May 16, 2024

Dear members of the Connecticut College community,

I write to let you know that Nakia Hamlett will be stepping down as interim dean of the Division of Equity and Inclusion and returning to the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Conn. Her last day as interim dean will be May 20. Over the summer, she will help to coordinate cabinet-level support for the DEI team until a new dean is appointed. She will also continue to coordinate the campus dialogue project and the next steps in the Presidential Task Force process.

Conn has greatly benefited from Nakia’s talents as an administrator, strategic planner and leader. In the 15 months she has served as interim dean, she has stabilized the DEI by filling staff positions, analyzing the division’s operational and organizational needs and implementing key aspects of the college’s Equity and Inclusion Action Plan in collaboration with stakeholders across campus.

In addition, she has strategically addressed campus culture and climate issues, including DEI-related issues raised last spring. She has successfully partnered with the president’s office, senior administration, the Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the College and Dean of Students divisions and the Office of Advancement to address infrastructure issues and the needs of students from various backgrounds and cultural identities. These collaborations led to new spaces for the Muslim Student Association, International Student Association, Disability Advocacy Cultural Center and key DEI offices and staff.

Nakia and her team also began to reinvigorate the Agnes Gund ’60 Dialogue Project, and she conducted a preliminary assessment of dialogic needs across campus, offered a dialogic series for staff and faculty last fall, and facilitated additional dialogue sessions with faculty, staff and students in spring 2023. This spring, she engaged a global mediation group, Mediators Beyond Borders International, to help campus members learn skills for dialogue, particularly in the context of complex global and cultural issues. Our work with MBBI will continue through the fall semester.

Nakia also led the campus-wide Presidential Task Force process, which culminated in recommendations for President-elect Chapdelaine. She also has created a culture in the DEI that can serve as an organizational model for developing teams characterized by mutual care, social engagement, effective collaboration and shared expertise. Within the healthy microclimate of the DEI, the team has also created a supportive mentoring and training network for our DEI student fellows and students across campus.

We will now begin the process of identifying her successor and will keep the community informed as that process advances. Nakia will also meet with President-elect Chapdelaine to brief her on the DEI and on the Presidential Task Force recommendations.

Please join me in thanking Nakia for her leadership and in sending her best wishes as she rejoins the faculty.


Leslie Wong

Les Wong, Ph.D.
Interim President

Katherine Bergeron