West Virginia University is announcing the formation of a Diversity Visiting Committee.

The committee is a distinguished group of nationally recognized scholars, higher education professionals, and religious and community leaders who have agreed to be a part of the WVU diversity effort. The Committee will provide assistance and counsel to Chief Diversity Officer David M. Fryson and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in implementation of the University’s goal to foster diversity and an inclusive culture.

The committee will be chaired by WVU alumna Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D. Léger is a researching practitioner and consultant with a focus on the recruitment and retention of historically underserved students and campus diversity initiatives. She has served higher education in both academic affairs and student affairs divisions in various positions including residential education, recruitment and retention, multicultural affairs, athletics, TRIO Programs (specifically Ronald E. McNair Scholars) and graduate education.

The vice chairs of the committee are Chauncey Smith and Howard Seufer Jr. Esq.

Smith recently retired from H.J. Heinz as director of EEO Compliance and Diversity. He served as an advisor to and had oversight of the Heinz Inclusion Council. Smith is a champion for civil rights at the local, state, federal, and global level, supporting employment equity, fair labor practices, and the mitigation of discrimination and harassment issues.

Seufer leads his regional law firm’s Education Law Practice Group and Diversity Committee. He has represented every West Virginia school board, chaired the nation’s first statewide education fund, and chaired a nonprofit focused on the vocational needs of adults with disabilities.

Fryson said the group of professionals will be an important source of support as the University fosters diversity

“The committee members have a vast array of expertise in the various aspects of diversity and we will enlist their assistance as we continue to foster an ever more diverse and inclusive community at WVU,” Fryson said. “I’m very grateful for their support and excited for the work to begin as we continue to execute the 2020 Strategic Plan.”

The first meeting of the Diversity Visiting Committee will be on May 1 and 2 and the community is invited to participate in a reception for the committee on May 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Morgantown Ramada Inn. RSVP by Monday, April 28, to Kisstaman Epps at 304-293-5600 or KDEPPS@mail.wvu.edu

The committee members include:

  • Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D., president, Diversity Solutions Consulting, Hempstead, N.Y.: Committee chair
  • Howard E. Seufer, Jr., Esq., partner, Bowles Rice, LLP, Charleston, W.Va.: Committee vice chair
  • Chauncey Smith, H.J. Heinz (retired), Pittsburgh, Pa.: Committee vice chair
  • Ansley Abraham, Ph.D., director, Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Michael Cary, Esq., president, Cary Law Office, PLLC, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Becky Cain Ceperley, president and CEO, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Rabbi James Cohn, Temple Israel, author, community leader, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Pastor Wayne Crozier, president, Abundant Life Bible College, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Sebastian Diaz, Ph.D., J.D., associate vice president for Marketing Analytics, American Public University, Manassas, Va.
  • Carole Glasser, M.S.W., assistant treasurer, Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Barbara Judy, Ph.D., chair and president of the Board of the National Association of ADA Coordinators, Morgantown, W.Va.
  • Senator Jeff Kessler, J.D., president, West Virginia Senate, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Kelly Kimble, Esq., board chair, Fairness West Virginia, Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC, Morgantown, W.Va.
  • John Michael Lee, Jr., Ph.D., vice president for Office of Access and Success, Association for Public & Land-grant Universities, Washington, D.C.
  • Todd McFadden, M.A., national president of the Association for Black Culture Centers, director of Upperman African American Cultural Center, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, N.C.
  • Colleen McMullen, executive director, Diversity & Inclusion, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Asra Nomani, M.A., co-director, Pearl Project and Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • Luis Perez-Guisti, Esq., Adsuar Muniz Goyco Seda & Perez-Ochoa, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Ilyasah Shabazz, M.S., author, lecturer and activist, New Rochelle, N.Y.
  • Stephen R. Starks, publisher, West Virginia Beacon Digest, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Pastor Matthew J. Watts, president, HOPE Community Develop Corp., Charleston, W.Va.

Click here to see the full bios of the committee members.

-WVU-

df/4/23/14

CONTACT: David Fryson, Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
304-293-5600, David.Fryson@mail.wvu.edu

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