Selected Experiences

*Independent Consultant/Trainer for Diversity & Inclusion: RelandoThompkinsJones.com and The Blog: Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.)*

August 2011-Present

  • Provide training and workshops to student groups and organizations interested in creating more inclusive communities.

*Owner, Webmaster & Writer: RelandoThompkinsJones.com and The Blog: Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.)*

April 2011-Present

  • Content creation: Through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I seek to continue to expand and enrich conversations about  social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

Social Justice Educator/Coordinator for The Division of Inclusion and Equity at Grand Valley State University

July 2016-Present Allendale, MI

  • Coordinate and oversee existing social justice and intercultural resources and programming on campus and facilitate meaningful dissemination of educational opportunities university-wide
  • With campus partners, lead the creation, implementation, and assist in facilitation of a tiered social justice education program for faculty, staff, administration, students, and community partners.
  • Challenge inequitable structures, processes, policies and culture institutions so as to bring about meaningful change to promote social justice and equity for all.
  • Facilitate relationships across the institution which foster social justice, improve campus climate and enhance the involvement and success for people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, women, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and other marginalized and historically underrepresented groups. Support the Vice President for Inclusion and Equity in helping a variety of institutional groups be advocates, allies and a resource to their constituents.
  • Monitor and evaluate programmatic and operational effectiveness through data collection and assessment for all workshops and special events to monitor impact on the campus community.
  • Provide leadership in communication on social justice education initiatives (written materials, social media, articles, marketing efforts, etc. to the campus community on behalf of the Division of Inclusion and Equity)

Student Affairs Program Coordinator for The Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health

October 2013-January 2016 Ann Arbor, MI

I was responsible for the activities of The Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This project is a contractual agreement between the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the CDC, and is part of a national effort involving institutions of higher education. The FHPLP is designed to specifically reach students who have been historically underrepresented in health programs within academic institutions, specifically public health and the bio-medical sciences.  The FPHLP is principally a competitive summer immersion program that seeks to expose a select number of students to the disciplines of public health; and the contextual factors that underlie health disparities in the United States. Overall, the program seeks to improve participants’ understanding of public health, and to increase their involvement in advance study and professional employment in the public health system.

  • Program Development & Design: Provided specific leadership for the design and implementation of the FPHLP student application process; Worked collaboratively with other funded sites to manage the national applicant pool; Supported the design and execution of a national communications plan that fosters the engagement, recruitment and selection of diverse participants; Build and maintain an active data-base of minority serving institutions and organizations to facilitate recruitment of program applicants; Coordinate activities (didactic and applied learning) for 10 week summer immersion program to include informational courses, workshops, special projects and site visits; Participated in initiative meetings, workgroup and technical calls to foster the refinement of program design and evaluation; Supported in the development training and instructional materials for students and mentors.
  • Program Management: Worked directly with select student placement sites and public health organizations to structure and coordinate site visits; Supported the development of mentors and mentorship placement; Arranged for and participated in the advising services to students on personal and academic matters; Worked closely with the Program Manager to fulfill on-going and periodic reporting requirements; Organized data collection and information to support evaluation of the project; Coordinated the travel, placement and activities of all participants in the program; Maintained a data base of resources (financial, professional and material) to enhance project implementation; Served as the principle liaison and contact for mentors and placement sites; work directly with university departments to coordinate housing, transportation, and residential staff.
  • Program Finance and Reporting: Independently administered the processing of students’ stipends, financial aid, reimbursements, and payments to contractors.
  • Program Marketing & Communication: Developed and disseminated project level communications; Facilitated the development of promotional materials; Managed and maintained project related social media; Participated in local recruitment activities; Participated in the development of publications; Acted as a spokesperson for the program.

Student Affairs Program Specialist for The University of Michigan School of Public Health Management & Policy Summer Enrichment Program

February 2013-October 2013 Ann Arbor, MI

I was responsible for the administrative activities of the University of Michigan Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) in Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health. SEP is a summer internship program for undergraduate students interested in eliminating health disparities. (Information on the program is available at: http://www.sph.umich.edu/sep/)

  • Program Management: Lead and manage the SEP application process, including recruitment, interviewing, and selection of participants; Develop and maintain relationships with mentors, preceptors, organizations and hospitals; Cultivate new internship placement sites in Southeast Michigan area(Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint); Match students to internships in Detroit, Flint, and Ann Arbor areas; Provide advising services to students on personal and academic matters; Coordinate and attend site visits and special events for SEP programs, including evening and weekend events
  • Program Planning and Evaluation: Plan and coordinate social events for summer interns and program alumni; Contact and arrange meetings with University Student Organizations; Maintain communication and foster relationships with program alumni; Coordinate production of quarterly SEP newsletter; Evaluate Program; Create Annual Report; Administer program evaluation questionnaires
  • Administrative Management: Arrange travel, transportation, and housing for participants; Process stipends, reimbursements, and payments to contractors; Hire, train, and supervise a graduate student staff assistant; Oversee annual $200,000 budget
  • Program Marketing: Design fliers and advertisements for promotional materials (such as advertisements, brochures, SEP marketing materials); Maintain the SEP website using Dreamweaver

