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About the Associate Dean
Jeri Suarez currently works as the Associate Dean of Cultural & Community Engagement at Hollins University. She has been charged with designing and implementing a program that assists Hollins in fostering a campus environment that values and actively supports an inclusive community. Jeri is a veteran at Hollins, having served in eight positions over the last nineteen years ranging from international affairs & study abroad to service learning programs (started the Jamaica Service Project) to advising international students, students of color and the L.G.B.T. community. She has directed the Women's Center and the Horizon Program for adult women returning to school. Each position has brought rewards and challenges but the common link for her is the desire to mentor women from all walks of life.
Jeri has developed a number of programs over the years that have encouraged students to develop leadership skills, a better understanding of different cultures as well as opportunities to link with their local community through service. Over the last seventeen years she has taken students to Jamaica on a cross-cultural service project she designed where students live and serve in an impoverished community and has led projects to communities in Appalachia. She has facilitated discussions on valuing diversity, cross cultural experiences and co-led an inclusion series on "Language Across Cultures, Races, Religions & Ethnicity."
Jeri has served as chair for the Board of Directors of the National
Conference for Community & Justice (N.C.C.J.) for the Roanoke Region, a
human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and
racism and has served on numerous social service boards in the past including
Project Discovery, Northwest Child Development Center and S.A.R.A. (Sexual
Assault Response & Awareness) as well as an advisory board member for
the Women's Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She also
volunteers regularly at the R.A.M. House soup kitchen in Roanoke.