NORMAN – Kathleen Wong, director of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies at the University of Oklahoma, has been selected as a national Top 25 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Diverse published a special report recognizing the contributions of women to higher education, featuring 25 women who have made a difference in the world by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges and exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills.
Wong, whose work was central to the development and implementation of OU’s diversity and inclusivity experience, has a background in training and consulting on diversity and inclusion in the private sector and in university settings. Her specialty areas are in intergroup dialogue, intergroup empathy, intercultural communication, gender and communication, intercultural conflict management and women of color in academia.
Dedicated to enriching the student experience at OU, Wong is serves as a trainer and consultant in intercultural conflict management for OU Athletics, OU Student Affairs and the Governor's Leadership Cohort and the military civil affairs division at Ft. Bragg. In addition to her duties as director of the Southwest Center, Wong teaches a graduate course in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education on Diversity Issues in Higher Education and directs the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.
During her career, she has been a faculty member in communication studies and affiliate faculty member in women’s studies. She has published her research and opinion pieces on structural inequality within higher education and on best practices for addressing multicultural leadership for social change within institutions.
In 2004, she achieved a Ford Foundation grant of $300,000 to examine the experiences of faculty women of color and institutional climate.
Prior to her academic career, she worked for several years as a bilingual educational counselor in a community center in San Francisco, providing supportive services for Southeast Asian refugee families. A second-generation Chinese American, she is fluent in Cantonese.
Wong earned her doctoral degree in Intercultural Communication from Arizona State University.