Sherene Ing is the new director of the First Nations Educational and Cultural Center at IU.
“I understand how important it is to have a space at such a large institution where you can just find refuge and it was great to be involved in a center where you just felt welcomed,” Ing said. “The center has been a gathering place for (students), so I plan on making sure that continues.”
One of Ing’s goals is to help students navigate their post-pandemic lives.
“I feel like for a lot of students, they have missed out on those key years of socialization and getting to know people, so it would be great to help those students find internships or find their place in their communities and in the world,” Ing said. “It would be great to help these students find their voice and that they can be heard.”
Previously, Ing worked as the director of the self-sufficiency center at the Monroe Country United Ministries. She plans to use her experience of working at a nonprofit to encourage students at FNECC to be involved in service projects.
“Talking to her during the interview process, what came through so clearly was that not only was she passionate about helping her community, but she’s also passionate about the First Nations community,” James Wimbush, vice president of diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, said. “She comes with an attitude of providing service, creating a sense of community, and further expanding the number of Native students on the Bloomington campus.”
In October of the fall semester, the FNECC former director Nicky Belle stepped down from the position to be the associate director at the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
“I’m excited because Sherene comes in with a different background and different experiences and I am excited about what she’s going to be able to do to make sure she nurtures our students,” Wimbush said. “The type of attention she has paid to the population in Bloomington who was part of the nonprofit that she’ll work with is I think a good indicator of the care and the nurturing that she’ll make sure we have for our students, so I couldn’t be more excited.”
According to a news release from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, Ing’s responsibilities include developing, delivering and coordinating educational programs and support services as well as fostering partnerships with other campus and non-campus organizations with the mission of serving to the Native American and Indigenous population.