Bulaong Ramiz-Hall was recently named the new director for the University of Kansas’ Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, according to a University press release.
Ramiz-Hall began work as director on July 15. She is currently in a transitional period where she is learning new things and meeting new colleagues, she said, which means that she has a lot to read and learn.
One thing that will help the transition is that Ramiz-Hall worked at the University in the past as a program coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs from 2014 to 2015. This also helped make her the best candidate for the position, said Precious Porras, director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“I think that these are some of the most amazing and most brilliant folks that I’ve been able to work with in my career," Ramiz-Hall said. "I’m very excited to be back here and learn with and learn from all of the professional staff here, all of the students here and the community at large."
The Emily Taylor Center works to promote gender equity on campus by increasing awareness of gender and sexism-related issues, Porras said. It also provides opportunities for activism and empowerment.
“Bulaong had favorable community and campus feedback, knows KU and the Center … and is committed to social justice,” Porras said. “She is a strong woman, a great model for all, she has proven leadership and management skills and her commitment to social justice is unparalleled.”
The previous director for the Emily Taylor Center, Kathy Rose-Mockry, retired after over 20 years in her position. Porras said that Ramiz-Hall has big shoes to fill, but she is excited to see where the Emily Taylor Center goes next.
“[Rose-Mockry] leaves behind a powerful legacy. Bulaong will [build] upon that legacy and carry the Center forward,” Porras said. “I do expect some changes, but that happens anytime there is a change in leadership. What will not change is the center’s commitment to serving students.”
Deciding to go into a social justice-related career can be daunting, Ramiz-Hill said. She always knew she wanted to do justice-based work, but it was her time in college that inspired her to work in higher education administration.
“It was with the guidance of amazing mentors that I found my kind of niche area in multicultural affairs and diversity and equity work,” Ramiz-Hall said. “I was in school as a young, queer, Muslim woman of color. So, I exist on a lot of the margins while also having privilege in a lot of areas. I wanted to provide support and representation and guidance for people who, like me, were new to a college setting or having trouble finding community or just navigating their identity in a new place.”
Throughout her professional career, Ramiz-Hall has travelled to work with different universities including Amherst College and her alma mater, Wesleyan University.
Working with universities is especially important to Ramiz-Hall because she feels she has a unique opportunity to inspire change.
“We can really make justice and equity and inclusion real here and it can be a model and example for the rest of the state, the country, the world,” Ramiz-Hall said.
As a new mother, she is most excited to serve the student-parent community, one of the groups on campus.
“A director also runs all the lactation rooms, managing those across campus, and that’s something that I’m super excited about as a new mom who is nursing and hoping to support other nursing parents on campus and getting them resources and the things they need to be successful in that,” Ramiz-Hall said.
Though she has several goals in mind for her time as director, Ramiz-Hall is currently focused on student engagement and taking the fall semester to learn more about her new position as director and the Emily Taylor Center as a whole.
“The Emily Taylor Center is in a new space in the Burge, so I think one of the major things that we’re going to be doing is trying to get people to actually come to the space and then really think about how to build from there,” Ramiz-Hall said. “I want to encourage students to come, check out the new space and meet me. I really look forward to serving the community as best I can.”