November 08, 2022

Representation Matters

The Graduate Students of Color Alliance (GSOCA) and fellow graduate students celebrate Dr. Holmes-Sullivan’s presidency with messages of support and inspiration.

Dr. Holmes-Sullivan reads messages of support from graduate students. Dr. Holmes-Sullivan reads messages of support from graduate students.Kayla Marie Estrada, art therapy ’24, recently met Lewis & Clark’s newly inaugurated president, Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan, and surprised her with a handcrafted banner in honor of her presidency. Estrada is the art therapy co-chair for the Graduate Students of Color Alliance (GSOCA) and created the poster with fellow GSOCA co-chairs Erin Burgess PMHC-A ’23, and Zoe Renee App PMHC ’23. Estrada was joined by the organization’s staff advisors, Juliette Reséndez and Bernette Jenkins-Pleas in gifting the poster. The banner included enthusiastic messages of support from GSOCA members and graduate students, united by the call that Representation Matters.

“Everyone in GSOCA wanted to celebrate Dr. Holmes-Sullivan, so Erin, Zoe Renee, and I created the banner and left it in York Graduate Commons,” says Estrada. “All graduate students were invited to sign it to celebrate and show appreciation.”

From left to right: Juliette Res From left to right: Juliette Reséndez, Kayla Marie Estrada, Robin Holmes-Sullivan, Bernette Jenkins-PleasDr. Holmes-Sullivan is Lewis & Clark’s 26th president, and the first woman and person of color to serve in this role in the institution’s 155-year history. She took the helm in July 2022, after three years serving as L&C’s vice president for student life and dean of students.

“It was such a wonderful experience to meet her,” says Estrada. “Her presidency has inspired us all at GSOCA and we look forward to this progressive direction!”