March 27, 2023

Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,

I am writing to let you know that Nakia Hamlett, currently William Meredith Assistant Professor of Psychology and director of Faculty Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, has agreed to become interim dean of the Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion at Connecticut College. She will begin her new role this week.

Prof. Hamlett joined the Conn faculty in 2017 and over the past six years has worked with hundreds of students, along with many faculty and staff, in the department of psychology and across the College. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she earned a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany in 2010, and spent the next decade in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, first as a postdoctoral fellow, then as an instructor and assistant professor, winning the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 2015.

She was still working at Yale when she came to Conn on a visiting appointment in 2017. In 2021, she was named the William Meredith Assistant Professor and, at the same time, the inaugural diversity fellow for the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, a role that evolved into the director position she holds today. In this capacity, she has facilitated workshops for faculty on departmental climate and culture, teaching and operations, interpersonal and group dynamics, and wellbeing at work. All of these experiences position her well for the work of interim dean.

Her critical research is equally relevant. Prof. Hamlett has focused her scholarship largely on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, specifically through the theory and analysis of complex trauma, and the assessment and treatment of mental health in children and adults living in underserved communities. During her time at the Yale School of Medicine, and fueled by a desire teach, learn, and above all serve her community, she supervised pre-and post-doctoral fellows and residents on the nuances of case conceptualization, theories of child development, and the importance of cultural humility and sensitivity in mental health care, along with strategies for becoming agents of change in complex systems.

These varied interests have led her, not surprisingly, to embark on a wide range of consulting relationships beyond the university, serving professionals in many industries in support of sustainable personal and organizational transformation. In the past year, for example, Prof. Hamlett has been facilitating the laboratory sections of a course on global leadership and also co-facilitating the laboratory section of a course in interpersonal and group dynamics, both at the Yale School of Management. Among the other organizations she has served are technology start-ups, primary schools, correctional institutions, legal defense teams, and behavioral health organizations. Her fundamental belief is that, through strategic action and transparency, every organization is capable of transforming its climate and culture. This summer, to add to her arsenal of expertise, she plans to complete a certificate in organizational development and change management at The Institute of Organizational Development.

For all these reasons, we are fortunate to have Nakia Hamlett serve as interim dean of DIEI at Conn. I can attest that she is equally thrilled to begin working with students, staff, and faculty colleagues at Connecticut College, and especially the exceptional professional staff in DIEI, at this critical time of change and evolution.

I hope you will all join me in welcoming Nakia to her new role.

Katherine Bergeron