The Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity
We champion the university's diversity priorities, drive the diversity strategic planning process, and will develop benchmarks for achievement to be a beloved community.
Melissa Wooten, Ph.D. is the associate vice president for academic equity. She provides managerial oversight of the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement and provides strategic leadership to support achievement of universitywide diversity priorities connecting existing programmatic efforts and emerging initiatives to national best practices in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the student and faculty ranks.
Corinne Castro is senior director for faculty diversity and inclusion, responsible for creating and managing faculty-centric diversity and inclusion initiatives. She co-leads strategic planning to support academic equity and inclusion and oversees the Diversity Leadership Fellows program. Prior to joining Rutgers University, Castro was an associate professor of sociology at Texas Lutheran University. She earned her doctorate in sociology and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from Temple University.
Joan Collier is director of institutional equity and strategic initiatives, leading efforts and strategic initiatives to advance institutional equity and inclusion goals. She also oversees the Tyler Clementi Center for Diversity Education and Bias Prevention in the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. An alumna of Georgia State University and the University of Georgia, Collier has more than 10 years experience within higher education as a practitioner and educator.
Crystal Bedley is director for faculty diversity education and outreach. She is responsible for faculty focused initiatives and educational efforts that improve cultural competency, reduce bias, and promote understanding and engagement on issues related to diversity and bias prevention. She oversees diversity assessment efforts ensuring that all initiatives are evaluated and uses institutional data to develop, maintain and report on metrics of accountability toward equity goals.
Jessica Zura is the director of administration and planning, managing administrative operations and business processes, and ensuring logistical efficacy. She provides high-level strategic, analytical, and organizational support for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity and the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. An Educational Opportunity Fund alumna, Zura holds both a bachelor's and master’s degree in human resource management from Rutgers University.
Lajeanesse Harris is senior executive associate and chief of staff to the senior vice president for equity. She enables effective coordination and operations across the division of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement as well as the universitywide office of equity. Ms. Harris provides strategic operational support and acts as the first point of contact for initiatives and inquiries of high demand. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Francine Henry is the diversity communications lead for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity, specializing in creating multimedia content and communication strategies that advance the university’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community. She collaborates with campus partners to promote programs and highlight initiatives that advance equity.
Joy Collazo is the senior public relations manager for the Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity, specializing in purposeful storytelling and media engagement to convey the university’s commitment to building a diverse and inclusive community. She partners with the diversity communications lead and campus partners to support campaigns, develop features for initiatives, and highlight diversity as critical to achieving excellence. A Rutgers alumna, she holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism-media studies and sociology.