A Camas resident will serve as trustee at the school where her college education began.
Rekah Strong, who attended Clark for a year in 1993-94, has recently been named to its Board of Trustees by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Her term will begin Oct. 1. She will succeed Rhona Sen Hoss, who has served as a trustee for 10 years.
“Rekah’s commitment to community and its success makes her a valuable asset to the board,” said Gregoire in a press release. “She cares about the people she serves and understands the importance of a solid foundation in education. I welcome her to this new role.”
Clark College President Robert K. Knight said, “Rekah Strong is a well-respected leader in the community. We know that she will be a great advocate for our students and Clark College.”
Strong, who serves as chief diversity and inclusion officer for Clark County, said she is excited to be joining the Board of Trustees.
“My personal commitment to the betterment of my local community, along with my desire to utilize my education, and professional skills, to further enhance a respected educational institution, is the primary driver for my desire to serve on the Clark College Board of Trustees,” she said. “It is a true privilege to serve on the board of an institution who plays such as pivotal role in the vitality of this community.”
Strong, a 1991 graduate of Lincoln High School in Portland, described her experience at Clark College as “very positive.”
“The environment was perfect for me because at the time I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do,” she said. “The faculty, staff, and counselors at Clark helped me to narrow down my interest and focus. I began taking classes in criminal justice and later transferred to PSU where I obtained my bachelor’s in administrative justice (criminal justice). Clark laid the foundation for me, in my quest of continued academic pursuits.”
She is currently continuing her studies at Portland State, pursuing a doctorate in social work.
For more than a decade, Strong has worked with public and private agencies, developing strategies to improve organizational cultural humility.
As Clark County’s chief diversity officer, Strong leads the county’s efforts to integrate diversity and inclusion measures into policy and practice.
She is currently the committee chair of the Clark County Diversity Advisory Committee and the Clark County Diversity Steering Committee. She is co-chair of the 2012 Northwest Public Employees Diversity Conference and serves on the board of We Reign.
She has been an active volunteer for years, serving as the advisor for the American Society for Training and Development Cultural Competency Team, a board member and diversity team chair for the American Red Cross of Southwest Washington and a personnel committee member for YWCA Clark County. She has also served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest African American Advisory Committee, the City of Battle Ground Diversity Task Force, and the Portland State University Social Justice Committee.
Strong is a recipient of the 2008 NAACP Diversity Leadership Award, 2009 YWCA Val Joshua Racial Justice Award, 2009 Delta Woman of Excellence award for social justice, and the 2010 Vancouver Business Journal Accomplished and Under 40 award.
“I see my role in my professional career as a public servant,” she said. “Those characteristics will carry over into my role at Clark College. I will assist in ensuring that we as a board are supporting the institution in meeting the needs of our community and stake holders.
Her leadership efforts contributed to Clark County’s selection as the recipient of the 2009 National Association of Counties Program Award for Diversity and Inclusion and the 2010 Urban Entrepreneurs Network Community Vanguard Award.
She and her husband, Dominique Merriweather, have six children.