Brittany ‘Brit’ Heiring is an SSF alumna from the Polk Scholarship House. Hailing from Avon Park, FL, Brit joined the SSF family from 2004-2008 while pursuing a degree in human development at Florida State University. The comradery shared during house dinners is a memory that will always stick with her, “When all 29 women would sit together around our huge dining room table for a meal, which typically included multiple main dishes cooked simultaneously in our house’s many ovens. The whirlwind of activity up to the point of sitting down together – some women setting the table, others pulling food of the stove, someone filling pitchers, all layered with tons of laughter and conversation – is an image I won’t forget as long as I live.”

After graduating, Brit set on a path of marketing and communications, specifically in higher education and intersecting the principles of justice, inclusion, and equity. She is currently the first Director of Communications for diversity and inclusion at Colorado State University, where she serves within the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and supports the entire campus on communications and marketing needs related to equity and inclusion.

For Brit, obtaining her current position has been a major accomplishment, but she is also very proud of the impact she has had on student staff members throughout the years as a supervisor of undergraduate communications and marketing students. Her team won many awards throughout the years but what sticks with her is the texts and emails from former students who are going on to infuse inclusion and equity in their own career paths because of the environment that was fostered in the office, and the learning they did together on those topics. Brit is also very proud of her undergraduate and graduate degrees as a first gen student!

“SSF was the reason I was able to attend college as a low-income student. I still remember the day I got the notice that I was no longer on the wait list and was accepted into Polk House, merely a month or so before the fall semester started. The emotions and joy I felt were palpable. From that point on, SSF completely changed my life. Living in Polk, which was the largest house, surrounded by strong women from so many backgrounds was a gift. Not only did it open my eyes to how critically important living and working in diverse communities is, but it allowed me to learn about empathy and cross-cultural community building. When I made mistakes that were ill-informed, my housemates held me accountable and asked me to do better. When I was grappling with my own mixed identity, my housemates encouraged exploration that set me on a journey of self-discovery I am so thankful for. The passion for inclusion I had going into SSF was further modeled and shaped by the experiences I was privileged to have while living there. Being able to serve in various officer roles, including Head Resident, helped me discover a leadership style rooted in compassion and service that I believe has benefited my entire life and career. I learned so much from my fellow residents and I am grateful to each of them to this day. SSF will always have an incredibly special place in my heart.”