New Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Belonging

Dear Wheaton Community, 

I’m very pleased to announce that Luis F. Paredes, Ph.D., who has broad experience as an administrator promoting equity and social justice and as an educator and scholar, will be the college’s Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Belonging. He will join Wheaton on December 1. 

Dr. Paredes comes to Wheaton from Bridgewater State University, where he served for five years as Director of Institutional Diversity and concurrently held the post of Interim Director for the Lewis and Gaines Center for Inclusion and Equity from June through October 2022. At Bridgewater, he furthered the campus community’s understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in multiple ways, including through the development of programs for students, faculty, and staff. 

The search committee was impressed with Dr. Paredes’ openness and his passion for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through a liberal arts lens. Members of the Wheaton community who met him during his visit commented upon his ability to connect with people across campus. One participant reflected, “Dr. Paredes presented as a person with a strong sense of thoughtfulness and understanding, especially in regard to the need to create empathy in order to promote educational opportunity.”

Dr. Paredes served as an advisor and facilitator of the Leading for Change Racial Equity and Justice Institute (REJI), a consortium of colleges and universities in New England and beyond that is based at Bridgewater State. (Wheaton is a member of the consortium.) He co-edited the book, Racial Equity and Justice Institute Practitioner Handbook (2021). He also served as a visiting associate professor in the School of Social Work/MSW program and the Anthropology Department, where he taught courses on diversity, race, ethnicity, sexism, immigration, dance theory, Spanish, and Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies. 

Beyond the Bridgewater campus, he served as a member of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Design Team and the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA); he was a fellow at The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy; he studied at the Intercultural Communication Institute, and he was a Visiting Residency Artist at the Duke University Dance Program. 

Previously, Dr. Paredes served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Stetson University from 2015 to 2017, and as a senior academic advisor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He earned his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University at Albany, State University of New York. 

This search yielded an impressive group of finalists. I am grateful for the dedication and thoughtful work of the entire search committee, which included Megan Brooks, Ana Brenescoto ‘15, Dalwin Corcino ’23, trustee Tony Laing ’96, Valery Leon Quintero ’23, Joe Wilson, and Brenda Wyss, with assistance from by Paula Fazli of Sage Search Partners. I am especially thankful for Darnell Parker, vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, who served as chair. In addition, I want to thank all of the staff, students, and faculty at Wheaton who gave their time, care, and feedback to making this a successful search for our community.