Member of the Board of Directors: Stop Street Harassment

September 2012-September 2014

  • Stop Street Harassment (SSH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gender-based street harassment worldwide. If was started as a website in 2008 and became incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 2012.
  •  SSH is an international online resource center, providing comprehensive information about the topic and highlighting relevant news and activism occurring world-wide. Visitors can access lists of statistics, articles, films, and campaigns around street harassment as well as ideas for action to stop street harassment in their community. SSH also provides people with a place to share their stories.
  • SSH plans to undertake and produce research about street harassment, create curriculum for schools, and facilitate sensitivity trainings upon request.
  • SSH will organize awareness-raising efforts. International Anti-Street Harassment Week is already one of Stop Street Harassment’s campaigns.
  •  SSH plans to host international conferences (both virtual and in-person) in the future.
  • SSH will also collaborate with policymakers, legislators, and like-minded organizations to create policies and laws that make public places safer.

Facilitator: Intergroup-Social Change Agents–University of Michigan School of Social Work

August 2010-May 2013 Ann Arbor, MI

  • Through a continual process of teaching and learning, helped highschool students to enhance their ability to work to peacefully negotiate conflicts and tensions that exist between groups. This involved negotiating changes in their schools and communities. In order to attain this end, participants will become more comfortable sharing their lives and backgrounds as well as helping others in the group to do the same. They will also help to enhance the level of trust and comfort that exists in the group. The hope is that a shared meaning will emerge while in dialogue, providing us with directions by which to proceed.
  • Facilitated weekly dialogues surrounding topics on race & ethnicity, religion & spirituality, sexual orientation, sex, gender and gender identity, ability status, age, and class.
  • Contribute to creating a space where students can engage in respectful dialogue across difference.
  • Through co-facilitation, assist in modeling to students how to communicate with others about tough issues around stereotypes, prejudices, conflicts, and the pain that comes with experiencing oppression.
  • Assist with program planning and implementation, student recruitment & retention.
  • Engage in continuous facilitation training; collect data for research, as well as program development and evaluation.

Independent Contractor, (QMHP) at Macomb Oakland Regional Center, Inc (MORC)

September 2011-February 2013 Oakland County, MI

  • Administered and interpreted the results of the Support Intensity Scale (SIS) determining the support needs of individuals receiving services through MORC.
  • Conducted interviews and facilitated difficult conversations around ability with consumers and their family members and assisted in the development of their individual plans of service to help individuals with developmental disabilities to be able to realize their dreams as full members of their communities.

Honorary Committee Member &  Dialogue Facilitator: “Making Race Heard“, University of Michigan School of Social Work

March 2011-December 2012 Ann Arbor, MI

  • Assisted in the strategic planning, coordination and implementation of “Making Race Heard” Programming at the University of Michigan School of Social Work: A student union sponsored initiative.
  • Facilitated dialogues on race, as well as its intersection with other social identities with students and faculty as they relate to navigating difficult discussions in the classroom.
  • Addressed the experiences of students, community members, faculty, and staff within and outside of the university community with race and racism, and explored ways in which we can proactively and effectively address issues of race and racism not only in the workplace, but also in our daily interactions with others.

Volunteer: Better Choices Domestic Violence Program

August 2011-June 2012 Ypsilanti, MI

  • Learned ways to help male perpetrators of domestic violence learn non-abusive choices and behaviors for managing domestic conflicts and disputes.

Direct Care Worker, Macomb Oakland Regional Center Inc, (MORC)

November 2008- November 2011 Orion, MI

  • Provided mentoring and companionship to an eighteen year old with autism and cerebral palsy.
  • Administered medication, and physically assisted with everyday activities.
  • Implemented a treatment plan concerning client’s health, physical abilities and social well-being while documenting  progress and any areas of concern.
  • Advocated for client’s needs in the community, while empowering him to become as self-sufficient as possible.
  • Spoke publicly about experiences working with a person who has cerebral palsy and autism in an effort to raise awareness within the community.

Graduate Student Research Assistant: National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan— “A Mixed-Method Study of Exemplary Research Opportunity Interventions

September 2010-August 2011 Ann Arbor, MI

  • Served within a multi-method project which examines factors that relate to the entrance of underrepresented  undergraduate students into research careers that engage in social science research and scholarship, particularly on issues regarding diversity in higher education.
  • Supervised, trained, and coordinated a team of 7 undergraduate students in the collection of data.

Additional Descriptive information: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Summer Research Opportunities Program


Adult Facilitator/Project Intern (Masters Level): Intergroup Dialogue-Social Change Agents Program (I-SCA), University of Michigan School of Social Work

August 2010-August 2011 Ann Arbor MI, Ypsilanti, MI

  • Facilitated dialogues with high school students in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor districts surrounding topics on race & ethnicity, religion & spirituality, sexual orientation, sex, gender and gender identity, ability status, age, and class.
  • Contributed to creating a space where students can engage in respectful dialogue across differences.
  • Through co-facilitation, assisted in modeling to students how to communicate with others about tough issues around stereotypes, prejudices, conflicts, and the pain that comes with experiencing oppression.
  • Through the process of teaching, learning and self-reflection, actively participated with students in respecting the experiences and perspectives of others, thinking critically about any biases that we may have, and helping to recognize roles we may play that can be oppressive to others in order to find ways we can go against oppression through social action.
  • Assisted with program planning and implementation,  student recruitment & retention.
  • Engaged in continuous facilitation training, collect data for research, as well as program development and evaluation.

Student Assistant: Oakland University Social Work Program

January 2010-April 2010 Rochester, MI

  • Proofread and graded student papers, as well as offered guidance to students regarding assignments.
  • Assisted in the maintenance and upkeep of the Social Work Program’s website.
  • Performed other duties such as gathering materials before lectures, contacting other Social Work professionals regarding workshops for Continuing Education Units (CEU’S), and speaking publicly in classes to new Social Work students about my experiences in the program.


Rehabilitation Assistant and Job Coach:  Rainbow Rehabilitation Centers

April 2009-November 2009 Farmington, MI

  • Actively participated in client therapies and assisted  clients with daily program procedures, medication, and other activities of daily living.
  • Worked with clients of varying ages who have acquired brain injuries to further develop their physical and social skills in a safe environment, while reintroducing them to the structured setting of the workplace.
  • Directed and supervised clients as they performed assigned duties at their work sites, set limits for behavior, mediated client conflicts to deescalate conflicts that became physically and verbally aggressive.

Resident Assistant: Department of University Housing at Oakland University

December 2006-August 2008 Rochester, MI

  • Advised and counseled students living in the residence halls concerning academic, social, and financial matters.
  • Helped residents become acquainted with the University and community.
  • Worked collaboratively with other Housing Staff and Building team members.
  • Built community in the residence halls by participating and encouraging casual social interaction, planning and implementing social programming and demonstrating consistent availability and accessibility to residents.
  • Developed and implemented programs that helped to enhance the personal, cultural, and social development, self-fulfillment and well-being of students living in the residence halls, while encouraging resident participation in the community.
  • Upheld  Community Living Standards by confronting and documenting violations, while modeling personal behavior that is consistent with the Community Living Standards, Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and all state and federal laws.

Mentor: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP) for Life: Pre-College Programs  at Oakland University

June 2007-June 2008 Rochester, MI

  • Helped provide academic, social and cultural enrichment programs for pre-college students.
  • Demonstrated positive role modeling for underrepresented youth; encouraging them to pursue higher education.
  • Co-facilitated lectures and exercises on topics such as conflict resolution, bullying, and being assertive.

*For a slide show of the program from the summer 2007 cohort, click here. *For  more information about GEAR UP Program from the US Department of Education, click here.


Peer Mentor: Oakland University Trustee Academic Success Program (OUTAS)—–Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI)

April 2007-May 2008 Rochester, MI

  • Assisted freshman and sophomore students from a range of backgrounds with an entering grade point average of 3.0 or higher in setting educational and social goals regarding becoming accustomed to college life, and found ways to develop their academic and leadership skills.
  • Met weekly in one-on-one sessions with scholarship recipients to assess and monitor academic and social progress.
  • Provided scholarship recipients with information about classes, support services, academic programs and counseling.
  • Served as a link between CMI and the university community by speaking publicly for and representing the office at university functions.

Orientation Group Leader (OGL): Department of Admissions and Orientation at Oakland University

April 2006-August 2006 Rochester, MI

  • Counseled prospective students concerning academic, social, and financial manners.
  • Assisted with student advising and registration for classes.
  • Facilitated small group discussions and aided in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for new students.
  • Served both new and transfer students, offering information about important resources.
  • Served as a student panelist during Parent Orientation programs, and addressed questions and concerns from parents of new or transfer students.