Former Afghanistan Communication Adviser to Speak at Convocation

Former Afghanistan Communication Adviser Kim Osborne
Kim Osborne ’93 served as the chief communication
adviser at the end of Operation
Enduring Freedom.

A Kalamazoo College alumna, who served as the chief strategic communication adviser in Kabul, Afghanistan at the end of Operation Enduring Freedom, will deliver the keynote at K’s Convocation on Thursday, September 9.

Kim Osborne ’93 will help welcome 394 first-year students to the campus as the College opens the 2021-22 academic year at 3 p.m. on the Quad. The annual event serves as the first of two bookends to the K experience with the other being Commencement. President Jorge G. Gonzalez and Provost Danette Ifert Johnson also will address attendees. Chaplain Elizabeth Candido ’00 will provide an invocation.

Osborne was the highest-ranking civilian communication adviser to the Afghan National Security Forces. She is a trusted adviser to U.S. and foreign governments, multinational corporations, international nongovernmental organizations, top-tier universities and large nonprofits. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Myanmar at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement in 2018. In 2016, Osborne was an invited speaker at the NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia, where she addressed military and diplomatic leaders from NATO partner nations about how best practices from the commercial sector can be applied in military and diplomatic missions.

Osborne currently is a full professor and the director of the Center for Leadership Development at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, the U.S. Defense Department’s premier school for culturally based foreign-language education. Elsewhere, she is on the faculty of the University of Georgia’s College of Education, where she teaches graduate-level courses in leadership and organizational development.

In further involvement, Osborne serves multiple professional and nonprofit organizations. She is a past board member to the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and serves as a founding strategic adviser to the Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship. She also is a local board member and disaster services responder with the American Red Cross and has responded to several natural disasters including the recent California wildfires, Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.

All students, families, faculty and staff are invited to attend Convocation. For more information on the event, visit

Convocation 2020: Bronson Healthcare VP to Deliver Keynote

Convocation 2020 Keynote Speaker Beth Washington
Kalamazoo College trustee Beth Washington, the vice president of community health, equity and inclusion at Bronson Healthcare, will be the keynote speaker at Convocation 2020 on Thursday, September 10.

Kalamazoo College will open the 2020-21 academic year at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 10. That’s when the College will welcome 393 first-year students to the K family through a virtual Convocation, formally launching their undergraduate years.

Convocation is the first of two bookends to the K experience with the other being Commencement. The event will feature addresses from President Jorge G. Gonzalez and Provost Danette Ifert Johnson, an invocation from Chaplain Elizabeth Candido ‘00 and a keynote speech from College Trustee Beth Washington ’94.

Washington, a Kalamazoo native, has been the vice president of community health, equity and inclusion for Bronson Healthcare since 2015. Before that she worked as an educator and as the director of Jeter’s Leaders, a high school leadership program sponsored by Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

In addition to being a K trustee, Washington’s community work extends to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where she serves on the Career and Community Training Advisory Board. She is also involved with the Southwest Michigan Perinatal Quality Improvement Coalition and serves on the board of Cradle Kalamazoo, which aims to reduce infant death rates.

As a student at K, Washington earned a degree in human resources and relations, and a secondary teaching certificate in social studies and English, while representing the College on the women’s basketball and softball teams.

All students, faculty and staff are invited to view the Convocation ceremony. For more information and a video of the feed on the day of Convocation, visit

Convocation Launches New Academic Year

UPDATE: A chance of rain is pushing Convocation indoors this afternoon, Sept. 6. Join us in the gymnasium at Anderson Athletics Center.

Kalamazoo College will begin the 2017-18 academic year at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, with its annual Convocation ceremony for new students.

Convocation International Flag Ceremony at Kalamazoo College
Symbolic of the sustained presence and significant impact of an international focus on campus, Kalamazoo College enacts an international flag ceremony at Convocation, honoring the flags of the countries from which students come.

The ceremony will take place at Anderson Athletics Center and be available through a live stream.

K will welcome 455 first-year students including 13 transfer students and 21 visiting international students at Convocation. New students come from 28 states including California, Texas, Illinois and New York, and 13 countries including Vietnam, China, Jamaica and Greece. Students of color from the U.S. make up more than 35 percent of the incoming class. Twenty percent of the incoming class will be the first in their families to attend college.

President Jorge G. Gonzalez, Provost Michael McDonald, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Sarah Westfall, Chaplain Elizabeth Candido ’00, faculty, staff and student leaders will welcome new students and their families. Convocation will conclude with new students signing the Matriculation Book.

Erin Mazzoni ’07, the president of K’s Alumni Association Executive Board, will deliver the keynote address. At K, Mazzoni was an economics and business major with an environmental studies concentration. She played on the women’s tennis team and served as its captain. Her study abroad experience was at the London School of Economics.

Life after K has taken Mazzoni to London, New York and Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in finance. Through connections and friendships built with alumni while a student at K, Mazzoni joined the high-yield research group at Jefferies & Co. shortly after graduating. She next worked within the corporate finance team at Tory Burch, also supporting the Tory Burch Foundation, which promotes female entrepreneurship.

Mazzoni currently works at Under Armour in Baltimore, supporting the company’s product and merchandising teams. She also serves as a member of K’s Board of Trustees.