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Sherlene Ayala

Clinical Specialist, Educational Leadership

University Hall 2140
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I am the Clinical Specialist for the M.A. in Higher Education. Our program prepares students who are interested to work on a college or university campus in the following areas:

- Student Affairs (i.e., student life, EOF, residence life, multicultural affairs)
- Academic Affairs (i.e., academic advisement, career services)
- Administration on a college or university campus (i.e., admissions, alumni, facilities)

My core duties include recruitment, admission, graduate student advisement, assisting with curriculum development, teaching and participating in department, college, and university committees and activities. I hire all of our adjunct faculty, serve as the advisor to our graduate council and our Honor Society Chi Sigma Alpha, as well as coordinate the annual Capstone Mini-Conference.


I began my career in Higher Education in 2006 as a Residence Hall Director. I have since worked in a variety of posts including but not limited to Multicultural Affairs, Student Leadership Programming, New Student Orientation, Fraternity & Sorority Life, EOP Academic Advisement, Counseling Services, as well as Student Activities. My areas of specialty as a Student Affairs practitioner include Multicultural Affairs and Student Leadership Development.


Research Projects

"Mitigating the 'powder keg': The experiences of faculty of color teaching multicultural competenceā€ (2018)

Muninder K. Ahluwalia
Sherlene Ayala
Anna Locke
Tyce Nadrich

Teaching multicultural competence is a unique experience. Little is known, however, about the experiences of faculty of color teaching multicultural competence. In this phenomenological study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 faculty of color to explore their experiences teaching multicultural competence in counseling graduate programs and in the context of their universities. Five themes emerged including: 1) Dual threads of multicultural competence, 2) The most marginalized teach about diversity, 3) Faculty of color go above and beyond (content) instruction, 4) Challenges and benefits to teaching diversity courses, and 5) The impact of systems is powerful. These findings suggest that faculty of color experience teaching multicultural competence differently than their White counterparts and that these experiences have personal (e.g., burnout) and professional implications (e.g., tenure and promotion).