WOOSTER, Ohio – Dr. Ivonne M. García has been named The College of Wooster’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, effective June 1.
As a member of the president’s cabinet and the college’s senior leadership team, Dr. García will work closely with President Sarah R. Bolton to build and enact a vision for a diverse, equitable and inclusive community at Wooster. She will lead the college in realizing its commitments to become more diverse, and to create a truly welcoming, equitable and inclusive campus culture.
Dr. García comes to Wooster from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she currently serves as the William P. Rice Associate Professor of English and Literature and as director of the Latinx Studies Concentration. She also serves as faculty co-director of the Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program, an academic and co-curricular transition program for underrepresented incoming first-year students, which begins the summer before their fall semester.
“I am tremendously excited to welcome Dr. Ivonne García to the College of Wooster,” Bolton said. “Dr. García’s professional expertise and personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are evident in the tremendous impact she has made at Kenyon. They came through powerfully in her interviews with faculty, staff and students across the Wooster campus. Her compelling ideas and thoughtful approach will make her a wonderful inaugural leader in this role. “
“I am thrilled to be chosen by The College of Wooster as the first CDEIO and am excited to work with President Bolton and her team to fulfill the institution’s mission,” Dr. García said. “I see this appointment as an exciting opportunity to take the next step in my lifelong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that dates to my undergraduate days. I am also very thankful to Kenyon College, where I have grown as a teacher, a scholar, an administrator and as an advocate for these important issues. Without the support of President Decatur and Provost Klesner and the confidence they placed in me, I would not have been able to obtain the experience that prepared me for this next, important step in my professional and personal development.”
Dr. García earned her bachelor’s degree in the history and literature of Latin America from Harvard University, and a master’s in educational administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She spent 10 years working as a journalist in Puerto Rico before returning to school to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in English from The Ohio State University. She was hired as an assistant professor of English at Kenyon in 2008, promoted to associate professor in 2014, and named as the inaugural associate provost for diversity, equity and inclusion the same year.
Dr. García’s teaching and research interests focus on 19th century U.S. literature, the hemispheric Gothic, and post-colonial and Latinx studies, with an emphasis on issues of nation, race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity.
Dr. García is married to Lance K. Oliver, an editor, writer and translator, and they have three furry children, all rescues (two dogs and one black cat).
The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student’s own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.