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Texas State University

Texas State trio elected to Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education leadership

Jayme Blaschke, Director of Media Relations | July 18, 2019

SAN MARCOS – Three Texas State University representatives have been elected to leadership roles in the Texas Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (TADOHE), reviving an organization that had fallen inactive in recent years.

During a statewide meeting of chief diversity officers at the University of Houston-Downtown, Sherri Benn, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of Student Diversity and Inclusion at Texas State, was elected chair of TADOHE.

"I am beyond delighted to have been elected by my peers from various colleges and universities throughout Texas to serve as chair of an organization dedicated to supporting the post-secondary work of diversity and inclusive excellence while advancing the professional standards of those dedicated to this work," Benn said. "This is both a challenging and an exciting time to be involved in the collaborative work of revitalizing such an important arm of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE).

"Our Texas chapter has great promise because of the work already being done by diversity professionals throughout Texas. Those doing this work have already demonstrated unwavering commitment to the needs of a state working to meet the challenges of the growing and changing needs of an increasingly diverse state-wide collective of students, faculty and staff," she said. "As newly elected officers, we've already had our first board meeting, established key priorities and are developing our strategic plan. The work of diversity professionals is increasingly important given the unique and complex evolution we are currently experiencing as a nation."

In addition to Benn, Stella Silva, manager of diversity initiatives and associate chief diversity officer in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, was elected vice chair and Robert Garcia, coordinator for LGBTQIA+ programs in the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion, was elected treasurer.

"As the vice chair for TADOHE I will assist Dr. Benn and the TADOHE executive board with reestablishing an organization in Texas that not only creates connections at the national level through NADOHE, but will also provide opportunities to diversity officers to consult with colleagues, engage in professional development and participate in implementing standards and best practices for diversity officers across the state," Silva said. "I am excited to be serving in this role and look forward to assisting in building a critical foundation for TADOHE to grow into an organization that can ultimately impact all post-secondary institutions in the state. "

TADOHE is the Texas chapter of NADOHE. NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education. Its goals include identifying and circulating exemplary practices and informing and influencing national and local policies.

"As the treasurer for TADOHE, I will be overseeing a financial committee charged with preparation of budgets, developing fundraising plans, as well as making financial information available to all members," Garcia said. "I'm excited to serve as treasurer for TADOHE and look forward to the opportunity to helping continue an organization that will set a foundation of standards for diversity and inclusion initiatives for post-secondary institutions."

The revival of TADOHE is significant because the Texas chapter (in conjunction with several California chapters) has historically represented the largest delegation to the national conference held every year, explained Ameerah McBride, chief diversity officer and director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion at Texas State. The leadership roles the staff members have taken will increase Texas State's engagement at the state and national level.

For more information about NADOHE, visit www.nadohe.org.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 192,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922