A think tank of diversity practitioners

Diversity Collegium welcomes five new members

The Diversity Collegium welcomed five new members at its November 2014 meeting in New Vernon, New Jersey.

The five new members are: Melanie Harrington, Jacqueline Reza, Ilene Wasserman, Michael Wheeler, Catherine Wong.

Each of our new members bring a wealth of experiences and perspectives to the work of The Diversity Collegium. Here’s a glimpse:

Melanie Harrington, J.D., is president and CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, (formerly The Regional Opportunity Center). Vibrant Pittsburgh is a nonprofit economic development organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, established to spearhead the next Pittsburgh renaissance – a “People Renaissance” – that embraces inclusion; ensures the region’s growth by elevating, retaining and attracting a diverse workforce; and promotes the Pittsburgh region – nationally and internationally – as a diverse, welcoming region of opportunities. Previously Melanie served as the president of the American Institute for Managing Diversity, Inc. (AIMD), a national nonprofit diversity think tank based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jacqueline (Jackie) V. Reza, Ed.D., is director of Professional & Organizational Development, De Anza College in Cupertino, California. During her tenure, Jackie has served as President of her College’s Faculty Senate and on the State Executive Council of the California Community College Faculty Senate. In that capacity, she Chaired the Affirmative Action/Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee and served on the California Community Colleges State Chancellor's Diversity Advisory Committee. Publications include several articles on Latina Leadership in Higher Education, Latina identity and Self-Transformation through Critical Literacy, Reflections and Actions. She has written a book for the Open Society Instituted: Anti-biased Curriculum for the Heart, which has been translated into 22 languages of the Eastern Block European countries. Read more here

Ilene Wasserman, Ph.D., is founder and president of ICW Consulting, based in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, and has over 30 years of experience in Organizational Consulting, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Leadership Development and Executive Coaching. Ilene has served as an executive coach with senior executives and board of directors of Fortune 100 companies, socially responsible businesses, health care institutions and institutions of higher education. Consultations include designing retreats for leadership teams, developing internal work teams and leading large strategic change initiatives. Ilene has taught courses in leadership, organizational consulting, leading diversity, organizational communication, emotional intelligence and cultural competence, and group dynamics at the graduate level. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership where she is Chair of the Research, Innovation and Program Development Committee. She is also a Fellow of both the Taos Institute and The Lewin Center, serves on the Boards of the CMM Institute and the Public Dialogue Consortium and is a Member of NTL.

Michael Wheeler currently serves as Global Lead, D&I Strategy and Insights, for Merck & Co., Inc. in New York City. Previously Michael was Chief Diversity Officer with Omnicom Media Group and led their diversity strategy. He also founded OEStrategies, a consulting company focused on diversity and inclusion and organizational change. He also served as program director with The Conference Board, where he launched their first executive council on Workforce Diversity, their annual Diversity Conference and Workshops, and their diversity research area of expertise. He wrote various pioneering reports on diversity management published by The Conference Board; he has also published in Harvard Business Review and BusinessWeek. Michael brings 20 years of experience providing expertise to government, not-for-profit organizations and Fortune 500 companies.

Catherine Wong is director of Urban Outreach Initiatives for the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts. She is the point person guiding a slate of university-school partnerships focused on helping principals, teachers and students in Boston schools, as well as providing teaching and research opportunities for Boston College students. She directs the initiatives College Bound, a pre-college program for local high school students; the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars, an intensive one-year master’s degree program for aspiring urban educators; and Step UP, an initiative that pairs area universities with BPS schools to raise student achievement. Catherine has also served as the interim director for the Lynch Leadership Academy, a professional development program for a select group of principals from Boston Public Schools, Catholic and charter schools. Previously she worked for 19 years as a school counselor in the Brookline Public Schools before she was tapped by University of Massachusetts-Boston’s Graduate College of Education to direct its school counseling program and teach graduate courses. After working as an independent consultant for several years, she joined Boston College in 2007. She has also worked with colleagues at the University of the Middle East Project and Boston College’s Irish Institute, leading summer institutes for teachers and principals from the Middle East and North Africa regions focused on developing cross-cultural curricula and differentiated instruction, particularly for schools in crisis zones.

Welcome to all of you! We look forward to our work together.