Getting to know Dr. Joya Crear, acting vice president for inclusive excellence

 A 20-year student affairs veteran, Dr. Joya Crear has since August 2017 helped to lead the Division of Student Affairs’ work in community service, diversity, assessment, leadership development and mission integration—work that made her an apt fit to take on the acting vice president for inclusive excellence role. The former assistant vice president for student affairs stepped in to lead the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion following Dr. William Welburn’s retirement last month.

Just a few weeks into the job, Joya was gracious enough to sit down with Marquette Today to tell us a little about her love for New Zealand, Michigan’s famous ginger ale, and buttery movie popcorn — oh, and that time she jumped out of an airplane.

Hometown: Southfield, Michigan. Yes, there is a “Michigan U-Turn.” If you ever visit, you have to drink some Vernors — and bring me some back, as well!

Family: Fur baby, Pickles

Dr. Crear’s dog, Pickles.

Hobbies and interests: Yoga, roller skating and watching movies

Dr. Crear practicing yoga at Table Mountain in South Africa.

Favorite movies: Malcolm X, Horrible Bosses and Beasts of the Southern Wild

Heroes: My parents, Nelson Mandela, President Obama and Colin Kaepernick

Dr. Crear with her parents, Diane and Pete Crear.

Favorite quotes/mottos:
“The rose we remember
The thorns we forget
We’d love and leave
We never spend a minute on regret
It is a possibility
The more we know, the less we see.” —Song lyrics by Sade

Currently reading: I typically listen to audiobooks. Currently, I’m listening to the Autobiography of Malcolm X as read by Laurence Fishburne.

Favorite vacation spots: New Zealand, which looks like a living post card. If you ever visit, check out a place called Fergburger in Queenstown. Also, go skydiving. I did! Also, the “DMV” (D.C., Maryland and Virginia) area is like a home away from home for me. It’s always fun visiting friends who have become family. 

Biggest career learning experience: My career journey has had many twists and turns. Every job has had its lessons that were not immediately evident but worth it in retrospect. Change is both possible and probable. Remaining flexible is a skill that has served me well.

Fun facts: I enjoy baking, teaching yoga, crafts, seafood, movies (and movie popcorn with butter), and I love my alma mater Howard University.