Creative outreach to HUG students

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2017
PSU 312

Historically Underrepresented Group students (HUGs) showcase creative outreach and recruitment programs. This session shows how a local community-based organization, public school district and university is developing a pipeline for racially and ethnically diverse students to enter college, community college and/or certification programs.


Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Lawrence Anderson

Lawrence Anderson

Manager of Diversity and Inclusion
Springfield Public Schools

Lawrence Anderson is manager of diversity and inclusion at Springfield Public Schools where his primary focus is to implement programs and resources that provide support to staff, students and families that promote equity and access. Prior to joining SPS four years ago, Anderson spent 16 years at Drury University – 12 years coaching women’s volleyball and the other four years in student affairs as the coordinator of disability and diversity support services.    

Anderson is a native of St. Louis and was part of the desegregation program at Parkway South, where he graduated in 1988. He received a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Missouri State University and a master’s in education with an emphasis in human services from Drury University.

President Cheryl Clay

Cheryl Clay

Springfield NAACP

Cheryl Clay is president of the Springfield NAACP. She serves on several local and state executive boards, including the Missouri State Chapter NAACP, Missouri Faith Voices, Council of Churches, Lincoln Memorial Cemetery, Bartley Decatur Neighborhood Center, City of Springfield Housing Authority and the Springfield Community Center.

Clay has two grown children and lives in Springfield with her husband, Lynn.

Assistant Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Juan Meraz

Juan Meraz

Assistant Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion
Missouri State University

Juan Meraz is the assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion at Missouri State University, where he works to bring a better understanding of different cultures to the faculty, staff and students and the greater Springfield area.

Meraz is an executive board member for the MBAA International, assistant director for the Latin American, Caribbean and Hispanic Studies program and is a certified diversity professional providing training for various organizations and companies nationally and internationally. He has served as the provost fellow for diversity at Missouri State, and a faculty advisor for MoState Movement, director of the Student Diversity Training Team and director of the Latino Leadership Institute.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State University. Meraz is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 31 and member of the Springfield Public Entities Diversity Committee and co-chairs the Public Entities Diversity Performance Measures Sub-Committee.

Director of Diversity Rosalyn Thomas

Rosalyn Thomas

Director of Diversity
Drury University

Rosalyn Thomas is the director of diversity at Drury University, where she also serves as the coordinator of the Drury Scholars Program.

Thomas retired from the Springfield Public School System after 33 years. She was the first minority affairs liaison in the district. During this time, the Minority Teacher Scholarship was initiated with local higher learning institutions to attract a work force that reflected the population of the district. A community based group, The African American Task Force, was also formed during her tenure.

Thomas earned her undergraduate degree from Drury University along with a master’s degree in the arts and a specialist in educational administration from Missouri State University. Thomas also earned Diversity Trainer certification from the REACH Center in Seattle, Washington.

She resides in Springfield with her husband and remains involved in the community, volunteering for several organizations.