posted November 20, 2003

Director of Multicultural Life Named

Vanessa Greene has been appointed director of multicultural life at Hope College.

Coordinated through the provost's office, which is responsible for academic programs, the Multicultural Life Office works with students, faculty, staff and other members of the Hope community in conjunction with the college's overall effort to enhance minority participation and explore issues related to diversity.

"We are very pleased to have Vanessa join the Hope community," said Alfredo Gonzales, who is associate provost at Hope. "Her professional experience in developing and coordinating programs in both secondary education and higher education and her deep commitment to building multicultural understanding will make a meaningful difference to us as a campus family and as we prepare our students for the diverse global society in which they will participate their entire lives."

The office provides advisory support to the college's student of color organizations, including the Black Student Union, Hope's Asian Perspective Association (HAPA) and "La Raza Unida." It also plans and coordinates campus-wide programs designed to celebrate diversity and embrace multicultural understanding, such as the college's Cesar Chavez Address, Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month events, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service, Women of Color and the Dialogue on Race Series.

In addition to Greene, the program's staff includes Kimberly Turner, a 2003 Hope graduate who is serving as an intern during the 2003-04 academic year, and Wilma Hart, a member of the Student Development staff who provides administrative support.

Greene was previously employed at Grand Valley State University for six years, most recently as student services coordinator. She worked with students, faculty and staff, and in community outreach, in a variety of ways. Among other activities, her responsibilities included developing college preparatory programs for middle school and high school students; coordinating diversity development programs for faculty and staff; coordinating tutoring services; and teaching a freshman seminar. In 2002, the university's Counseling and Career Development Center presented her with the "Counselor of the Year Award."

Her career experiences prior to joining Grand Valley's staff included serving as an independent art consultant with Creative Galleries Inc. in Grand Rapids; as a vocational rehabilitation consultant with Coordinated Rehabilitation Employment Consultants in Grand Rapids; and as a program manager and counselor with Work Skills Corporation in Ann Arbor.

Greene's current community activities include serving as a member of the board of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA); as co-chair of the Leadership Orientation Program Committee of the City of Holland's Multicultural Resource Network; and as a director of the Holland "START NOW!!! Get Ready for College Program," which she founded. She is a member of Messiah Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.

She graduated from Grand Valley with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1983. She completed a master's in education, in college student affairs leadership, at Grand Valley in 1998.