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Inclusion and Diversity Committee

Committed to creating a more just and inclusive world, Outreach and International Affairs recognizes the tremendous value of an intellectually, economically, socially diverse, and global educational community.


The OIA Inclusion and Diversity Committee consists of faculty and staff from across the division. Inspired by the university’s land-grant mission and united by our commitment to social justice both domestically and globally, the committee examines and evaluates the policies and practices of OIA and implements programs so that we may become a more inclusive, diverse, and welcoming community. 

The committee aims to

  • Nurture a culture of equality across OIA and beyond by encouraging program development that supports an ecosystem of inclusion.
  • Promote self-awareness, intercultural responsiveness, and continuous learning in the field of inclusion and diversity, in all its manifestations.
  • Align with the university’s broader efforts to help marginalized and minoritized populations — students, faculty, and staff — persist and thrive at Virginia Tech.

The committee provides guidance to the vice president and senior leadership in the establishment of short- and long-term goals, strategies, and action plans to enhance OIA’s climate of inclusion and diversity.


The committee is chaired by Maria Elisa Christie, director of Women and Gender in International Development and InclusiveVT representative for OIA.

Other committee members include:

  • Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs
  • Khaled Hassouna, associate director of Middle East, North Africa Initiatives, Center for International Research, Education, and Development
  • Rich Mathieson, communications director, Outreach and International Affairs
  • Elsie Paredes, co-director, Language and Culture Institute
  • Kimberly Rhodes, executive assistant to the vice president
  • Susan E. Short, associate vice president for engagement
  • Ashley Sloan, lead instructor of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab, Virginia Tech Roanoke Center
  • Jane Swan, assistant vice president for resource management and planning