(YOU)HSP Spotlight: Harlan Hodge

Published on 26 July 2022

Name: Harlan B. Hodge 

Position: Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Favorite Food: Panang curry and drunken noodle from Pearl Cafe in Florissant, Missouri. (Sen Thai Asian Bistro in downtown St. Louis is good too.) 

Hobbies: Coaching chess with my boys at Better Family Life and running races for medals 

Favorite Quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not a singular act but a habit.” - Aristotle 

Favorite Book: “Will” by Will Smith 

Favorite Movie: “The Wiz” 

Interesting Fact: After 30 years, I am still close friends with several of my high school teachers. I talk to my sophomore English teacher, Mr. William L. Jenkins, at least once a week.   

Tell us about yourself.

I am the product of preachers, teachers and social workers. Along with my parents and family, these folks have shaped my world view and career. I strongly believe that we find our greatest self in service with others. I am committed to “making good” on the investment my elders made in me.

What makes you most excited about your new role as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

The ultimate goal of any office of diversity, equity and inclusion is to eliminate disparities and close gaps. I am most excited to join UHSP’s efforts to close the gap in provider diversity in health care. My life, professionally and personally, has led me to this work. Creating community and a culture of belonging is both my passion and purpose. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience that here at UHSP.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There is no typical day, and that works for me. While I love my exercise routine and I protect it with my life, I welcome the dynamic nature of a learning culture. Working with young people gives us an opportunity to be what they need us to be. I anticipate and welcome that unpredictability.

What are you most passionate about?

My top five strengths are Woo, Communication, Connectedness, Positivity and Includer. The through line for all of my strengths is service to others. I am most passionate about human connections. My soul’s purpose is to understand who we are. I learn more about myself as I learn more about others.

What drew you to UHSP, and what’s the best part about working here?

For the past 14 years, I have supported the BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute housed on the UHSP campus. Over that time, I have developed a relationship with UHSP staff and faculty, and witnessed the growth and advancement of the University. I have a deep respect for Dr. Isaac Butler, and I admire his leadership. In addition, I have come to admire the entire leadership team at UHSP.

The best part about working here is the commitment to teaching and learning in a small community. There is something very special about coming to a campus where there is an expectation that everyone knows your name.

What do you want students/campus to know about the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a resource for everyone on our campus. Our success is simply measured by the feeling of connection every person experiences every day.

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