Michael Cato, senior vice president and chief information officer at Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine, is the recipient of the 2021 Diversity, Education, and Inclusion Award from EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit informational technology association. EDUCAUSE praised Cato for his exceptional leadership skills and outstanding contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Bowdoin and beyond.
The current IT department at Bowdoin is, in Cato’s words, “radically different” from when he started at the college in 2018. The department was the first at Bowdoin to participate in training workshops on recruitment efforts and other means to support diversity.
“Cato was one of the first people to really take advantage of some of the workshops we were offering for hiring and recruiting a diverse workforce,” said Michael Reed, former senior vice president for inclusion and diversity at Bowdoin. “That was one of his priorities.”
“He’s been doing this work long before he arrived at Bowdoin,” Reed added. Cato has contributed to DEI efforts throughout higher education including at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he worked in IT for a program dedicated to science educators of color long before such initiatives were widespread.
Before joining the staff at Bowdoin, Cato was chief information officer at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is a graduate of Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he majored in zoology. He holds an MBA from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.