Vice provost of academic diversity named

Biomedical Engineering professor Gilda Barabino was named Tech’s first Vice Provost for Academic Diversity (VPAD). Barabino will be in charge of the strategic development of Tech’s effort to find new ways to increase diversity on campus.

As VPAD, Barabino will serve on the president’s cabinet and work with the Office of Minority Educational Development Services (OMED) and the Center for Women in Science and Technology to develop programs that will further the recruitment and retention of under-represented groups on campus. She will also be in charge of the FOCUS and ADVANCE initiatives on campus. FOCUS is an initiative that tries to increase enrollment of under-represented groups in graduate programs, and the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE initiative works to increase the number of women in academia.

“[Gilda] shows great enthusiasm and excitement about this initiative to make Georgia Tech a leader in academic diversity,” said Anderson Smith, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Tech decided to create the position following suit with other campuses across the nation, including Duke, Columbia and the University of California, San Francisco, which have also created provost level positions on their campuses to focus on diversity.

Barabino has been actively working on research concerning diversity on Tech’s campus for the past 5 years. Barabino, West Georgia professor Karen Malone and Tech’s Wendy Newstetter started still ongoing research on race and gender in laboratory settings.

Barabino is also the principal investigator for an ADVANCE study called the “Cross-Disciplinary Initiative for Minority Women Faculty,” which tries to enhance the socialization among tenure-tracked women in engineering.