photo of Diontrey Thompson

ODI Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Diontrey Thompson

Our alumni spotlight is Dr. Diontrey Thompson, Associate Dean and Executive Director for Residential Learning at Stanford University. Dr. Thompson completed his doctoral program in Organizational Change and Leadership in 2018. His dissertation, which he titled “Uncovered: Finding and Being Authentically Myself in the Workplace,” was a perceptive examination of the ways that workplace culture affects inclusion, diversity and authenticity. He is driven by a desire to advance equity for historically marginalized students.

That commitment has shaped much of his work at Stanford, beginning in 2011 when he served as a program associate for residential education. Later he served as associate director of the Black Community Services Center, assistant dean of students, and assistant dean and director of equity and education. He has advised students, led diversity training, developed intercultural programming and collaborated with community stakeholders to spark campus dialogue on social justice issues. He is also a lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Thompson currently is leading Stanford’s Task Force on Community Centers and Community Advocacy. One of the goals of the group is to create a safe place for students from underserved populations, who often feel they don’t belong at an elite university, to connect with administration and share their experience of isolation and alienation. Through this effort, Dr. Thompson is leading a very important conversation and holding up the mission of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at University Central Oklahoma of implementing opportunities for diverse communities to learn, thrive, and succeed.

While the University of Central Oklahoma provided Dr. Thompson a renowned education (Human Resource Management, 2005), he found a home in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The space that welcomed, nurtured, and challenged him to become the person he is today. The Office of Diversity Inclusion was his first introduction to the work of diversity and inclusion as well as a training ground to do this work in the world. If Dr. Thompson could offer any advice to a fellow Broncho, it would be to remember, “there is someone depending on you being you, so they can be them.” This simply means that as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” (Williamson, 1992).

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Buddy Broncho made his first appearance in UCO's own newspaper The Vista. It was the October 3, 1932, issue where a Broncho appears wearing a UCO football uniform. He has appeared numerous times throughout the years from local Edmond papers in the 60's to state-wide papers in the 80's. The commissioning of the first ever live mascot appears in UCO's 1979 Bronze Book where Buddy Broncho made his first public appearance at Homecoming. Since that time, Buddy has been a fixture at UCO events and in the hearts of UCO students.