Chevon Thorpe has recently been appointed the assistant dean of inclusion, diversity, and equity for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Thorpe will be responsible for the strategic direction of the college diversity, equity, and inclusion activities, which includes promoting a diverse, equitable, and respectful environment for faculty, staff, and students. She was previously the director of inclusion, diversity, and equity, and a collegiate assistant professor in biochemistry.

“I am delighted that Chevon has accepted this enhanced role at a time when the college is implementing the new college strategic plan that has a targeted focus on diversity,” said Alan Grant, dean of the college. “With our college at the cornerstone of Virginia Tech’s land-grant mission, we are in a unique position to change the world and make it better. We are committed to ensuring a welcoming, affirming, safe, and accessible climate for all students and employees. Dr. Thorpe is uniquely qualified to help guide us toward that more equitable future.”

As a member of the college’s leadership team, she will serve as a liaison between the University Office of Inclusion and Diversity and the college, will work in close partnership with the Virginia Cooperative Extension diversity team and will also serve as the director of the George Washington Carver Graduate Program in the college. Thorpe also plans to continue teaching in the college and the Department of Biochemistry.

“The college has strategically and purposely positioned, funded, and supported this senior administrator position to play a vital role in enacting institutional change towards a more inclusive and welcoming college,” Thorpe said. “I am excited to join the leadership team in leading our intentional action towards organizational and transformational change. This appointment creates a space to motivate and galvanize the college’s community towards shared diversity-centered goals and mission. I look forward to collaborating and building relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, advisory boards, alumni, and community members to champion and ensure that the college is affirming for our entire community.”  

The formation of this position demonstrates the college’s resolve to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that builds on the foundation of Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community, InclusiveVT, and the college’s core values.

“The first step to making any change is building recognition and awareness of where we are. The college is currently in a liminal space between who we are and who we aspire to be as an inclusive and equitable leader within the university,” Thorpe said. “Creating a more inclusive college that is supportive of everyone, including minoritized and under-invited people, will take intentional and continuous engagement from every member of the college. We all have a role in building a healthy and diverse workplace culture, where our peers feel supported, respected, and included.”

Thorpe has been at Virginia Tech since 2018 and earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Virginia Tech in 2012 and her bachelor of science in biology from Christopher Newport University.