In a world that is becoming increasingly diverse, educational institutions must cultivate an inclusive environment that celebrates differences and promotes equal opportunities for all. Recognizing this need, we are thrilled to introduce CSU Global's new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEIB) Coordinator.

Dr. Matasha MurrellJones is a woman of many talents. She's an ordained minister and certified professional coach with an MBA in International Business and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership. MurrellJones is active in her community, believes in the importance of volunteering, and enjoys music and the arts. And she's been an instructor in the Master's of Management program at CSU Global since 2018. 

However, one of her biggest passions is finding ways to embrace everyone's differences in a way that allows them to feel a sense of belonging – especially in the online learning space. 

How Did You Become Involved with DEIB Efforts? 

I attended an all-girls Catholic high school in Rochester, NY. At the time, it wasn't very diverse in terms of student population. And although we did have some people of different races and various Christian denominations, I began speaking about and exploring cultural diversity. During my senior year, I connected with a local Puerto Rican dance group and brought them to our school. They became the showstopper of my school's cultural diversity week, an effort that I coordinated. That was my first time thinking, "I'm going to be involved in these types of efforts." In a full circle moment, my high school invited me to serve on their DEI committee a few years ago – and I accepted! 

How Can DEIB Be Applied at an Online University? 

DEIB efforts can have many applications in virtual higher education. Number one: curriculum. Universities can look at who their student body is: gender, ethnicity, professional background, and experiences, and bring all of that data into the classroom and curriculum. For example, if a college has a large veteran population, ensure they are represented throughout the curricula. 

Instructors can support belongingness through verbal communication that is caring, professional and supportive for all students, in addition to encouraging students to reach out via phone or a Zoom session. They can also recognize and attempt to eliminate any pre-judgment when responding to students and interacting with them via discussions and emails; all of that counts, all of that matters. From there, DEIB can be laced into policies, procedures, hiring practices, and support services to reach each and every university stakeholder.

Who Benefits from DEIB? 

Traditionally speaking, when we say the term' diversity,' there can be an assumption that we're speaking of a specific marginalized group, whether it's people of color, or low income, or whatever the case may be. But really, what diversity is, is anything that makes us different: how we were raised, our educational backgrounds, our beliefs. Anything that makes us different is diversity. 

We must open our lens to ensure everyone feels a sense of belonging. We know we can't please everyone with every decision that's made in our organization, but we can embrace everyone's diversity in a way that allows them to feel a sense of belonging and that they are included in the decision-making process. There's no point in implementing DEIB efforts if not everyone gets to feel that sense of belonging and inclusion. 

We're all special. We're all important. DEIB means everyone has a place at the table. 


If you have any questions for Dr. MurrellJones, please reach out to her via email at matasha.murrelljones [at]