Eight Women Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Posts at Colleges and Universities

Faced with declining enrollments and financial shortfalls, many colleges and universities have significantly cut back on hiring new faculty and staff. At some schools, a hiring freeze has been enacted. But in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter rallies and other social justice protests, the hiring of diversity and inclusion officers at colleges and universities remains at a brisk pace. Here is a group of women who have recently been hired to administrative posts dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Tara Berrien was appointed assistant vice president for diversity, equal employment opportunity, and Title IX at Morgan State University in Baltimore. A native of New Castle, Delaware, Berrien comes to Morgan State having previously served as employee relations consultant for the Christiana Care Health System. Berrien is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she majored in history. She earned a juris doctorate at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Yesha Yadev was appointed associate dean for diversity, equity, and community at the Vanderbilt Law School. She has been serving as faculty co-director of the LL.M. program and as a faculty advisor to the law school’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council. Professor Yadev joined the faculty at the law school in 2001 and was promoted to full professor in 2016. She holds a bachelor’s degree in modern languages and master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge in England. She earned an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School.

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, an associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, will serve in a newly created role of senior advisor to the president and provost on diversity and inclusion. She received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University. Dr. Hordge-Freeman is the author of The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families (University of Texas Press, 2015).

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford recently announced the appointment of Alesia Jones as interim assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. Dr. Jones is an associate professor in the department of family and community medicine and serves as the director of behavioral science for the Family Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Dia Draper was appointed the inaugural assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. She has been serving as senior associate dean and director of the Office of Pluralism and Leadership. She joined the staff at the college in 2006. Draper holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Univerity of Virginia.

Lorena Oropeza, a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, was given the added duties of interim associate vice chancellor for academic diversity at the university. Professor Oropeza joined the faculty at the university in 1996. She is the author of The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, Lost Prophet of the Chicano Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). Dr. Oropeza is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where she majored in journalism. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

TiShaunda R. McPherson has been named associate vice president for equity at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. McPherson has been serving as corporate counsel at Adtalem Global Education and previously served as its inaugural director of equity and access. Prior to joining Adtalem, she served as a senior civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Education. McPherson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a juris doctorate from Northwestern University. She also holds a master’s of public policy degree from the University of Minnesota.

Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas has named Michara DeLaney-Fields as its inaugural chief diversity officer. Previously, Dr. DeLaney-Fields was interim dean of students, interim vice president for student affairs, and assistant vice president for student affairs and student engagement at Albany State University in Georgia. Dr. DeLaney-Fields received a bachelor’s degree in health studies and two master’s degrees, one in health education and the other in human performance and kinesiology, from Texas Southern University in Houston. She also earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Prairie View A&M University in Texas.

Filed Under: Appointments


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