Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success

Strengthening and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Virginia Commonwealth University

IES welcomes its newest colleagues, Cleopatra Magwaro, LL.B., LL.M., vice president for institutional equity and Virginia Palencia, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

After a rigorous search, Magwaro was named associate vice president, Portrait of Cleopatra MagwaroInstitutional Equity. Magwaro will provide leadership in civil rights and compliance related areas, including Title IX, Accessibility and ADA Services, Equal Equity Opportunity, and Equity, and Data and Case Management. As associate vice president, Magwaro will promote a climate of trust, honesty, and integrity where all people are valued and where differences are recognized as an asset.

Magwaro is a graduate of American University, where she received a Masters of Laws degree and specialized in International Human Rights. She previously attended Queensland University of Technology, where she earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Justice. Cleo will be transitioning from the role of Acting Director and Title IX Coordinator of the Office of Institutional Equity at Kansas State University (KSU). Previously she served as deputy EEO Coordinator, Supervisory Senior Investigator & Inclusion Officer at KSU. Magwaro brings two decades of civil rights service, including leadership, teaching, and research experience. Her broad expertise includes areas such as Title IX, EO, ADA, assessment, culture and climate and legal affairs.

Palencia will assume the role of Postdoctoral Research Scholar. She will Portrait of Virginia Palencia, Ph.D.provide strategic writing services for the office, including for the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation. Her role will include documenting, researching and writing popular press and peer-reviewed articles on organizational successes in areas such as faculty recruitment and retention practices, collaborative team science approaches, and community and student engagement.

Virginia graduated from VCU with a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Justice. Her dissertation is entitled “Separate and Unequal: Latinx Access, Enrollment and Completion of AP coursework in the State of Virginia.” She is a recipient of the 2020 American Educational Research Association Clark Scholar award, and participates with the Metropolitan Education Research Consortium. She recently served as a graduate research assistant and co-instructor for VCU’s School of Education and is trained in both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Both Magwaro and Palencia will join IES on Jan. 25.

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