Sixteen Virginia Tech faculty and staff members are being recognized for their continued commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse university community.

Each employee has demonstrated their desire to serve the community as diversity facilitators by earning the Diversity Ambassador Certificate.

To receive the certificate, the recipients were required to have previously earned their Diversity Ally and Advocate certificates, complete a 20-hour experiential project, attend a half-day onsite workshop, and participate in the core workshop, Building a House for Diversity.

The first cohort to earn the Diversity Ambassador Certificate includes:

  • Kimberly (Lynn) Byrd, Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech
  • Holli Gardner Drewry, Division of Student Affairs
  • Julie Dunsmore, Department of Psychology
  • Ross Edmonds, University Libraries
  • Linda K. Greene, University Organizational and Professional Development
  • Terry Kingrea, Department of Capital Assets and Financial Management
  • Joyce Landreth, University Computing Support
  • Robin Lawson, Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Program
  • Sandra Muse, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation
  • Tracy Newton, Student Engagement and Campus Life
  • Leo Piilonen, Department of Physics
  • Erin Sharp, Office of University Development
  • Anne Sheppard, University Computing Support
  • Tamarah Smith, Enrollment and Degree Management
  • Christine Tysor, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science
  • John Gray Williams, College of Natural Resources and Environment

“The professional and diversity development programs provide employees with the tools and skills needed to increase self-awareness, make meaningful contributions to their teams, and create purpose-driven change within our community,” said Lori Baker-Lloyd, executive director of University Organizational and Professional Development. “These opportunities for development and growth help the university benefit from its talent and truly become a diverse and inclusive environment.”

In total, more than 250 employees, including the 16 listed above, completed certificate programs in 2015-16.

University Organizational and Professional Development has awarded more than 1,800 professional and diversity development certificates to faculty and staff at the university. 

Written by Katie Huger, employee communications manager.

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