Dr. Kimberly Mayfield on her new VP role
(Oakland, July 18, 2022) If you are a part of the Bay Area education community, a community activist, or a local politician, chances are you have met Dr. Kimberly Mayfield. Dr. Mayfield is an educator, an activist, a connector, and an inspiring leader. In addition to her role as Dean of the School of Education and Liberal Arts at Holy Names University, she is HNU’s new Vice President for External Relations and Strategic Partnerships.
Dr. Mayfield has a 30-year history with HNU that began as a student in the University’s Multiple-Subject Credential program. After teaching in the Oakland Unified School District for 11 years and earning her Education Specialist Credential, Master of Education degree, and Doctorate in Learning and Instruction from USF, she returned to HNU to teach as an adjunct. She became a full-time professor in 2001 and Dean of the School of Education in 2017. In the summer of 2021, Dr. Mayfield was appointed as Vice President for External Relations and Strategic Partnerships.
In this new role at HNU, Dr. Mayfield is spearheading work to develop partnerships with elected officials and government offices, community-based organizations, businesses, and foundations that provide meaningful opportunities for students and employers while raising the profile of the University. Dr. Mayfield will convene and chair a new external relations committee at HNU that will be responsible for building strong, long-term external support for HNU and introducing the institution to new audiences.
What is your vision for this new role?
There are so many people who feel indebted to the Sisters of the Holy Names. You can see it in their eyes when they think of someone who helped them on their journey. I want to help reestablish any relationships that may have gone dormant with HNU, but also be open to Oakland as it is now: its new industry, entrepreneurs, and community-benefit organizations.
I want to share more broadly all of the good things happening at Holy Names so that we can find natural alliances out in the community. When I go to deans’ meetings, I will be listening in a different way. Success begins with getting out there and sharing what we are up to and what we are up for. I say “yes” a lot. I want to attract new, creative, innovative things to the Holy Names campus. The Sisters are a good model for that: they created the weekend college in the 1970s. I want to let people know we are still here and are still doing that kind of work.
What about HNU’s identity today do you want to share most?
I want to go out into the world and talk about how Holy Names is becoming an antiracist institution. Last summer, I joined an HNU delegation to the Institute on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. There is so much that we are already doing; it is just the historic truths that we need to reconcile. The gift of the TRHT work is that it gives us a framework. None of it is personal. If you rest in that, you can engage in the work. We recognize what happened in the past and we move forward with that information—acknowledging it, but not letting it get in the way of our growth. I see the deep personal touch that students get at HNU almost like an atonement.