Beth Olivares appointed dean for diversity initiatives in Arts, Sciences & Engineering

July 14, 2014

oliveresBeth Olivares has been appointed dean for diversity initiatives in Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester. Olivares also serves as director of the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity, and as a faculty development and diversity officer. Olivares’ promotion to dean became effective July 1.

In this expansion of her current role, Olivares will work closely on faculty recruitment, continue to participate on the Faculty Diversity Committee, and develop new programs and initiatives addressing faculty and student retention issues. Additionally, she will create programs within the College that provide support to undergraduates in all areas of the curriculum.

“Beth is a passionate advocate for students and faculty, and she is incredibly effective in developing programs. She is demanding and supportive in a combination that is just right to help students realize their potential and achieve all that they are capable of,” said Richard Feldman, dean of the College. “This promotion recognizes what Beth has accomplished, taking on an increasing variety of programs and managing them effectively, while demonstrating the College’s continued commitment to diversity.”

Olivares, who joined the University in 1994, has expanded the Kearns Center, developing educational pipeline programs that work with students from middle school through the doctoral degree. In the past decade, the Center has garnered over $10 million in external support for its various programs. Currently, over a thousand high school, undergraduate and graduate students are served by the Center’s programs, which include Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, two College Prep Centers located in the Rochester City School District, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. The center also houses the Xerox Scholars program for engineering students. In addition to the academic services it provides, the Center coordinates graduate student recruitment and retention efforts.

While at Rochester, Olivares has been an active member of several professional organizations. Olivares was elected in 2009 to serve as president of the Association for Equality and Excellence in Education, Inc., an organization of higher education professionals who work in educational opportunity programs in New York and New Jersey.

Olivares also has served on the board of directors of the Council for Opportunity in Education, a national advocacy council that works to increase educational opportunities for low-income students. Through this organization, Olivares spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Congressional TRIO Caucus in 2010, advocating for the McNair Program. On several occasions, she has met with White House education advisors about the need for increased educational opportunities for low-income individuals.

Olivares was recently re-appointed to the Minority Graduate Education Committee of the GRE Board. The committee considers new program services and long-range planning strategies for minority students, monitors ongoing minority-related programs, including the Fee Reduction Program and GRE Search Service, and evaluates research proposals and projects.

Olivares was appointed assistant dean of diversity initiatives in 2007. She holds a doctorate in English from Fordham University.

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