Skyller Walkes, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion
Assistant Professor of Instruction, Pharmacy Practice
The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
Presentation: Cultural Humility in Healthcare
Dr.Skyller Walkes is a deeply impassioned diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion leader who champions critical dialogue with the hopes of impacting positive change within shared communities. As a graduate of the Adult, Professional, and Community Education doctoral program at Texas State University, her scholarship focuses on Critical Race Theory, Afro-Latinx identity, art activism, race and intersectionality. Dr. Walkes also holds three Bachelor’s degrees in the areas of Communications, English, and Mass Media Journalism from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from Kean University.
In her current role as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Assistant Professor of Instruction in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Walkes serves as chief College of Pharmacy spokesperson for diversity and inclusion, while bringing leadership, vision, integrity, and an intentionally inclusive team-oriented philosophy to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion efforts. This encompasses areas of recruitment, selection, appointment, and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff, while promoting a culturally responsive approach to pedagogical and andragogical development in the Healthcare Sciences.
Prior to her current role with the University of Texas at Austin, she served as Interim Director in the Office of Disability Services at Texas State University, where she advanced the social justice framework applied to include an intersectionality frame around disability supports, outreach, and services. While leading the department, Dr. Walkes spearheaded inter-divisional programming that led the Office of Disability Services to partner with every department in Student Affairs and each Academic College at the institution, a first for any single department at the institution. These partnerships produced a multitude of events, some of which included renowned, ground-breaking speakers Dr. Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni, Janet Mock, and Gabby Rivera.
For roughly 20 years, Dr. Walkes’ professional and academic career have taken her to various locales, which include research and community engagement in Chile, Brazil, South Africa, and several countries across Europe. As an educator who works across K-20 trajectories, including adult and community education, both domestically and internationally with various populations, Dr. Walkes aims to engage learners in formal, non-formal, and informal spaces.
Complemented by her background in social services, the breadth and width of her professional experience consists of nonprofit and for-profit project management, educator coaching and training, account management, K-16 curricula supports, Special and Disability Education, adult education initiatives, English Language Learners, and social justice reform through community outreach and activism. Dr. Walkes’ work encompasses several international projects for schools, regional libraries and diversity community education for numerous entities, including the United States Embassy in Madrid, Spain, Diversity Abroad, and the Southwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League.
Dr. Walkes has successfully developed and implemented a restorative justice and positive identity development curriculum at the Hays County Juvenile Detention Center, serves on the Steering Committee for the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center and on the Board of Directors for the Calaboose African-American History Museum, where she also serves as their Director of Program Development. She also volunteers regularly with Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos as an Amiga del Centro. Dr. Walkes’ professional associations include, Executive Board Member for the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and Director of University Partnerships for the Black Doctoral Network.
In addition to working with international, national, state, and local community organizations/ institutions around intercultural education, cultural humility, juvenile justice and sociopolitical reform, her redoubtable work surrounding social justice in schools, universities, and neighboring communities is demonstrated in her steadfast civic engagement and community involvement. Dr. Walkes works tirelessly to advocate for and support all learners, as well as other educators, around critical themes of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
Disclosure: Dr. Walkes has no relevant financial relationship(s), potential or perceived, with commercial or conflicts of interest to disclose.