Initiative on Race and Resilience hosted the Forum on Systemic Inclusion on Sat Jun 4, 2022, in the Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business. The forum was very successful and it was fascinating to hear the panel members' stories and their takes on how to move forward with Notre Dame.
About the event
A unique panel discussion of alumni from the 1960s to the present, sponsored by the Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience and the 50-year alumni from the Class of ’72. The forum was Open to all members of the campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all reunion attendees and learned how Notre Dame can become a leader in continuing the transformation to a sustainable, systemically inclusive culture that benefits and supports all student populations.
The forum addressed questions such as:
- How far has the ND student-of-color experience come in the past 50 years?
- What can be done to build an inclusive culture on campus?
- How can ND become a model for other communities?
- How can ND alumni help build a legacy of inclusion for all?
Watch the livestream
Bill Hurd, M.D. ’69
B.S. Electrical Engineering; M.S. Management MIT; M.D. Meharry Medical College
Ophthalmologist, Memphis, TN
Bill majored in electrical engineering at ND and was a world‐class sprinter on the track team as well as a jazz saxophone virtuoso. While at ND he was active in campus activities, including helping to create the Black Student Union. Since graduation Bill has remained active with ND, including creating segments for the Athletic Department entitled Eyes on Equality and Strong of Heart. He was awarded ND Athlete of the Year in 1968, was one of only 6 recipients of the 1994 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, has received the Moose Krause award (2001), and delivered the Emil T. Hoffman lecture (2000) on campus. He also has supplied essential ophthalmology services to people worldwide (Senegal, Mexico, Madagascar, Trinidad & Tobago). Bill has experienced many “firsts” in his lifetime, including on the track (where he still holds the ND 100m and 200m records) and in the classroom — as both a Rhodes Scholar finalist and as the first Black ophthalmological resident at the University of Tennessee.
Mari Fuentes‐Martin, Ed.D. ’89
B.A. History; ’94 M.S. Administration (ND); Ed.D. Texas A&M Corpus Christi
VP of Student Success & Engagement, Texas A&M San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Mari (pronounced Mah‐Dee) has 28 years of experience in higher education, beginning her career working at ND in alumni affairs and student affairs. For the last 20 years, she has served as an Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at various institutions including the University of Texas‐Pan American, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the University of Texas at Brownsville, and Texas Southmost College, as well as roles at Texas A&M‐Corpus Christi, where she earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership. In her current VP role at TAMU‐CC Mari leads the institutional effort to help students meet their personal and academic goals. Mari is the oldest of four siblings of which two others are Domers, Diana Fuentes Aguilar ’91 and David Fuentes ’94. She is married to Randy Martin, a retired and active police officer. They have three sons: Jacob and Zachary (twins) and Michael.
Deswood Etsitty ’93
Bachelor of Architecture
Healthcare Facilities Planning Director at Indian Health Service (IHS) (a federal agency within the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services), Phoenix, AZ
Deswood serves the IHS‐Phoenix Area region, which oversees the delivery of healthcare to Native Americans in the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. His work focuses on the development of medical facilities, ranging from remote rural clinics to urban hospitals, through healthcare analysis, planning justification, design, and construction, working directly with Tribal governments, communities, architects, engineers, and builders. Deswood is a member of the Navajo Nation, a founding board member of the Native American Alumni of ND, and currently part of the ND School of Architecture’s (SOA) Commission on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. His community service with his Tribe, the SOA, and Catholic education was featured in a segment of ND’s “What Would You Fight For?” campaign. Deswood’s focus remains on the development of functional, environmental, and culturally appropriate healthcare facilities for the medically underserved Indigenous populations throughout the US.
Katlyn Turner, Ph.D. ’12
B.S. Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; M.S. Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan; Ph.D. Geological Sciences, Stanford University;
MIT Media Lab: Research Scientist and Technology Director of the Antiracism, Design, and Technology Initiative, Cambridge, MA
Katlyn’s research focuses on the question of how people from marginalized backgrounds—e.g., people of color, queer people, nonbinary and transgender people, women, religious minorities, the disabled—experience complex technological systems such as energy systems, healthcare, education, and transportation. Her research aims to design and implement complex technological systems around the principles of equity and dignity. Katlyn grew up in the South Bend area, and both she and her sister Tayler (’14) attended ND. As a student, Katlyn worked for the Office of the Provost, assisted the Freshman Engineering 101 course, and served as an undergraduate research assistant for Professor Peter Burns. She also served as Cavanaugh Hall's liturgical music commissioner (playing the piano at Sunday night masses) and helped form the ND chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)—serving as treasurer and president.
Shelene Baiyee ’20
B.S. Biological Sciences/Africana Studies
Chemistry Teacher, Indianapolis, IN
Shelene is a first-generation American who is the daughter of immigrant parents from St. Croix and Cameroon. At ND she participated in the McNeill Leadership Fellows Program and developed a podcast program for the Center for Social Concerns entitled: Human Dignity, Belonging, and Caring for Others. Shelene has also participated in artistic ventures at ND, performing in the Underground Railroad Festival Choir at the DeBartolo Center for the Performing Arts.