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Choma appointed assistant dean for diversity, recruitment and retention

ChomaKimathi I.A. Choma has been appointed as the assistant dean for diversity, recruitment and retention for the College of Arts & Sciences at Kansas State University.

“The work and passion Dr. Choma has invested since being appointed as interim assistant dean has been noteworthy,” said Amit Chakrabarti, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We have seen a revitalized diversity committee, which has established new programing like the Civil Rights Teach-In and Student Diversity Summit, as well as new efforts on the recruiting and retention fronts, like the best practices workshop he is organizing for the fall. Our aim is to secure top talent to make our college stronger and we are very excited to have someone like Kimathi take a more permanent role with us.”

Choma has served as the interim for the position since June 2014. Prior to that, he was the director of undergraduate public health programs for Pathways to Public Health and the Master of Public Health field experience facilitator in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University for six years. In addition to being a veterinarian and mentoring veterinary and pre-veterinary students, he taught and directed the Pathways to Public Health program. The program was designed to recruit diverse students into the field of public health and ultimately into a Master of Public Health degree.

"I am passionate about diversity and I strive to continue to promote student academic and professional success at the undergraduate and the graduate levels," Choma said. "I also look forward to working with faculty, staff and various entities to enhance the Kansas State experience and to serve the needs of those within the College of Arts & Sciences."

As interim assistant dean, Choma developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy for diversity, retention, recruitment for the college. He also has led efforts to advance inclusion initiatives and practices for underrepresented groups within the college.

“In the coming months and years, I would like to continue to work within the college and throughout the university to see the improvement of the retention of all students to reach our graduation goals,” Choma said. “I believe this will occur through the promotion and implementation of additional best practices already in use at K-State and around the nation and I’m excited to build on what has already started in our college.”

Choma earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, in 1997 before completing two years of graduate-level chemistry course work at the University of South Dakota in preparation for veterinary medical school. He graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in May 2007 and earned his Master of Public Health from the university in 2013.