Marlene De La Cruz-Guzmán, PhD, has been named Viterbo University’s first vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion. She began her duties Sept. 30.
As vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion, De La Cruz-Guzmán will serve as a member of Viterbo’s senior leadership team and will lead the university’s social justice and equity initiatives. She was hired at the conclusion of a national search.
“I am delighted to be at Viterbo because the mission of the university aligns with my personal and professional goals and values,” De La Cruz-Guzmán said. “The outstanding faculty, staff, and students who I have met have shown me that the university wholeheartedly embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. In fact, I am particularly delighted to be here during St. Francis Week, which celebrates the Franciscan values of radical hospitality and faithful service. I greatly enjoyed seeing our students fully engaged in the events of the week.”
De La Cruz-Guzmán served as the director of the Office of Multicultural Success and Retention at Ohio University for six years prior to arriving at Viterbo. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature and Theology from Barry University, a Master of Arts degree in English and American Literature from Michigan State University, and a PhD in African Literature in English from Ohio University. She also earned a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Ohio University.
Viterbo President Rick Trietley said De La Cruz-Guzmán’s extensive experience in leadership, planning, engagement, and training will be a great asset as she helps guide the university toward its vision of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational setting.
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Dr. De La Cruz-Guzmán and her family to the Viterbo community,” Trietley said. “Her passion, proven professional successes, and ability to build inclusive communities offer our university the opportunity to fully integrate and foster diversity and equity initiatives that align perfectly with our values and responsibilities as a leader in today’s global environment. Her appointment to this inaugural position marks a critical milestone in Viterbo’s proud and distinguished history.”