The ODI Team
Interim Chief Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Kent joined UCF in 2007 as an associate professor of counselor education and was recently promoted to full professor. Last year, he became a Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence, and he also helped lead a task force that developed an action plan for diversity, equity and inclusive excellence. Kent has championed efforts to help the entire university community embrace diversity and inclusion, conducted extensive research into mentoring among diverse groups and led successful initiatives for African American male students.
Director, HSI Culture and Partnerships
Dr. Cyndia Morales Muñiz is Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships. In this role, she provides strategic leadership and stewards national partnerships that advance UCF’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) objectives. Dr. Muñiz works with senior leadership and leads cross-functional teams of faculty and staff from various units to promote an inclusive and effective HSI campus culture.
Cyndia joined the UCF community in 2008 as a doctoral student and has since worked in the College of Undergraduate Studies, College of Graduate Studies and the division of Student Development and Enrollment Services. In 2015, she founded the Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA) with two UCF colleagues, and established the CREAR Futuros Mentoring Program in partnership with the Hispanic Federation, Inc., and UCF’s Latino Graduation Celebration – Nuestra Graduación.
Cyndia earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Binghamton University, a master’s degree in Sociology at St. John’s University and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at UCF. Her efforts and accomplishments have been recognized by UCF, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, the Puerto Rican Chamber of Central Florida, La Prensa Newspaper, the Orlando Business Journal, the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando, the Council for Latino Workplace Equity and the College Board.
Additional Language: Español (Spanish)
Associate DirectorTraining, Faculty
Barbara E. Thompson is the Associate Director in the University of Central Florida’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. For the past 29 years, she has designed, facilitated, and debriefed learning experiences on more than 75 topics related to diversity and inclusion. She has worked at UCF for twelve years, and is dedicated to the university’s strategic goal “to become more inclusive and diverse.” Barbara is a passionate and committed educator and believes in being an ally, advocate, and accomplice in the furtherance of social justice. She frequently serves as a consultant on diversity-related issues in organizations.
Barbara earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University, and has several conference presentations and publications related to human memory and concept development. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and practiced as a tax professional for eight years. She acknowledges the value of both her psychology and business backgrounds in her work today.
Kavita joined the UCF Knights as an undergraduate in 2002, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Education. She became an employee of UCF in 2007, expanding her role from Program Assistant to Coordinator of Support Services and Clinical Administration at Counseling and Psychological Services. During an interim period, she also served as the Office Manager at the Office of Pre-Professional Advising (OPPA). In 2014 Kavita was accepted into the graduate program of Louisiana State University (LSU) and earned her Master’s degree in Human Resources Education and Leadership Training in 2015. She transitioned to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) as a Coordinator in January 2020. In this new role, Kavita coordinates the Leadership Empowerment Program (LEP), facilitates the Seeking Education Equity and Diversity (SEED) program, and assists Dr. Butler, UCF’s interim chief Equity, Inclusion and Diversity officer, with various projects, including managing ODI’s social media, the ODI website, Dr. Butler’s schedule and supervising the student assistants.
While Kavita may have a bit of tiger blood in her from her days at LSU she is a KNIGHT through and through!
Flore Septimus is a Training Specialist in the University of Central Florida’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Flore was born in Port Au Prince Haiti and moved to the United States at a young age. Flore Spent most of her childhood in Orlando before she moved to Tampa to continue her education. Flore attended University of South Florida where she received her bachelors in Mass Communication and Business Entrepreneurship and her masters in College Student Affairs: Curriculum and Instruction.
Flore’s work experience lies heavily within curriculum development and event planning and programming development especially within the realm of Higher Education. Flore approaches her work through the lens of Black Feminist Epistimology, which acknowledges the importance of intersecting identities in communicating knowledge and highlights qualitative research as means to understand and interpret quantitative data. As a student Affairs professional, Flore values the Student Learning Imperative and Multicultural Competence as pillars to success in the higher education environment.
According to StrengthsFinder, Flore’s top five strengths are Individualization, Self-Assurance, Command, Learner, and Relator. Her hobbies include boxing, yoga, reading, and being outdoors.
Senior Executive SecretaryAdministration
Susan Laden comes to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a Senior Executive Secretary. She serves as the initial point of contact for visitors and callers. Susan undertakes a wide range of administrative tasks. She is proud recipient of the University of Central Florida Diversity Excellence Award for exemplary service and gracious support. Susan is enthusiastic to work with the impressive team at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Susan has worked at the University since 1995. Her first three years were at Convenience Copiers/Printing Services and then moved in 1998 to serve the Office of the President for 19 years.
Susan is dependable and professional with excellent people skills. She has 25 years of experience at UCF in providing effective and comprehensive support to the students, senior executives, including, VP’s, President and Board of Trustees.