Shippensburg University students were given the formal announcement on Thursday, June 16, that Manuel Ruiz has officially been elected to serve as the Assistant Vice President for Inclusion and Belonging.
SU President Charles Patterson, who had his own election success back in May when he was named 18th President of Shippensburg University, made the announcement in an email to the campus community.
Ruiz is no stranger to diversity on campus. For the past year he has served as the director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. However, Ruiz is a newer addition to the SU family, only joining the university this past year. Before he was a Raider, Ruiz served as the director of Student Programming at McDaniel College, as well as providing assistance to universities like Dickinson College and Reinhardt University.
Under his new position, Ruiz will work under Tom Ormond, the vice president of Academic Affairs, and lead the charge in a university-wide push for advancing diversity and inclusion on campus. In the email, Patterson wrote, “Shippensburg University is fortunate to have Manny assume the AVP role and provide the necessary expertise, support and energy to ensure our institution is an exemplar for diversity, equity and inclusion within the State System of Pennsylvania.”
At the Multicultural Student Affairs Juneteenth Celebration, Ruiz spoke about his plans for the semester ahead and the importance of emphasizing diversity not only amongst ones peers, but in the classrooms as well.
“As scholars we’re taught our scholarships, but nowhere in your PHD program do they teach you how to teach diversity. So it’s important as we strive for inclusivity, that we address those microaggressions in and out of the classroom,” Ruiz said. With regard to improving diversity outside of the classroom he said, “We will continue to do programming. A lot of education of social programming, just to place emphasis on inclusivity and that sense of belonging for our students. I want every student at Shippensburg University to feel like they have a purpose here and that this is home for them.”
Ruiz officially assumed the position on Monday, June 20. If any students have questions regarding diversity on campus, and how to make the university a more inclusive space, they can contact the office of Equity and Inclusion at socialequity@ship,edu.
The Slate welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.