University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee



Darren Gambrell promoted to lead diversity office on USF Sarasota-Manatee campus

Long-time staff member Darren L. Gambrell has been promoted to associate director for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus.

With almost two decades of service to USF, Gambrell has served as interim director since the summer — along with his other duties as assistant director of student services in the Office of Multicultural Affairs on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. He has worked in student services since 2003, when he was a still a student at the campus.

“Darren joins our senior leadership team with an impressive history of working on DEI initiatives related to women, racial minorities, the LGBTQ+ community and those needing help with accessibility issues,” said Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook. “He has a demonstrated a deep understanding of how our diversity makes USF a positive place to study and work.”

darren gambrell

Darren L. Gambrell

Saying he was “super excited about the opportunity,” Gambrell said one of his first tasks would be to revive the Chancellor Advisory on Diversity and Inclusion Council to include representation from each department and entity on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. The council, Gambrell said, will develop relevant programs and trainings and advise on needed policies, practices and procedures.

"My top goal is to build on the climate here at USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, where each student, staff, faculty and community member feels valued, appreciated, respected and welcomed on campus,” Gambrell said.

When he was named interim director, Gambrell — who has over a decade of experience addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion — organized a series of listening tours with students, faculty and staff to learn about challenges, ideas and more related to DEI and how he could support DEI efforts on the campus and at USF.

Gambrell was recently recognized for his work on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. In April, he received an Inclusive Excellence Award for making outstanding contributions to the university in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

“Darren’s award recognized his role as a positive force at USF,” Holbrook said. “He is often the first person to greet visitors when they arrive at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, and he is known for making them feel welcome and respected. Darren shares and promotes opportunities for everyone on campus to participate in DEI programs, activities and events.

“I know we all look forward to working with Darren in making our campus a more welcoming place for all,” Holbrook said. 

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