Meet Our Team

Steven D. Parker

Steven D. Parker, Campus Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator

Steven has over five years of experience in postsecondary education student affairs and multicultural affairs. He has spent years focused on strategically educating and leading efforts towards a more inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist educational system. Steven has experience working with private four-year, public research, Hispanic serving, and religious affiliated institutions. He has served as the Assistant Dean of Intercultural Education (Lewiston, ME), Assistant Director of Inclusion and Advocacy – Success Initiatives (Dubuque, IA), Residence Director (Alfred, NY), Graduate Research Associate (Cedar Falls, IA) among other positions focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters. Through a person-centered anti-racism multicultural framework, Steven engages in transdisciplinary practice and scholarship that promotes the dismantling of disparities and exclusive-mentality.

Steven earned a bachelor of science (St. Cloud State University), and a master of arts (University of Colorado Colorado Springs). He is also a social worker.

Cindi Pederson, Assistant

Cynthia ‘Cindi’ Pederson, Office Administrative Specialist, Sr.

Cynthia has over 40 years of experience in office management including offices for lawyers, clinics, hospitals, church, department of natural resources, and higher education.

Her post-secondary education is through Northwest Technical College (then called Bemidji Area Vocational Technical Institute) earning certificates for Legal Secretary and Word Processor in 1982 (completing courses early to care for her mother and younger sister). She is a first generation student and advocator for low income/struggling students in Northern Minnesota.

Dr. Ye Hong

Dr. Ye ‘Solar’ Hong, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dr. Hong previously served as the coordinator for graduate students and international students at Ohio University. There she connected students to university resources and contributed to creating a safe space for minority groups on campus. She also served in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association helping Chinese students transition to campus life in the U.S.

She has a bachelor’s degree in English for international finance from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China, a master’s degree in sports administration and business administration from Ohio University and a doctor in higher education also from Ohio University. Dr. Hong uses the English name “Solar,” as she wants to deliver her “solar power” to impact the lives of the people around her.

Nicholas Taylor

Nicholas Taylor, Director of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action

Nicholas is a passionate educator and advocate for equity, with a Master of Science degree in Higher Education Administration, and a background in tackling institutional obstacles in colleges and universities. Most recently, he completed a term as interim Affirmative Action Officer at St. Cloud State University, and is a leader in the Minnesota State employee resource group Indigenous Men & Men of Color. Nicholas has experience in marketing and public relations, recruitment, and training. He believes that students succeed best in higher education when they see themselves in and out of the classroom, and receive individualized support and interact with a diversity of identities and ideas. This is also the strength of an adaptive and inclusive college or university.

Nicholas has led or participated in initiatives such as LGBTQIA+ and anti-racism task forces, accessibility in curriculum and physical spaces, assisted in developing affirmative action plans for community and technical colleges, as well as St. Cloud State University. He believes that students are the heart behind diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work in higher education, but that faculty, staff, and administrators must actively remove obstacles and be accomplices in dismantling systemic issues. In the past, Nicholas has utilized technology innovation to remove the most time-consuming obstacles in hiring to free up vital energy toward combating unconscious bias and exploring modern ways to recruit. He is thrilled to be joining the wonderful campuses of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, to build upon the important work that is currently being done.