Dear Campus Colleagues,
I have the challenging task of announcing the departure of two members of the ODI team. Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, Director of Diversity Education, and Paige Meltzer, Director of the Women’s Center, will be leaving Wake Forest this term. Specifically, Shayla will be leaving at the end of February and Paige at the end of May. Both are departing Wake Forest to pursue new opportunities in the area of Diversity and Inclusion, yet both will be sorely missed at Wake Forest.
Shayla joined the Finance and Administration team at Wake Forest in August 2006. When she joined the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in February 2012, she was charged with leading Diversity Education efforts. From designing curriculum (including GateKeepers) to offering experiential learning and engagement opportunities for faculty and staff, Shayla has reached out and connected with hundreds of colleagues across the institution and our external community, helping us all strive for intentional and mutual inclusion. More than anything it is the friendships and mentorship that she’s shared with her peers that is impossible to quantify.
Paige joined Wake Forest in January 2013, as the inaugural Women’s Center Director. In the over 6 years of commitment to our community, she has collaborated with students, staff, faculty, alums, and university stakeholders to help Wake Forest live up to its mission of creating a more diverse learning community. Growing a new center from the ground up, bringing programming and dynamic speakers to campus, and influencing policies that reflected the spectrum of identities of those who work, learn, and live on our campus will be Paige’s long-lasting impact on Wake Forest. From centering the work of the Women’s Center to solidifying a structure for championing systemic change, our community has been enriched by her presence.
Aside from their respective areas, both Paige and Shalya served this community in a multitude of spaces. From search committees to task forces, to consultative relationships, to professional coaching, to mentoring and support, to teaching assignments, they went above and beyond. Outside of campus they served on local non-profit boards, worked to support young women and entrepreneurs, and advocated for equitable education and support of Winston-Salem community members. Furthermore, they’ve been highly sought-after speakers in national and international settings, sharing their knowledge and skills with countless audiences.
On a personal note, I know that I will miss them both very much. They have provided me with peerless insights, lessons, perspectives, and feedback, all in an effort to improve the manner in which ODI engages with our internal and external community. In short, they helped me be a better professional and a better person.
Please join me in recognizing Shayla and Paige for their contributions to Wake Forest!
José A. Villalba, Ph.D., LPC
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Counseling
Wake Forest University