LSU AgCenter, College of Agriculture name diversity program leader

(01/28/21) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter and College of Agriculture have named Monica Guient assistant vice president for diversity, inclusion and opportunity. Her start date is Feb. 1.

Guient has previously worked in roles overseeing diversity and academic programs at Binghamton University, which is part of the State University of New York system, and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Most recently, she was an assistant dean for academic diversity and inclusive excellence at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University. In that position, her duties included developing a diversity strategic plan; improving outreach, recruitment and retention; coordinating support services for underrepresented students; and securing grant funding.

In her new position at LSU, Guient will be responsible for similar initiatives. She plans to spend her first days listening to the concerns and ideas of faculty, staff, students and stakeholders.

“Part of the reason I was excited about this opportunity was that there are already great things going on within the College of Ag, within the university and within the AgCenter,” she said. “One of my goals is to showcase what work is already being done.”

She wants to expand partnerships with institutions such as with Southern University. And she wants to make sure student input is incorporated into diversity efforts.

“I see the value of youth and want the students to be co-creators in this diversity culture and inclusive environment that we’re creating,” she said.

A native of Texas, Guient holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of New Orleans. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in leadership and human resource development at LSU and is participating in a Cornell University certificate program in diversity and inclusion.

“What I appreciate about this role is I’m coming back to a place I know and love,” she said. “It’s great to give back to a place that’s given me so much. I was trained at LSU. I had all of my higher education experiences in Louisiana. It’s amazing, and to be trusted with that opportunity, it’s an honor.”

Guient also has a personal connection to agriculture.

“I’m a granddaughter of a farmer,” she said. “I learned really quickly how valuable farmers are. This work is really interesting and important for me.”

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Monica Guient. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter

1/29/2021 7:56:02 PM
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