Michael Thornhill discusses Center for Inclusive Excellence

Written By Rachel Ross, Co-Features/A&E Editor

As a trauma informed diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner working in the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Michael Thornhill engages in a variety of different tasks and projects in order to aid students and faculty here at Point Park. 

A large number of those tasks have to do with coaching, mostly on the subjects of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

“…my role is to coach executives, contribute to association planning, and particularly coach around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and cultural confidence…” Thornhill said.

Additionally, Thornhill supports faculty by coaching in classroom management and creating the best ecosystem possible within the space. 

A new project in development will see Thornhill administering a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Audit” to each department. 

“I’m supposed to use [the audit] department by department to have them walk through every area with an equity lens [so that] we can have more equitable departments, not just from a student’s perspective, being from faculty to faculty…” Thornhill said.

He went on to explain that this process will involve, “…hiring, recruiting, syllabus construction, [etc.].”

In terms of students, Thornhill provides diversity, equity, and inclusion training for student groups and initiatives when requested, creates trainings when a circumstance or situation might call for it, conducts mentorship, and runs the Inclusive Student Leadership Association and sexual violence awareness initiatives. 

Thornhill describes himself as neurodivergent, as he has ADHD. He cited this as being a “superpower” he uses in his work. 

Previous to working for the CIE, Thornhill worked in Point Park’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. In that role, he was primarily responsible for training for students. 

Outside of work, Thornhill enjoys watching Marvel movies and anime, salsa dancing and instructing, and playing video games.