Diversity & Inclusion Comprehensive Planning Task Force

May 2021 Update

The recommendations from the Task Force have been presented to President Richard Carvajal. If you would like to read the final report, click here


Mission

To assemble a Diversity and Inclusion Comprehensive Planning Task Force focused on a university planning effort aimed at real, tangible, and lasting change that promotes inclusion and social justice. This group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members is committed to ensuring the Valdosta State University campus is a welcoming environment for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or identity, age, education, or disability. This group will closely examine what additions, improvements, or changes may be needed to accomplish this goal. Input from the campus community is critical to ensuring that real and lasting change is enacted.

About

The Diversity & Inclusion Comprehensive Planning Task Force was commissioned by Valdosta State University President Dr. Richard Carvajal. It is comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members (see list below) with varying backgrounds who have one common goal: making sure every individual member of our campus community feels valued and included.

President Carvajal issued his call for a comprehensive university planning effort at the Celebration of Inclusion on September 18, 2020. This task force is charged with “gathering broad input through listening sessions and other means, and then using that input to identify and prioritize VSU’s areas of greatest challenge and create a clear plan for improvement.”

Dr. Vince Miller, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and Sandra Y.G. Jones, the Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion are serving as co-chairs of the task force. In addition to the task force members listed below, focus areas for faculty, staff, and students will include active participation from the Faculty Senate Diversity and Equity Committee, Staff Council, and Student Government/ Student Organizations in addition to broad input from campus stakeholders.

“This is important, and I am honored to assist in leading this team,” said Dr. Vince Miller. “We must embrace our differences and recognize that that our university can be so much stronger together. We want to hear from our campus community. We want to know what needs to be done to make sure everyone at Valdosta State University feels acknowledged and supported.” 

Sandra Y.G. Jones and her team planned the Celebration of Inclusion. Her office works with student groups across campus to promote diversity, equity, and equality.

“It is incredibly important for our students to know they are accepted for who they are. To accomplish that, we must all be willing to open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us. This is the best place to do that…an institution of higher education. I look forward to helping lead this effort and bringing about substantial change,” said Sandra Y.G. Jones. 

The task force will propose a plan for strategic improvement based on its findings. The group will submit its recommendations by the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

Task Force Members

Dr. Vince Miller (Co-Chair) Vice President for Student Affairs
Ms. Sandra Y.G. Jones (Co-Chair) Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Hoa Nguyen, Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy
Ms. Evelyn Davis-Walker, Faculty, Art
Dr. A.J. Ramirez, Faculty, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
Dr. James Martinez, Faculty, Teacher Education
Dr. M. Denise Lovett, Faculty, African Studies
Coach Kaleigh Zoucha, Staff, Athletics
Mr. Gary Miller, Staff, Information Technology
Ms. Jeanine Boddie-La Van, Staff, Human Resources
Major Will Leschber, Staff, Public Safety
Mr. Josh Wilson, Staff, Adviser College of Education and Human Services
Ms. Janet Wade, Staff Alumni Relations
Mr. Jalen Smith, Student, Student Government Association
Ms. Laura Northup, Student, Student Government Association
Mr. Christopher Griffin, Student, Phi Beta Sigma
Mr. Malik McCloud, Student, Access Office
Ms. Krupa Patel, Student, Arabic Club
Ms. Lawanna Barron, Alumna and Valdosta Resident
Mr. Sirocus Barnes, Alumnus and President of VSU Alumni Association