NACOGDOCHES, Texas –– Stephen F. Austin State University and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have named Veronica Beavers, currently the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs director, as the inaugural deputy chief diversity officer.
“It’s an honor to serve in this position,” Beavers said. “I will assist in consulting on matters pertaining to diversity, inclusion and equity across SFA. I will also be able to implement plans and projects to uphold the university's commitment to making SFA inclusive and equitable.”
The position was created to add value to ODEI functions as well as allow for progressive growth within the office, according to Dr. Michara DeLaney-Fields, SFA’s chief diversity officer since summer 2020.
“Diversity and inclusion efforts are becoming invaluable pieces to the landscape and structure of higher education, so having this position helps with the growing demand in the field and ensures actionable expansion of these initiatives across campus,” DeLaney-Fields said.
In the new managerial role, Beavers will help ensure campuswide initiatives pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion are coordinated and successful. Additionally, she will interact with local, national and international communities to foster cooperative relationships; work with stakeholders on and off campus to ensure services and systems are advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives; and consult with students, staff, faculty or administrative units experiencing hate or bias incidents.
“Veronica’s expertise in diversity and inclusion efforts has allowed her to provide many opportunities for questions to be asked, knowledge to be gained and learning to be made accessible,” DeLaney-Fields said. “Veronica served as an advocate for these efforts before the concept became mainstream, thus allowing those around her to feel comfortable and welcomed. She has the mindset to be innovative in her ideas, firm in her communication skills, and capable of building and sustaining relationships.”
Beavers will continue serving as OMA director, a position she has held since 2016. Under her leadership, office staff members created SFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program, grew OMA’s endorsed and affiliated organizations to approximately 20, and received numerous grants. The OMA offers more than 30 educational events per year.
“I have put in a lot of effort to make sure all students feel welcomed and included,” Beavers said. “I believe my background in program development, numerous talks about diversity and inclusion concerns with the campus community, and relationship-building efforts with the SFA and Nacogdoches communities have all contributed to my preparation for this role. I'm eager to develop initiatives that reach across campus and into the surrounding communities.”
Beavers is a two-time SFA graduate. She received a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology in 2009 and a Master of Education in 2011. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate studying higher education administration at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
She has worked in numerous student and professional roles while at SFA. Currently, she serves as an adjunct professor in the James I. Perkins College of Education and as an interim compliance specialist in SFA’s Title IX Office.
For more information about SFA’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit sfasu.edu/odei.