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Sonia Toson, named KSU Chief Diversity Officer

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Kennesaw State University has named Sonia Toson the school’s chief diversity officer. An associate professor of law, Toson was the interim chief diversity officer since August 2021. She will begin in her new position on Feb. 15.

Toson was the director of diversity relations in KSU’s Michael J. Coles College of Business prior to being named to the interim position. 

As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Toson will report directly to KSU President Kathy “Kat” Schwaig. She will be responsible for providing vision, leadership and strategic direction for KSU’s Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence, according to the university. In addition to her $149,500 faculty salary, Toson will receive a $50,500 administrative stipend.

As CDO, Toson role includes developing a long-term diversity and inclusion plan for KSU and establishing measurable benchmarks to broaden perspectives around diversity and inclusion at the university. She will also continue the work she began in her interim role to develop strategies and programs focused on the successful recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff.

Schwaig said, “Kennesaw State University is a place where diverse perspectives are valued and where making sure that everyone feels welcomed and supported is part of the fabric of our campus community. Sonia has been a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion at KSU for more than a decade, working collaboratively across our campus with students, faculty and staff. I look forward to partnering with her to further our mission of building a stronger community.”

Toson is looking forward to serving in this role saying, “Advancing equity, inclusion, and an authentic sense of belonging across our campus is a privilege and honor.” 

Toson earned a law degree at American University Washington College of Law, a MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business and a Bachelor’s in East Asian Languages and Culture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

She joined the former Southern Polytechnic State University as a lecturer in 2008 and became an assistant professor of law in 2013. Prior to Toson’s academic career, she spent eight years in private practice specializing in entrepreneurship law, real estate, and construction law. Her research interests include the intersection between the law and social entrepreneurship, inclusive corporate social responsibility, social responsibility and the legal environment of sports, and pedagogical aspects of the study of law and negotiation.

Toson is a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; the University System of Georgia Chief Diversity Officer Working Group; the Georgia Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council; and the Georgia Association of Women in Higher Education.

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