I am pleased to announce the appointment of Zulema Valdez, professor of sociology, to a one-year appointment as associate vice provost for the faculty to help us with several diversity and equity initiatives in Academic Affairs. In particular, she will be co-chairing the search for our new campus chief diversity officer, will aid the vice provost for the faculty and the deans of natural sciences and engineering to develop a search plan for senior diversity hires in STEM, and will advise on faculty-retention issues.
Professor Valdez holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at UCLA. She is the author of two books, three edited volumes, and dozens of research articles on immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurship, health disparities, and racial and ethnic relations. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD, and grants from the National Institute for Health, NSF/American Sociological Association, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, and many others.
Professor Valdez has served as faculty equity advisor for SSHA and chair of the graduate program for the Department of Sociology here at Merced. She currently serves as a member of the governing council of the American Sociological Association and on the Academic Senate Diversity and Equity Committee. In her efforts to engage with the larger community, she volunteers her time as facilitator for the Insight Garden Program at Chowchilla Women’s Prison and serves on the advisory board for the American Bar Foundation’s Network for Justice research initiative, “The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility.”
Please join me in thanking Zulema for serving in this important role.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor