Kourtney Cockrell

Kourtney Cockrell
Director of SES

Office Phone: (847) 491-5591
Email: k-cockrell@northwestern.edu

Kourtney Cockrell has spent close to 15 years working with organizations to increase access and opportunity for young people from traditionally overlooked backgrounds. She is passionate about diversity and began her racial justice work with the Intergroup Dialogue (IGR) program at the University of Michigan. Kourtney has expertise in college and career advising, diversity facilitation, nonprofit management, talent management, alumni relations, and organizational change.

Kourtney spent over seven years with The Posse Foundation working in both the Chicago and National offices, and directed and executed the first National Posse Alumni Conference in New York City during the Summer 2010. Kourtney also worked with the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to recruit diverse talent to their full-time MBA program and has advised a number of companies and organizations on best practices in the world of diversity recruitment and inclusion.

At Northwestern, Kourtney directed the Project EXCITE program through the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, a program focused on closing the achievement gap in Evanston. Kourtney was responsible for developing the EXCITE tutoring program that engaged close to 50 Northwestern undergraduates each year as volunteers and she established the EXCITE Parent Committee. She helped the committee develop social and education programs for EXCITE families and established a number of partnerships across the Northwestern community that expanded access for students and parents. Kourtney also co-authored a chapter on the impact of Carol Dweck’s work on Black and Latino students in middle school. Most recently, Kourtney served as the Associate Director of Talent Management with Alumni Relations and Development (ARD), during which she developed and oversaw the diversity and inclusion strategy across the division.

Outside of work, Kourtney facilitates parent seminars on college access and preparation and provides independent consultation to first generation prospective college students. Kourtney has presented at the National Association of Gifted Children Conference in Washington, D.C. and the Illinois State Bi-Lingual Parent Summit, and is interested in building sustainable programs that support the long-term growth and development of underrepresented students. Kourtney is on the One Book One Northwestern Advisory Committee, is a member of the Diversity Council at Northwestern University, and sits on the YWCA Steering Committee for the Understanding Race Exhibit. On October 22, 2014, Kourtney was honored as the Young Woman of Promise through the YWCA YWomen’s Awards Dinner. Kourtney is an alumna from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her MS in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern.