Jeffries named first director of diversity, equity and inclusion for DDAR

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Charleon Jeffries has begun her tenure as the first director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Penn State's Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR), effective May 1. This new position is one of the first of its kind among Big Ten universities.

As the director of diversity, equity and inclusion for DDAR, Jeffries will collaborate with various leaders internal to the division; University leadership; and external constituencies to:

  • develop strategies for recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce;
  • prepare employees to better understand and leverage the benefits of diverse cultural groups;
  • extend the division’s efforts to create a welcome and inclusive workplace culture; and
  • develop strategies to engage diverse networks of Penn State alumni and friends.

"Penn State is leading the charge in the advancement field with respect to its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts," said Jeffries, "and I look forward to creating dialogue among staff on how to engage with those who are different, thereby recognizing the innovation and creativity that becomes possible when we leverage the benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion. It means a lot to be a part of this charge at a place where I have so much of a connection, both personally and professionally.”

A graduate of Penn State, Jeffries earned a bachelor of science in rehabilitation services and a master of education in counselor education, clinical mental health counseling in schools and communities, both from the College of Education. Jeffries brings 16 years of experience from numerous other offices at Penn State, with roles centering around multicultural programs and diversity education.

Directly before coming to DDAR, Jeffries served as the director of diversity education in Penn State's Affirmative Action Office. In this role, she developed training programs and activities focused on diversity awareness and management skills for creating and retaining a diverse student body and workforce. She also made recommendations to various University offices on strategies for managing issues of diversity. Prior to this role, Jeffries worked in various roles of increasing responsibility for 11 years in the Office of Multicultural Programs in the College of Education.

Jeffries will continue to serve as an adjunct instructor for the College of Education, where she teaches a course designed to further develop diversity, equity and inclusion skills for future higher education professionals. She also engages in outreach efforts in the local community by partnering with the Community Diversity Group and the State College Area School District to provide diversity education.

“Charleon’s rich professional experience — coupled with her longstanding dedication to Penn State — will enable the Division of Development and Alumni Relations to make great strides in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment for our staff, and for ensuring that we are effectively engaging alumni, friends and partners from every culture and background,” said O. Richard Bundy III, vice president for development and alumni relations. “I look forward to supporting Charleon in her work to enable these conversations in our division, ultimately fostering an even more diverse and inclusive culture across campus.”

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Last Updated July 26, 2018