Dean for Diversity in Arts, Sciences and Engineering
In her role, Beth Olivares is concerned with issues of equity and climate, and seeks to improve diversity in all the different domains of the University, including students, staff, and faculty.
She joined the University in 1994 as a secretary in the Strong Memorial Hospital housekeeping department while working toward her doctoral degree at Fordham University. Two years later, she was named coordinator (and later director) of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalauerate Achievement Program.
In 2002, she was named executive director of the David T. Kearns Center, a position she still holds. Olivares and her staff have greatly expanded the Kearns Center and developed educational pipeline programs for students from middle school through the doctoral degree. The center has received more than $16 million in external support for its various programs, which include Upward Bound and the Xerox Research Engineering Fellows Program.
A first-generation college graduate from the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, Olivares earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in American literature from Fordham.
She was honored by President Obama in 2015 with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. The award recognizes the pivotal role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering.