Provost Susan Elrod announced the appointment of LaVar J. Charleston as assistant vice chancellor of student diversity, engagement and success at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
"I am so pleased that Dr. Charleston has agreed to serve as the assistant vice chancellor," Elrod said. "He brings a rich background of experiences that include national and international programs as well as a deep passion for the programs supported by this office. I am confident that his leadership will help these programs, our students and the university advance its mission with respect to student diversity and engagement."
Charleston serves as assistant director and a senior research associate at Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as the coordinator for the LAB's research and evaluation division. Through this work, he has been instrumental in receiving, facilitating and evaluating research grants and projects totaling approximately $6.6 million. He also teaches courses in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis related to student identity development, navigating intersecting identities and leadership development within the School of Education at UW-Madison.
"It is both an honor and a privilege to serve the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in this capacity," Charleston said. "I truly believe UW-Whitewater is one of Wisconsin's hidden treasures and I am excited to meaningfully engage with students and colleagues to promote diversity, inclusive excellence and the holistic development of all students within the UW-W community. I look forward to continuing to build upon the great foundation that has already been laid here and to enhance equitable and inclusive curricular and co-curricular experiences that truly signify what it means to be a part of the Warhawk family."
Charleston's body of work focuses on graduate school preparation and success, with particular expertise in underrepresented student groups' STEM identity and development. Moreover, he has a special interest in the academic identity development of student athletes, particularly black males, concentrating on their educational and occupational trajectories beyond sports. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in educational leadership and policy analysis with a concentration in higher, postsecondary and continuing education at UW-Madison and a B.S. in public relations/journalism at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
He is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of African American Males in Education and a reviewer for the American Educational Research Journal (Social and Institutional Analysis), the Journal of Science Education and Technology, the Journal of Negro Education and AERA Open. Charleston currently directs the Graduate School Academy, held annually at the International Colloquium for Black Males in Education. He is also a board member for the Brothers of the Academy organization, and his prior appointments include Assistant Director for Development and Marketing at the Center for African American Research and Policy (CAARP), as well as associate editor of the Annuals of the Next Generation journal.
He is credited with over 45 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, scholarly reports, translational media outlets and a recent book, "Advancing Equity and Diversity in Student Affairs," published in 2017 by Information Age.
He will assume his role at UW-Whitewater on July 24, 2017.
The programs under the purview of the assistant vice chancellor for student diversity, engagement and success include Pre-college Programs, McNair Scholars, King/Chavez Scholars, Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Programs, Community Based Learning and other programs aimed at improving student diversity, retention and engagement in high-impact practices.