Marcy Schnitzer, Virginia Tech’s associate director for diversity strategic planning and improvement, has been named assistant provost for diversity and strategic planning. Schnitzer will work with Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity Menah Pratt-Clarke.
Schnitzer joined what was then called the Office for Diversity and Inclusion in fall 2012 as a consultant to develop the university’s five-year Diversity Strategic Plan, and subsequently was hired as associate director. In that role, she managed implementation of the plan, which included conducting research and surveys focused on the climate for inclusion and diversity for undergraduate and graduate faculty and staff; compiling information on university programs that support inclusion and diversity; and championing efforts to incorporate inclusion and diversity into teaching and scholarship.
She has worked closely with Pratt-Clarke, who arrived on campus last February, and has guided the development of DiversityEdu, an online learning module for incoming students, which will be shared with them beginning this fall. Schnitzer has engaged with faculty and university governance on incorporating inclusion and diversity into the general education curriculum, and has provided technical support and assistance to Virginia Tech's faculty and staff caucuses.
“Marcy has been an invaluable member of the Office for Inclusion and Diversity,” Pratt-Clarke said. “From her work on the 2013-18 strategic plan, to her lead role in diversity and inclusion seminars, workshops, and town halls with communities across the campus, she has provided insights, analysis, and a clear view of the status of inclusion and diversity efforts at Virginia Tech.”
Schnitzer began her career at Virginia Tech in 1995 as assistant director and founding member of the university’s Service-Learning Center. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and her Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.
She will work closely with two new members of the Office for Inclusion and Diversity: Michele Deramo, director of diversity education and programs, and Ellington Graves, who serves as InclusiveVT Faculty Fellow.
Deramo most recently directed the Diversity Development Institute (DDI) in the University Organizational and Professional Development program. She also facilitated the Fundamentals of Diversity workshop and taught Race and Gender in Religion and Culture in the Department of Religion and Culture.
Prior to her work with DDI, Deramo directed community learning efforts with VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative. She has been part of the university community since 1995, when she served as founding director for the Service-Learning Center. She earned her bachelor's degree from Seton Hill University and a master’s degree from Duquesne University and another from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. She is a Ph.D. student in the university’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought program.
Graves is the director of Africana studies and faculty member in the Department of Sociology. He previously served as faculty fellow in the former Office for Diversity and Inclusion, working on curricular and research initiatives involving diversity. In 2009 he received the university’s Edward S. Diggs Teaching Scholars Award.
Other members of the Inclusion and Diversity team include program and operations specialist Leemar Thorpe, who previously worked with VTPrep, and administrative assistant Marcie Bishop, who has worked with inclusion and diversity efforts at the university since 2011.
Additionally, Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs and Diversity Mercedes Ramírez Fernández joins the team on July 1.