Ralph Cochran, a 2011 graduate of Capital University, has been named director of Diversity and Inclusion. He will begin his new position on Aug. 3.
Cochran has worked with the Morrill Scholarship Program at The Ohio State University since 2016. In his role as program manager, he developed educational, cultural and social events for 1,500 students, building relationships leading to student success.
Cochran’s belief in Capital’s mission, and his commitment to working one-on-one with students to ensure they succeed in the classroom and in life, makes him the perfect choice to lead the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said Interim President Dave Kaufman.
“Ralph knows what it means to be part of the Capital Family, and he understands the power students have when they feel valued by the University,” Kaufman said. “One of my primary goals is to develop clear strategies and sustained actions to eliminate racial injustice and advance diversity. Ralph’s leadership and professional experience will be crucial in helping to develop a strategic plan that demands accountability and measures success.”
As an undergraduate psychology major, Cochran was the communication specialist/primary student liaison in Capital’s Multicultural Affairs Office. He served as student coordinator of Smooth Transitions, the University’s bridge program for incoming first-year students of color and difference; president of Ebony Brotherhood Association; and was an active member of Students for the Advancement of Afrikan American Culture, receiving the Akili award for academic and service excellence, and the Poro award for exemplifying honor and leadership.
“My time with Capital University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (then known as the Multicultural Affairs Office) was monumental in bringing out the best of me as a leader and developing compassion across identities,” Cochran said. “I will always credit the former directors in this role who I had the privilege of knowing as a student with starting me on this path. I am honored and grateful to follow in their footsteps with this position.”
While earning a Master of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University, he was a student enrollment assistant in the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics. His research focused on the impact that faculty and staff of color can have on degree attainment for historically underrepresented groups.
Cochran’s community activities include talking to groups of elementary and middle school students about access to college and the importance of higher education.