Alumna and longtime California University of Pennsylvania employee Sheleta Camarda-Webb was appointed the university’s interim chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

She will lead the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and serve on the executive leadership team, known as the President’s Cabinet.

Camarda-Webb holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in secondary education/social science, both from Cal U, and is enrolled in a master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy at Northcentral University.

She has been employed at Cal U since 1991, and has filled a variety of roles in student affairs, residence life and diversity education.

Camarda-Webb’s work has focused on LGBTQA+ issues, power and privilege, race and cultural identity. She has advocated for and informed university policies around topics such as the use of preferred names and gender-inclusive restrooms and housing.

Camarda-Webb has been director of the university’s DEI Office since 2015, and was a founding member of Cal U’s Safe Zone Allies Program for gay, lesbian and transgender students. In 2019, she was named co-chair of the university’s Presidential Advisers for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Her work as chief DEI officer will embrace Cal U’s community of students, faculty and staff.

“Each of us holds multiple identities – race, gender and so much more,” Camarda-Webb said. “We have to be able to live and learn, educate and excel in an environment where we all can be our authentic selves.”

Interim University President Robert Thorn stressed the importance of making the chief DEI officer a member of his executive leadership team.

“We must do more than talk about these issues,” Thorn said. “Diversity, equity and inclusion must be at the forefront of our thinking as we make decisions about our University and its future.”

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