Kevin G. McDonald
VP & Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion
Rochester Institute of Technology
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
Having the ability to personally connect with people in ways that are meaningful and intentional is probably my greatest strength. Relationship building and maintenance is extremely important in higher education, because on any given day one may find oneself working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and local community members.
Freeman Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, inspires me, because he is an authentic and transparent leader who has a wonderful ability to deeply connect with people and integrate transformative approaches into every aspect of organizational functioning.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
I try to lead by example and model the behavior I’d like to see in others. Specifically, I stress the importance of interpersonal relationships and try to live a life that exemplifies that. I also stress the importance of allowing creativity and innovation to interact in order to achieve an enhanced result. Most important, I take a great deal of time to develop team members into the leaders they desire to become.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
Our biggest challenges are the dearth of African Americans in positions of leadership and the structural inequalities that have caused a disproportionate number of African Americans to be incarcerated.
I give back by partnering with community leaders and organizations to develop initiatives that positively impact the lives of people of color.
Sometimes you’ve got to go to grow! This has multiple applications personally and professionally.
Balance is extremely important. As one who balances family, work, and school, I make work/life balance a priority and have been fortunate to work for a leader who models it.
I have learned that I have a strong desire to positively impact the lives of others. I look for opportunities every day that will allow me to satisfy this desire in ways that are collaborative, meaningful, and intentional.
Strive for perfection and more often than not you’ll land on excellence. Most important, do something you are passionate about and you will have more successes than failures.