Taris E. Mullins, former executive director for the Diversity Advisory Board at George Mason University, has been named coordinator of outreach and community services in the Office of Alumni Relations at Virginia Tech.

In his new position, Mullins will work closely with Tom Tillar, vice president for alumni relations, and Ben Dixon, vice president for multicultural affairs, to further strengthen the university’s commitment to diversity.

“A key focus of Mullins’ responsibilities will be to facilitate greater interaction and presence for Virginia Tech’s minority alumni in university activities,” said Tillar. “The guidance, support, and endorsement that we receive from our minority alumni is essential to enhance Virginia Tech’s recruitment and retention efforts for highly-qualified high school students.”

Initially, Mullins will concentrate his efforts in three regions, Richmond, Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads/Tidewater. Virginia Tech minority alumni in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area have created a best practices recruitment program in partnership with the area’s alumni chapter. It has led to greater engagement of minority alumni with the university.

“We would like to offer the Hampton Roads/Tidewater model of success to other areas,” said Mullins. “Each area would mature according to its own autonomy, but reflect the cohesive structure that has made the model a win-win effort.”

Mullins will also work with traditional alumni programs, such as reunions.

“We must continue to partner with our minority alumni to further strengthen our inclusive environment among diverse communities,” said Mullins.

In addition to the recruitment and retention of students, another effort will be to generate more internship opportunities for minority students. Alumni can serve as facilitators to their employers to hire more minority interns from their local regions. Over time, Virginia Tech should realize the benefit from its minority alumni working to effectively create a pipeline for recruiting minority students and to generate internships.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Mullins spent 11 years at George Mason University. He served in several community outreach and development positions, most recently as executive director for the Diversity Advisory Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a master’s degree from Coppin State University. He is currently working toward a doctorate degree from International Seminary in Plymouth, Fla.; his research topic is “Spiritual Warfare: Marriage and Family Counseling.”

Mullins is married with two sons, one of whom is a Virginia Tech sophomore.