Director chosen for national diversity/inclusion task force

ErwinPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Turea Erwin has been appointed to serve a two-year term on a national diversity task force organized by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Erwin, director of WSU’s Women’s Resource Center, will provide leadership on AAUW’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. The group will evaluate AAUW programs and initiatives and make recommendations to achieve or broaden diversity and inclusion practices.
“Being selected is a true honor,” Erwin said. “My real motivation in applying was getting recognition for the state and WSU.”
The AAUW sought professionals in leadership roles at the branch, state or national level who have significant experience in launching diversity and/or inclusion programs, projects or initiatives.

Michael J. Tate, WSU’s chief diversity officer and professor, said Erwin fits the bill perfectly.

“Given the Women’s Resource Center received national recognition this year and is approaching its 40-year anniversary, it is very fitting that Turea is being recognized in this way,” he said. “The WRC has progressed significantly under her leadership.”

The WRC received the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Award from the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) and Erwin traveled to New York in March to accept it. The council recognized WRC for its diversified leadership, programs and advocacy for people from underrepresented groups.

Erwin also received the 2013 NCRW Trailblazer Award for her “solitary steps toward improving the status of women and girls in our world,” according to NCRW president Áine Duggan.

The recognitions caught the eye of AAUW’s Washington chapter co-president Kelvie Comer, who encouraged Erwin to apply for the AAUW task force.

“Turea Erwin’s commitment through her position at the WSU Women’s Center, her national awards and her commitment to AAUW’s Start Smart Program, along with her service to the AAUW Washington Board, certainly qualified her for the task force,” Comer said.
 “Turea’s efforts to connect young women – particularly young women of color – with the work of the AAUW have been groundbreaking, and I’m delighted that her expertise has been recognized by the national AAUW board,” said Melynda Huskey, WSU dean of students.

WRC programs for women include transit service, etiquette dinners, salary negotiation workshops, a computer lab, a resource library and more.

Erwin has served as director of the WRC for almost six years.


Turea Erwin, director, WSU Women’s Resource Center, 509-335-8200,
Michael J. Tate, WSU chief diversity officer and professor, 509-335-2201,
Steve Nakata, manager of communication, WSU Student Affairs and Enrollment, 509-335-1774,