Twenty Virginia Tech faculty and staff members are being recognized for demonstrating their continued commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.

Each member of the group has completed 58 hours of in-depth training related to creating and maintaining a culture of inclusiveness and will receive the Diversity Advocate Certificate in a ceremony on Feb. 11 at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. 

This is the first group to earn the certificate. The coursework included training on unconscious bias, privilege, and oppression.

About 38 other faculty and staff members will receive certificates for completing professional development programs offered by University Organizational and Professional Development during the ceremony.

The 2015 recipients of the Diversity Advocate Certificate are:

  • Carolyn Bain, director of alumni relations, College of Engineering
  • Jodi Cone, human resources generalist, Division of Student Affairs
  • Anastasia Cortes, adjunct faculty, Department of Management
  • Mark DiFilippo, facilities project and operations analyst, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
  • Holli Gardner Drewry, assistant director of communications and marketing, Division of Student Affairs
  • Ross Edmonds, programmer/web designer, University Libraries
  • Jean Elliott, communications director, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and University Relations
  • Linda K. Greene, program specialist, University Organizational and Professional Development
  • Terry D. Kingrea, executive senior secretary, Capital Assets and Financial Management
  • Joyce Reish Landreth, director of information technology support, Virginia Tech Operations Center
  • Chad R. Mandala, residential learning coordinator, Division of Student Affairs
  • Vicky L. Moore, business manager, Office of the Provost
  • Amanda J. Morris, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry
  • Sandra Muse, senior director for research and faculty initiatives, Office of the Vice President for Research
  • Tracy Newton, office manager, Student Centers and Activities
  • Christine Porterfield, director of human resources, College of Architecture and Urban Studies
  • Erin Elizabeth Sharp, development research analyst, University Development
  • Anne Sheppard, manager of special student programs, University Computing Support
  • Tamarah Smith, business operations specialist, Enrollment and Degree Management
  • John Gray Williams, career advisor, Career Services

All 20 recipients have also earned the Diversity Ally Certificate and are now positioned to take leadership in advancing diversity goals in their respective areas. Additionally, they will be invited to become Principles of Community trainers with the Diversity Development Institute.

The Diversity Advocate and Diversity Ally certificate programs are offered by the Diversity Development Institute, a program of University Organizational and Professional Development in the Department of Human Resources.

Diversity Development Institute was created at the recommendation of the Task Force on Race and the Institution in 2011. The goal of the institute is to provide education and training to build diversity competencies across all employee levels, and thereby positively influence Virginia Tech’s working and learning environments.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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