Humans of JCU: Naomi Sigg, JCU’s new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


Case Western Reserve University

The new Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Naomi Sigg

Laken Kincaid, Managing Editor

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a foundational element of John Carroll’s mission as a university. From multiple educational programs and speaker events to a lively Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion office, JCU’s initiative to create a welcoming environment for all of its students is evident. This is especially true with a new project to add a “B” for “Belonging” to John Carroll’s DEI signature. 

Who is spearheading this new initiative? JCU’s new Vice President of DEI (soon to be DEIB), Naomi Sigg.

Sigg is a self described “advocate, educator and ally” whose mission is to “[help] everyone find a deep sense of belonging on this campus.” Although she first took on her new role in May, the new vice president is no stranger to higher education or DEI enterprises. From her experience as a resident assistant to her past position as the Director of Multicultural Affairs at Case Western University, Sigg has a passion for student involvement and acceptance.

“I love building community,” Sigg told The Carroll News. “The vision that everyone here, whether it’s an academic program, your classroom environment, your residence hall, the student organizations are part of, mentorship or other opportunities you have, is that you found belonging here that you feel as though John Carroll accepts you for all of who you are.”

Sigg was born in the Philippines and immigrated with her family to Northeast Ohio when she was seven. Growing up, she believed she would become a lawyer. However, when she attended Miami University of Ohio and became an RA, she realized she wanted to become a “lifelong college student.” 

Through DEI training as both an RA and through other organizations she was involved with, Sigg also realized her passion for DEI and making everyone feel “comfortable and celebrated.” 

From there, Sigg held multiple prestigious positions including being the Student Coordinator for Multicultural Student Involvement and Leadership Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis, the Director of Multicultural Affairs and, later, the Associate Dean of Students at Case Western Reserve University. 

Sigg was first introduced to JCU five years ago when she was invited to be a keynote speaker where she first felt the “warmth” of the John Carroll community. She had also previously interacted with JCU community members through student organization partnerships with Case Western. 

“I just thought to myself, wow, they really want to learn, they want to grow, and they want to pass the knowledge on to students,” Sigg stated. “That’s something that you don’t always see in places. Plus coupled with just sort of that radical hospitality that I received when I was here, from the people who invited me and then having lunch and just talking to folks, there was something special about this place.”

After doing research, Sigg says that she fell in love with the mission and identity behind John Carroll and that the university aligned with her own values leading her to the vice president position she is in now. She also said how the tight knit community gave her an “affinity” to JCU.

“I got to have a campus tour,” Sigg started. “And one of the things with my tour guide that really stuck out to me was just how friendly and how he knew everyone. I think that that’s indicative of the type of community that you can build here where people can truly build stronger, deeper relationships than surface level. I think it’s key and critical.”

While Sigg has already made huge strides for DEIB on campus, including adding “belonging” to the DEI name and making Juneteenth an observable day off for faculty, she has other plans for the university as well. This includes recruiting and retaining community members with diverse backgrounds and identities, hosting a Voices of Inclusion speaker series, aiding JCU in joining groups like the Campus Climate Initiative and partnering with enrollment to provide extra collegiate opportunities to the local Latinx community.

“Naomi Sigg is incredibly welcoming to the diversity, equity, and inclusion staff and is very knowledgeable on the topic,” Emma Traggai ‘24 told The Carroll News.

Aside from her work at JCU, Sigg is a “foodie” who hopes to start a course in the honors program regarding Asian American History and Hot Dishes. She loves to people watch on the quad and visit the CSDI office as well. However, she also stressed that she wants to be available to students and be a resource. 

“Don’t think of me as a figurehead in St. Ignatius Hall,” Sigg concluded. “I’m going to be someone that can help you in whatever you might need, whether it’s academic, social, emotional, cultural, any of that. And I always tell students, if you email me and ask me to grab coffee or lunch with you, I will. I would love to meet and get to know as many students as I can.”