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ODEI Staff

SUNY Diversity Leadership and Staff

 
Valerie P. Dent headshot
Valerie P. Dent
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
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Valerie P. Dent is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for SUNY System where she serves as the liaison to SUNY campuses and oversees campus initiatives, including the SUNY System led response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this position, she served as Chief of Staff to former Chancellor Kristina Johnson.

Prior to joining SUNY, Ms. Dent served as the First Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York State enforcement agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting claims of discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law. In her role, she led the agency as the senior administrator and managed a budget of over $14 million, including two federal contracts, and managed staff in 12 regional offices around the State. During her tenure, she brought operational and fiscal stability to the agency and instituted many long-needed reforms.

From the beginning of her career, Ms. Dent has worked in a variety of sectors beginning as a Systems Engineer with IBM and later as an Associate in the Public Finance Department of the law firm Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander and Ferdon. As her interest in the public sector expanded, she served as Assistant General Counsel of the jointly managed Grand Central Partnership, Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership, three of the largest Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in New York City. She later worked as the Associate Counsel at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), a non-profit economic development organization in Harlem and Washington Heights.

In addition to her work in the public sector, Ms. Dent co-founded the college essay coaching service Write for the Future with her husband, David J. Dent, Sr., Professor of Journalism and Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU which provides writing support to high school students applying to college.

Ms. Dent is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she earned a degree in Economics and Columbia University School of Law where she earned a J.D.

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Joseph Skrivanek
Director, ODEI Replications and Pipeline Initiatives
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email: joseph.skrivanek@suny.edu

Joseph Skrivanek is a Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry at Purchase College and the founding Director of the Baccalaureate and Beyond Community College Mentoring Program (BBCCM) at Purchase College. The program is designed to support students at seven SUNY community colleges in a seamless transition to Purchase College. The BBCCM Program received the President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from President Obama in 2011.

Skrivanek is presently leading the SUNY Replication Project that is replicating the activities of the Purchase BBCCMP throughout the SUNY System. Dr. Skrivanek received his bachelors and masters degrees in chemistry from the University of Scranton and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University. After postdoctoral work at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he joined the faculty at Purchase College in 1979. Dr. Skrivanek has held numerous leadership positions at Purchase College including Dean of Natural Sciences, and Chair of the two Middle States Steering Committees.

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Meaghan Laraway
Associate for Program Administration and Policy
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email: meaghan.laraway@suny.edu

Meaghan Laraway is an Associate for Program and Policy with ODEI. Along with the programs she is overseeing, she spends much of her time working on the PRODiG initiative and works closely with the campus Chief Diversity Officers. Meg has been with SUNY for five years now, having worked in both the Chancellor's Office and the Office of the Provost at SUNY System Administration before ODEI. 

Prior to SUNY, Meg spent years working in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Earlier in her career, she worked at Albany Medical Center's AIDS Treatment Center. In this role, she conducted studies on patients’ adherence to drug regimens in regards to their geographical and socio-economic statuses. This experience fueled her ambition to serve underrepresented communities which she continues to do today in her work.

Meg is an Albany-area native, though her work has taken her to Denver, Colorado, Providence, Rhode Island – and most of her time after college was spent in the New York City Metropolitan area. She is enjoying being back home in the Capital District where she lives with her family and many animals.

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Ruirui Sun  headshot
Ruirui Sun
Associate for Metrics and Data Metrics and PRODiG Coordinator
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email: ruirui.sun@suny.edu

Ruirui Sun is an Associate for Metrics and Data Metrics as well as the PRODiG Coordinator. Ruirui serves as a key adviser to ODEI and Vice Chancellor Miller on the measurement of diversity, equity, and inclusion progress across the SUNY campuses, particularly by creating dashboards and ongoing tracking and analysis of crucial diversity, equity, and inclusion indicators at SUNY System Administration and on the campuses. As the PRODiG coordinator, she is responsible for advancing the PRODiG initiative by processing and analyzing data submitted by participating campuses, facilitating communications with campus PRODiG contacts, and coordinating with ODEI team members accountable for the programmatic elements.

Ruirui is also a doctoral candidate in educational policy and leadership at the University at Albany, expecting to earn her doctoral degree in December 2021. Her dissertation research focuses on how the timing of college decisions may affect individuals' earnings trajectories from high school graduation to more than 30 years later, and how these effects may vary by gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, as well as college type. For this work, she has won the AERA (American Educational Research Association) dissertation grant, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Before joining the ODEI team, Ruirui worked at the Rockefeller Institute of Government as a research analyst. There, she worked on a series of reports that aim to evaluate and inform SUNY and the New York State's higher education policies and practices, including the economic impact of SUNY graduates, the effects of applied work-based learning at SUNY, and the college level correctional education in New York State.

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Celifa Landy headshot
Celifa Landy
Office Administrator
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email: Celifa.landy@suny.edu

Celifa is the Office Administrator for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She provides operational and administrative project management support. Celifa has been with SUNY for approximately two and a half years having worked for the Office of the Provost, SUNY Impact Foundation, and SUNY Online concurrently.

Prior to SUNY, Celifa worked for the New York State Senate, then minority, Counsel’s Office. In her role, she facilitated the Office’s day-to-day operations then after two years, assumed the role as an Executive Assistant to Senator Parker. While aiding in addressing constituent issues, she found a keen interest in partnering in the critical work of serving underrepresented and marginalized communities.

Celifa is an Albany native, who began her undergraduate career at Long Island University. After transferring to the University at Albany junior year, Celifa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2015 and is currently attending SUNY Empire State College in pursuit of a Master of Business Administration degree. Celifa is a SUNY Empire State College Graduate Diversity Fellow and expects to complete the MBA program in December 2022. Additionally, Celifa is a Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar alumna and a member of the National Black MBA Association.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI)