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Norma Holland named director of public relations in Office of Equity and Inclusion

October 22, 2020
Norma Holland.Longtime Rochester reporter and TV anchor Norma Holland has been named director of public relations and engagement for the Office of Equity and Inclusion. (Photo by Natalie Sinisgalli)
Former Rochester reporter and TV anchor will support vision for more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Norma Holland has been named director of public relations and engagement for the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry. Holland will have a dual reporting role to Adrienne Morgan, the University’s associate vice president for equity and inclusion and senior associate dean for equity and inclusion at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Jim Ver Steeg, the University’s assistant vice president for public relations and engagement for equity and inclusion. Holland begins her new role on October 26.

As director of public relations and engagement, Holland will support the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s vision for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and promote its people and programs. She will also develop and lead a strategic communications plan and create content for print and digital channels. Holland will also foster alliances and strategic relationships with community organizations and help highlight the issue of health disparities in Rochester and surrounding communities.

Most recently, Holland was director of community development for Digital Hyve, a marketing agency specializing in online and social media brand development. Prior to that, Holland was a longtime anchor and reporter at the local ABC affiliate, 13WHAM. It was in her years at 13WHAM that Holland built a reputation as an expert journalist and dedicated member of the Rochester community.

“Holland’s extensive journalism experience, her ability to help spark and navigate difficult discussions, and her deep and expansive community connections made her the right candidate at the right time,” says Morgan.

Some of Holland’s top priorities in her new role will include communicating the Medical Center’s Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. She will also play an instrumental role in developing content and social media channels that promote the school’s equity, diversity, and inclusion messages.

“I am thrilled that Norma will be joining the OEI team,” says Mercedes Ramírez Fernández, the Richard Feldman Vice President for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “Her media experience and long track record of community involvement make her the perfect person to fill this new and demanding role.”

Holland says her dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion is personal and professional.

“This is important work—especially now,” says Holland. “The dialogue around equity and inclusion initiatives in Rochester isn’t anything new, but the world is listening now and the opportunity to build bridges and involve allies is essential. I’m honored to be at the forefront of creating lasting change.” Holland adds that she had the “privilege of being raised in a biracial, multicultural family where growing up through adversity was a lesson for how to manage and thrive in a world in which people of color did not fit.”

Holland earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo. She currently serves on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, and Causewave Community Partners. She is also a member of Latinas Unidas. In 2011, Holland was an Athena Award finalist, a prestigious recognition that honors women’s professional achievements and community service.

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Category: University News