Demitria Kirby began her role as the new director of Public Safety on campus on Oct. 25, taking over from Dan Gaiotti, who has been serving as interim director since September 2020.
Kirby comes to Middlebury from a background working with youth and families. She worked in child protective services for the state of New Hampshire and most recently served as the Youth Services Manager for the city of Keene, N.H., providing prevention, education and intervention services to youth.
Kirby also worked in a juvenile court diversion program, where she used more education and skill-building practices with youth.
“Restorative work was in the hopes that next time they were in a risky situation, they would have that kind of toolkit of their own to be able to offer them a different path,” Kirby said.
Kirby earned a master’s degree in business administration from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Keene State College.
The search committee for the new director of Public Safety included students Aubrianna Wilson ’23 and Ciara Carlson-Healy ’22, former Chief Diversity Officer and Professor Miguel Fernandez, Director for Custodial and Support Services Missy Beckwith, Dean of Students Derek Doucet, Enterprise Risk Management Outreach Specialist Amber Lovely-Lee, and former Director of Public Safety Lisa Burchard, who now handles special projects.
While considering candidates, Wilson was looking for someone who had a deep understanding of and experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as well as with mental health and survivor focused support.
“I truly appreciate Demitria’s passion for restorative justice and experience with supporting youth as a child protective service worker and supporting survivors as a domestic violence specialist,” Wilson said. “Her compassionate leadership approach, awareness of well-being support, and desire to focus on inclusive community needs leads me to be hopeful for the future of reimagining Middlebury’s public safety.”
Kirby is currently focused on learning more about the department and how it functions on campus.
“I’d also like to spend more time getting to know the college campus and other staff and departments and students and finding out more about how the department [Public Safety] can support them and their goals,” Kirby said.
Kirby is excited to spend time in Vermont, which she described as the “most picturesque New England state,” and raise her 5-year-old daughter in the community.
Charlie Keohane ‘24 is an Editor at Large.
She previously served as SGA Correspondent and a Senior Writer.
Keohane is undeclared but is planning to study environmental studies, creative writing, and psychology. She is also a member of the women’s track and field team and a radio host on WRMC. This past summer, she interned at the Middlebury Admissions Office and now spends her free time hiking, sending snail mail, and FaceTiming her rescue dog, Poppy.