Alumna credits the A&S Inclusion and Equity Intern Program

A recent graduate credits the A&S  Inclusion and Equity Intern Program for helping to launch her career as a diversity and equity practitioner. Jessica Ronald, serves as Diversity Effectiveness Representative for The Sierra Club in San Francisco. She points to her internship and the resources provided by the program as keys to this career move. “As an intern, I was offered numerous opportunities to facilitate dialogue for inclusion both on campus and in the community, and with this experience I was able to secure” the Sierra Club position.

Jessica Ronald

An intern in 2011-12 and the fall 2012 term, she facilitated workshops for JCPS Professional Development, Legal Aid Society, Chauncey Elementary, and Mary Ryan Academy workshops.  She was co-presenter at the 2012 White Privilege Conference in New Mexico, where she spoke about the internship program.

The Inclusion and Equity Internship program, coordinated by the A&S Office of International Diversity and Outreach Programs, is designed to expose a team of students to the scholarship and best practices concerning inclusiveness and equity. The primary goal is to cultivate social justice leadership skills. Interns participate in a series of workshops and guided training to provide a common foundation and to stimulate dialogue and reflection. Interns have also facilitated workshops for Theatre Arts and other UofL organizations, Iroquois High School, and Blue Lick Elementary.

When she landed the Sierra Club job in early December, Jessica wrote a note of thanks to Marian Vasser, the program’s coordinator: “I will definitely utilize the tools I developed through this program in my future endeavors. Your devotion to this program, the University, and the cause are apparent in everything you do. Your enthusiasm in this work is contagious and you have helped me grow as a facilitator and as a person.”

Jessica earned graduate degrees in Women and Gender Studies (2010) and Pan-African Studies (2012), as well as a certificate in Latin American Studies.  Formerly a teacher in the Jefferson County Public Schools system, her research integrates social justice activism and education to showcase “the spaces that transgress ‘boundaries’ of race, class, gender, and sexuality.”

For additional information about the Inclusion and Equity Intern Program or to schedule a session with your department or organization, contact Marian R. Vasser at 502-852-2252 or