Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team

José Villalba, Ph.D. LPC
Interim Chief Diversity Officer

José A. Villalba is the interim chief diversity officer. Prior to his current position, he served as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty, Evaluation, and Inclusivity in the Office of the Dean of the College.

He also is a professor of Counseling. He has been affiliated with the Department of Counseling since arriving at Wake Forest in 2011, and served as its first coordinator of the Minor in Health and Human Services.

Prior to arriving at Wake Forest, he was an associate professor of counseling at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an assistant professor of counseling at Indiana State University. He teaches courses in multicultural counseling, career counseling, health and human services, and supervises counseling interns. His research interests included health disparities in Latina/o youth, as well as Latina/o access to and completion of higher education options. Over the past 4 years, since arriving in the Dean’s Office, he has facilitated diversity and inclusion efforts for faculty and students, in an effort to address issues of access and equity across campus. For more information, please refer to Dr. Villalba’s Curriculum Vita.

Shayla Herndon-Edmunds
Director of Diversity Education

20131203herndon1348Shayla Herndon-Edmunds joined the Office of Diversity & Inclusion as Manager of Diversity Education in March 2012.  Prior to her appointment in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Edmunds was the executive assistant to the University’s senior vice president for finance and administration, where she served as  a liaison between the division, the campus community and external constituents.

Now as Director of Diversity Education, Edmunds is responsible for developing and managing programs and initiatives that will elevate faculty competence and scholarship regarding diversity and inclusion;  implementing student diversity education programs; enhancing current staff diversity education programming; and expanding all facets of diversity education within the Wake Forest community.

Edmunds received her B.A. degree from George Mason University in 2002 and holds certifications in English and Business Administration and holds certifications in professional life coaching, emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, and intercultural development.  She is a Virginia native and now resides in Winston-Salem with her husband, Curtis and her children, Michael, Madison and Myles. Among her many interests and passions are writing, gardening, and cooking.  She is also a self-published author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur.

Jonathan McElderry, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Students
Director of  the Intercultural Center

jmDr. Jonathan A. McElderry serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University. His experience in higher education has focused on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. Additionally, his research has sought to raise awareness of the experiences of underrepresented students at predominately White institutions and provide strategies to increase their academic and social success. He has presented both nationally and internationally, held leadership positions within the American College Personnel Association, and has received several awards for his work in higher education. Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Higher Education from the University of Missouri, a M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University, and a B.S. in Administration of Justice from George Mason University.

Angela Mazaris, Ph.D.
Director of  the LGBTQ Center

Angela_MazarisDr. Angela Mazaris holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Her teaching and research focus on LGBTQ history, queer theory, public history, and gender studies, and she taught classes in these areas for Brown’s American Studies department.

At Brown she also served as the first Coordinator of the LGBTQ Resource Center, and as Graduate Proctor at the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center. She was also a member of Brown’s Diversity Advisory Board, where she worked specifically on issues related to first-generation students and social class. While in Providence, she served on the board of the Equity Action Fund, Rhode Island’s fund for LGBTQ initiatives, and volunteered at Youth Pride, Inc.

Before coming to Wake Forest, Dr. Mazaris served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Internal Revenue Service and the National Park Service, where she developed agency-wide inclusion and diversity initiatives and prepared policy recommendations. At the IRS, Dr. Mazaris was in charge of a special emphasis program for LGBTQ issues – a first for the agency. Dr. Mazaris and her partner have a three children, and are happy to call Winston-Salem home.

Paige Meltzer, Ph.D.
Director of the Women’s Center

paige.meltzer-460x260Paige Meltzer holds a Ph.D. in US women’s history from Brown University. Her forthcoming book, Maternal Citizens: Gender and the Making of Postwar Political Culture, 1945-1964 (UMass Press), provides a gender analysis of the so-called postwar political consensus. She joins Wake Forest from Harvard University’s Program in History & Literature, where her teaching focused on masculinity, social movements, and sub-urbanization.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. Meltzer was Policy Director and Interim Executive Director for a nonprofit dedicated to women’s economic justice issues such as paid family leave and affordable child care. Paige and her family live in Winston-Salem with their cocker spaniel mix, Penny Lane. She loves college basketball, the band Wilco, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

J. Matthew Williams, M.A.
Director of Communication 

Matt Williams, the new Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, in the WaKe Forest Office of Personal and Career Development, in the OPCD offices in Reynolda Hall on Thursday, August 29, 2013.As Director of Communication, Williams works alongside the university’s senior leaders to elevate the institution’s efforts to build a community that respects all its citizens and gives people from underrepresented groups full access to resources and opportunities. He also oversees The Leadership Project, an initiative designed to engage members of the Wake Forest community with inspiring leaders who represent a variety of professional paths and worldviews.

 Williams previously served as an Associate Director in Personal and Career Development and the Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where he led the programming in 2011-2012 to commemorate the University’s 50th Anniversary of Integration. Williams’ prior work as a marketing and communications professional includes positions at two top-ranked public relations firms where he developed campaigns for nonprofits, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies to advance civic and social justice issues. His work has been nationally recognized by the Public Relations Society of America, National Public Radio, Rhetoric Society of America, and at other industry events.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest and completes his Master of Arts in Communication from Wake this spring. His research focuses on how community organizers are using social media to challenge anti-black racism.

TaShaun L. Elliot, M.S.
Operations Manager and
Executive Assistant to the CDO

TaShaun began her career in secondary education in 2003 and has worked in higher education institutions since 2008 with positions in Academic and Student Affairs. She joined Wake Forest University in 2014 and worked in the Human Resources Department prior to her current role. Shaun is responsible for managing office operations in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and providing executive assistance to the Chief Diversity Officer. In addition, she works closely with the CDO’s Advisory Groups, the Centers under the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s umbrella (Diversity Education, Intercultural, LGBTQ, and Women’s Centers), and other campus partners.

Elliott received a B.S. from Winston-Salem State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and a M.S. in Adult and Higher Education with a concentration in Student Personnel Services from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.