John Killings Named Assistant Director of Student
Activities and Multicultural Programs
As Rensselaer prepares to refresh The Rensselaer Plan, efforts are also under way within the Division of Student Life to support an even deeper commitment to diversity, which is an integral part of the Plan. Following a national search, John Killings has been appointed to serve as assistant director of student activities and multicultural programs.
In the newly created position, Killings will advise all student organizations on being more inclusive, and support multicultural student organizations. He also will work to ensure the inclusion of underrepresented and underserved populations into the evolving Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS) model, with the appropriate sensitivity to diversity. Killings also will collaborate with various groups across campus, including students, faculty, and staff, to coordinate, enhance, and strengthen cross-cultural education and programs.
“John brings an invigorating perspective to the newly created position that will support our unique approach to cultivating relationships among our diverse student body.”—Timothy Sams
“As a university, Rensselaer has always had a commitment to achieving new levels of supporting and diversity,” said Timothy Sams, vice president for student life. “Today, within the Division of Student Life, our change in direction regarding diversity is primarily within the context of the CLASS initiative. Moving forward, with the development of this new position, we want to build community and cross-cultural education within clusters. We will address the core programming themes of CLASS in a way that strengthens individual, group, and Rensselaer identity and belonging, and provide our students with a passport to a greater sense of leadership possibilities within today’s global community.
“John Killings’ experience and enthusiasm make him a great addition to the Student Life and Rensselaer community,” Sams added. “John brings an invigorating perspective to the newly created position that will support our unique approach to cultivating relationships among our diverse student body, in order to promote the exchange of ideas, and more robust social, recreational, and cultural opportunities.”
Killings recently graduated from Bowling Green State University with a master’s in the field of college student personnel. While at Bowling Green, he held several graduate assistantship positions in residence life and multicultural affairs. As a graduate coordinator for diversity programs, Killings created a successful grant proposal that supported the development of an annual Kwanzaa celebration. Within the classroom, Killings also taught two undergraduate-level seminars focused on diversity peer education and learning behaviors assessment.
Killings received a bachelor’s degree in black world studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While there, he served in several leadership roles within residence life and the office of diversity affairs. Signature programs created during his tenure at Miami included the development of a panel discussion titled “A Walk in My Shoes,” which provided university administrators with an opportunity to survey and work to improve campus climate issues; a Miami Redhawk Tradition Football Tailgate program; and a series of programs and activities focused on increasing and improving diversity retention on the campus.
“I am very excited to be working at Rensselaer,” said Killings. “In the coming months, my initial plans will be to focus on accessing the current climate of diversity, in preparation for drafting a plan of action to improve diversity on campus. I would also like to explore a leadership model that plays through our CLASS initiative while realizing the transformative potential of multicultural and diversity student clubs and organizations in a world-class Institute like Rensselaer.”
“For more than 120 years, the Rensselaer Union has been the center of campus life at Rensselaer,” said Joe Cassidy, director of the Rensselaer Union. “Today, the Union continues to build its long tradition of supporting and providing an exceptional student experiential education model, which dovetails nicely into the Institute’s CLASS Initiative. John Killings comes to Rensselaer with a wealth of experience in student activities, student leadership development, and multicultural programming, which will complement the strong student activities staff and build upon the Rensselaer Union tradition and CLASS. We are very pleased to have him on board and look forward to the contributions John will make to enhance the student experience at Rensselaer and within the local community.”