The Ohio State University at Lima

Diversity and Inclusion Staff

John Upshaw, Chief Diversity Officer

John A. Upshaw is Special Assistant and Chief Diversity Officer for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Chairs the Diversity Council at The Ohio State University at Lima and in fact, Upshaw created this office from ground zero. In this position, Upshaw leads the charge of creating a culture of diversity on campus as relates to the mission of the University and in fact, Upshaw created this office from ground zero. To achieve this feat, Upshaw is charged with assessing and revising existing policies, practices and then making recommendations in the planning and developing of new policies, practices and initiatives that will promote diversity on the campus.

To achieve many of the diversity efforts at Ohio State Lima, Upshaw created a Diversity Council. The Diversity Council’s primary function is to infuse diversity into the University in such a way to create a culture of diversity on the campus. To achieve this feat, Diversity Council members assist the Diversity Council Chair (John A. Upshaw) and the University in assessing and revising existing practices and makes recommendations in the planning and developing of new practices and initiatives that will promote diversity on the campus.

He is also the administrator and founder of CLIFFS (College Level Intervention For Freshman Success). The goal of the CLIFFS Summer Bridge Program is to create a seamless process and transition from high school to Ohio State Lima for incoming freshman (including first-generation and underrepresented students) who have successfully matriculated to Ohio State Lima.

Upshaw also serves as the advisor for the LGBTA and Human Trafficking student clubs on campus. Moreover, Upshaw serves on a number of Ohio State committees and makes numerous contributions to the University in an effort to create a learning environment that promotes student success. Hence, Upshaw serves as a member of CAT (Consultation Assessment Team) and serves in the capacity as a student advocate and he was recently appointed to serve as a steering committee member for the campus-wide student retention initiative.

It is also important to note that as a result of Upshaw’s efforts to promote diversity in the community, he received the Ebony Award (November 2009) during the 73 rd Annual Celebration at the Bradfield Community Association. The Ebony Award recipients are honored for their efforts to promote harmony between the races in the community.

In January of 2015, Upshaw received the Cultural Awareness Award during the 30 th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Commemorative Celebration. The recipients selected in this category has demonstrated an appreciation for diversity and evidenced skill in building and maintaining harmonious cross-cultural relationships. The recipient’s achievements foster Dr. King’s vision of unity among people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

Upshaw’s work with the Lima Family Y.M.C.A. Black Achievers program has led to Ohio State Lima being recognized as the volunteer organization of the year (2007-2008 and 2011-2012) and Upshaw also received the individual 2010 Volunteer of the Year Award presented by the Lima Y.M.C.A. Black Achievers.

Moreover, Upshaw has immersed himself in a number of ways to keep actively involved and engaged in the community from a community outreach perspective. To this end, Upshaw is currently a facilitator for domestic violence and he is facilitator for S.T.R.I.V.E. (Students Teaching Relationship Intervention through Violence Education) via Crossroads Crisis Center, Incorporated.

Upshaw is also a facilitator for the Positive Lifestyles Career Program via the Lima City Schools and serves on the Allen County Historical Museum and Historical Society board, the Lima Family YMCA’s Black Achievers Steering Committee and the Men Choosing Nonviolence Committee through the Partnership for Violence Free Families. Upshaw is also a certified instructor for the Ohio Police Officers Training Academy.

Currently, Upshaw is working to receive certification as a State Registered Advocate through NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance). Moreover, Upshaw completed his graduate degree from the University of Dayton, a Bachelor’s degree from Bluffton University and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences from Rhodes State College. He is also a member of ODOC (Ohio Diversity Officers Collaboration), NOVA (National Organization for Victim Assistance) and ODVN (Ohio Domestic Violence Network).

John A. Upshaw 
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Special Assistant & Chief Diversity Officer 
Diversity Council 
Advisor, LGBT and Allies Club 
Multicultural Club

Office: Public Service Building, Room 146

Phone: (419) 995-8806 | 
FAX: (419) 995-8843 |