nicholson
Long Island City, NY (September 1, 2021)—LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams has appointed Wendy M. Nicholson to a vital new leadership role. On August 30, 2021, she began serving as the College’s first Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

“With 30 years of experience advocating for and working with underrepresented communities, including in the areas of diversity, mental health, and disabilities, Wendy brings a wealth of knowledge to this new role,” said LaGuardia’s President Kenneth Adams. “She will facilitate and guide the college’s work as we build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive LaGuardia—working to ensure that all in our community are welcomed and valued. As one of our college’s highest priorities, I have asked her to join the President’s Cabinet, and I look forward to working closely with her.”

Wendy joined LaGuardia in March 2012 as advisor for CUNY LEADS, part of the Center for Career & Professional Development. As CUNY LEADS advisor, Wendy worked with students with disabilities—helping to prepare them for the workforce, advocating for their rights and needs, and educating the college community about serving students with disabilities.

Throughout her time at LaGuardia, Wendy has been deeply involved in college leadership and work that is directly relevant to her new DEI role. She has served as a co-chair for the President’s Advisory Council on DEI, was an important leader in both the Faculty and Staff of Color Collective and the Senate Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, and served as a member of the Black Lives Matter Planning Committee and on the Middle States Self Study Team.

Prior to coming to LaGuardia, Wendy spent 25 years as an American Sign Language interpreter.

Wendy has published articles on diversity in community colleges and participatory budgeting, was a researcher/writer for the Volcker Alliance Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting Report and co-wrote a book chapter on Racial Equity in Brazil.

Wendy holds a B.S. from Tufts University, an MPA from John Jay College, and is currently completing a Doctorate in Public Administration at Rutgers University, where she is a fellow in the Center for Law, Immigration, and Metropolitan Equity. Her research interests include racism and microaggression, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as educational, criminal justice, and governmental budgeting policies.

Wendy is a first-generation New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx and Barbados.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs . LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education.

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