Seven 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 Wednesday, July 22, at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. 

This is the second group to earn the certificate, the first 22 members to complete the certification were recognized in February. The coursework included training on unconscious bias, privilege, and oppression.

About 92 other employees will receive certificates for completing professional development programs offered by University Organizational and Professional Development during the ceremony.

The spring 2015 recipients of the Diversity Advocate Certificate are:

  • Nathan Hall, VTechWorks librarian, University Libraries
  • Beth Hawse, professional lecturer, Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Catherine L. Hill, graduate coordinator, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Robin Lawson, first year experience and student development coordinator, Student Success Center
  • Whitley A. Johnson, graduate assistant, University Organizational and Professional Development
  • Valerie A. Henderson, administrative assistant, Office of the President
  • Leah Ward, professional lecturer, Department of Student Affairs

All seven 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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