Mercedes Ramírez Fernández Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs  & Diversity
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-6208

Responsibilities: Students, Curriculum, Climate

Bio: Mercedes Ramírez Fernández serves as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs and Diversity.  In her capacity, she develops and supports innovative programs and policies relevant to diversity and inclusion across campus around issues concerning students, campus climate and curriculum.  She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education administration in diversity, inclusion and equity, student academic affairs, and program development.  Mercedes earned a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Counseling and Human Development from the University of Iowa, and a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Spanish Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. 

Most recently, Mercedes was the interim Assistant Chancellor/Assistant Provost for Student Diversity at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Her role at Illinois centered on efforts to enhance campus climate, creation of strategies to strengthen enrollment management, development of programming to foster retention, academic enrichment and timely completion, and the advancement of curricular initiatives that promote understanding across difference including but not limited to race, ethnicity, capabilities/abilities, gender/gender expression, sexual orientation, nationality, socio-economic class, and language.  As Co-Chair of the Committee of Race and Ethnicity, Mercedes worked with a team of faculty, students and administrators who successfully carried a resolution through campus governance, changing the general education requirements to ensure that every undergraduate at Illinois takes a course about the experiences of United States racial, ethnic minorities, and other socially significant identities.  



Marcy Schnitzer Ph.D.
Assistant Provost for Diversity & Strategic Planning
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-3811


Responsibilities: Faculty, Strategic Planning, Research, InclusiveVT

Bio: Marcy Schnitzer is Assistant Provost for Diversity and Strategic Planning. In this position, she supports the InclusiveVT structure through strategic planning and engagement with colleges and departments. She also assists the AdvanceVT/InclusiveVT team in its work on increasing faculty diversity. Marcy also reviews institutional data and research, maps institutional diversity efforts; and reports on activities in recruitment and retention, climate, curriculum and scholarship, and institutional change. Marcy joined the former Office for Diversity and Inclusion in 2012, as a consultant on the Virginia Tech’s Diversity Strategic Plan, and later as Associate Director for Diversity Strategic Planning and Improvement. She received her PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization from Virginia Tech in 2010.

Dr. Schnitzer has over 20 years experience working with diverse and underrepresented communities, which she brought with her to Virginia Tech in 1995 as Assistant Director of the Service Learning Center at Virginia Tech (now VTEngage). She considers her work in communities as her primary education, which has informed and motivated her scholarly and teaching interests. She is keenly interested in issues of power and representation of marginalized populations, which is reflected in her research on grassroots involvement in participatory decision-making. Marcy is dedicated to making issues of diversity and inclusion central and integral in teaching, research, and engagement in higher education.


Michele Deramo Ph.D.
Assistant Provost for Diversity Education
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-6877


Responsibilities: Training, Education, Programs, Equity Social Disparity in the Human Condition (Strategic Growth Area) co-lead

Bio: As the director for Diversity Education and Programs, Michele Deramo is responsible for strategic education initiatives including professional development for Diversity Committees and Inclusive VT representatives, and inclusive pedagogy. She also facilitates Diversity Development Institute workshops on the Fundamentals of Diversity-Appreciating Differences and Religious Pluralism, as well as teaches the undergraduate course, Race and Gender in Religion and Culture.

Prior to her current position, Deramo directed the Diversity Development Institute and was the founding director for the former Service-Learning Center in 1995. In 2008 she received a commendation from the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education for Outstanding Contributions in the field.



Ellington Graves Ph.D.
InclusiveVT Faculty Fellow
562 McBryde Hall
(540) 231-7343

Responsibilities: Faculty Research, Curriculum, Equity Social Disparity in the Human Condition (Strategic Growth Area) co-lead



Leemar Thorpe
Associate Director of Programs
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-6443

Responsibilities: Communications, Finance, Event Planning

Bio: A graduate of North Carolina Central University with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications and Radford University with a Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, I've worked at Virginia Tech, promoting and advancing diversity, for the past 8 years. Prior to my position with the Office for Inclusion and Diversity, I was a program manager for two Virginia Tech - NIH funded programs, VT-PREP (Post-Baccalaureate Research Program) and VT-IMSD (Initiative to Maximize Student Development). The  mission  of these programs are to increase underrepresented students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. 



Edmée Rodriguez-Hasler
Marketing Coordinator
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-4844


Responsibilities: Communications, Social Media Outlets, Photography. 

Bio: Edmée Rodriguez-Hasler, Marketing Coordinator, holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Kansas in Journalism with an emphasis in photography, advertising, and magazine.  Edmée has spent her entire career as a photojournalist in newspaper and magazine and is excited to bring her expertise and passion for diversity to OID. Edmée manages OID Social Media and is the main communicator and liaison for OID.


Marcie Bishop
Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Menah Pratt-Clarke
336 Burruss Hall (0216)
(540) 231-7500

Responsibilities: Calendar, Office Management

Bio: Marcie serves as administrative assistant for inclusion and diversity. She has over 35 years of customer service experience. Responsibilities include: greeting visitors and directing incoming calls, reserving conference room spaces, calendar/appointment management, scheduling meetings with various groups, department heads, faculty and students. 

Alexa Parsley
InclusiveVT Fellow
336 Burruss Hall (0216)

Responsibilities: The InclusiveVT Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program is a one-year program open to recent Virginia Tech graduates who want to advance the Inclusive VT commitment to Ut Prosim (that I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. The charge for the Inclusive VT Fellow is to leverage student engagement with diversity and inclusion initiatives through the academic colleges and through the various dimensions of student life. The position also prioritizes outreach to student populations and student organizations who typically are less involved in diversity programming in order to engage them in creating a safe, welcoming, affirming, and accommodating campus.

Bio: Alexa graduated from Virginia Tech in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and with minors in both Geography and Peace Studies & Violence Prevention. She became passionate about diversity work while she served as Student Body President her senior year. In her free time she enjoys hiking, watching movies, reading, and spending time with her friends!




Linwood Moore
Data Management and Project Assistant
336 Burruss Hall (0216)

Responsibilities: Data Management

Bio: I am originally from Portsmouth, VA where I graduated from I.C. Norcom High School. In addition to working for Virginia Tech, I also graduated from the university in May of 2017 with my Bachelor of Science in Statistics. My work in the Office for Inclusion and Diversity includes supporting initiatives like Project 2022 and the Diversity Summit and developing databases and managing data reports. I play basketball and video games in addition to watching Netflix in my free time. I look forward to supporting students having a productive year in OID. Go Hokies!