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Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
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Meet Our Staff

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion is housed in the Provost Suite, third floor, Rendleman Hall, and is comprised of the Associate Provost, a temporary Office Manager, Mary Jo Peck, and a Graduate Assistant, Omotola Soyoy.

Assistant Chancellor for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Venessa A. Brown, Ph.D.


Professor Venessa Brown became the Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity in 2007 and then Assistant Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion in September 2009. She holds a tenured appointment as a professor in the Department of Social Work where she served for 12 years. Dr. Brown was the previous chair of the Department of Social Work at SIUE. She received her Ph.D. in 1994 from Clark Atlanta University and is the author of "Child Welfare Case Studies" published by Allyn & Bacon. Her work experience includes approximately 10 years as a child protective services investigator for the State of Georgia, extensive work with the juvenile court system, serving as a mental health assistant with a private adolescent center, social work practice with hospice, work with domestic violence, and clinical social work experience with a private child and family counseling agency.

Dr. Brown is committed to diversity and is currently the president of the Board of Directors for the National Christian Multicultural Student Leaders Conference, Inc. Her current research focus is on including people of color in child welfare history and international child welfare. She has traveled to the Caribbean, Central America, South Africa, and eastern Europe studying and researching women and children's issues and has presented professional papers in the United States and internationally. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Current scholarly activities for Dr. Brown include:


Brown, Venessa A. & Enrique E. Howell [in progress]. Child Welfare Practice with U.S. Immigrants and Refugees: Strategies for Engagement and Assessment.

Brown, Venessa A. [in progress]. Child Welfare Practice in the 21st Century: The Inclusion of All people.

Published Papers or Papers in Progress:

Brown, V. (2007). Vulnerability, Risk, and Resilience Factors in Foster/Adoptive Family Relationship Development. Illinois Child Welfare Journal [Paper accepted - will be printed in spring 2008]

Lawrence, S. & Brown, V. (2008). Child Welfare: Permanency in Southern Illinois. [In progress]

Brown, V. (2008). Misguided Stereotypes: The Inclusion of Black Women and their Families in the Early 1800's. [In progress]


Office Manager, Martha (Marti) Guntren


Martha Guntren
Marti Guntren received her B.A. in Studio Art and Her B.S. in Psychology from SIUE. 

Graduate Assistant Courtney Kenner

Courtney Kenner

Courtney Kenner earned her B.S. in Psychology from SIUE and is currently pursuing her MS in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology. 




Graduate Assistant Omotola Soyoye

Omotola Soyoye earned her B.A. degree in Linguistics/ Yoruba from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She was a Fulbright FLTA scholar engaged in the teaching of Yoruba language and culture at SIUE in Fall 08 and Spring 09. Presently, she is a graduate student studying Public Administration and Policy.

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