Office for Inclusion and Diversity Team

Menah Pratt-Clarke vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs in a roundtable discussion with inclusion coordinators.

Menah Pratt-Clarke meets with InclusiveVT inclusion coordinators

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


Students, Curriculum, Climate


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)


Faculty, Strategic Planning, Research, InclusiveVT


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)


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


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


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


Patrice Dickerson
Director of Faculty Recruitment
336 Burruss Hall (0216)


Diverse Faculty Recruitment 


Patrice has been a sociologist for almost 15 years and has spent most of that time developing diversity and inclusion programming for students, faculty and staff in higher education. Patrice has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and African American Studies with a certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master Degree and PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Prior to coming to Virginia Tech in October, Dickerson was the Assistant Executive Dean for Strategic Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives and Administrative Director for the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Services in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.  Patrice studied at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Michigan. Dickerson has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and African American Studies with a certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Cincinnati. Patrice also earned a Master Degree and PhD from the University of Michigan. 


Leemar Thorpe
Associate Director of Programs
336 Burruss Hall (0216)


Communications, Finance, Event Planning


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. 


Marcie Bishop, Receptionist, Diversity and Inclusion.

Image of Marcie Bishop, Receptionist, Diversity and Inclusion.

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


Calendar, Office Management


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)


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.


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)


Data Management


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!

May Hey
InclusiveVT Post Doctroal Fellow 
336 Burruss Hall (0216)


Outreach and Initatives focused on Native Americans