LVC Community Welcomes First Director of Intercultural Affairs & Inclusive Programming
Relocating from the Capital District in New York, Renata Williams has joined the LVC community and student affairs team as the new director of intercultural affairs & inclusive programming. She is a seasoned student affairs professional, having held positions at Manhattan College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage, and Fulton Montgomery Community College. She has her master’s degree in counseling from Manhattan and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree.
Williams will lead the office–formerly known as the Office of Multicultural Affairs–which provides services including counseling and advising, cultural programming, diversity training, dialogues, and more. Olawjiwon McCadney is the assistant director of the office, which also coordinates the Social Justice Institute and summer Bridge Program.
The Office of Intercultural Affairs and Inclusive Programming is just one area of the College's diversity and inclusivity initiative.
Learn more about Williams in this Q&A, and stop by the Center for Student Engagement to meet her in person.
Q: How did you first learn about LVC?
A: I learned about LVC probably about seven or eight years ago when I had applied for a position here. When this position opened I applied again because I love the size and composition of the student body, and the opportunities that are presented for students, faculty, staff, and administration.
Q: What do you most look forward to during your first year at The Valley?
A: I’m looking forward to building relationships with everyone on campus. Since I arrived, everyone has been so welcoming and it has been very refreshing to see the willingness to collaborate and the anticipation of my arrival. That makes things really exciting.
Q: What are you most excited to bring to the LVC community?
A: I’ve had the opportunity to study abroad as a student. I have also had the opportunity to also bring students on a lot of international service trips. I’m excited to bring something like that here to LVC or continue to grow the programs that LVC already offers in regards to service abroad. I’ve taken students to Rwanda, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. On my own, I have traveled to China, South Africa, and Italy.
Q: What were you most surprised about when you came to LVC?
A: Our athletic facilities are top notch for a Division III school. I was a D-III athlete and the facilities here are leaps and bounds ahead of what I had available to utilize. The LVC athletic facilities are absolutely outstanding.
Q: What is the best thing about working at LVC so far?
A: The best thing about LVC is the collegiality of everybody here. Everyone is so willing to offer a helping hand and team up. I can see how we really work to best support our students and I really love that because at the end of the day, our students are our main concern, so I think that’s really great.
Q: What can you tell us about your life outside of the work place?
A: I have a two-year-old son and I always say he is my sunshine. He fills up most of my time and I’m also fulfilling requirements to complete my doctorate. Along with being a mom, I am a significant other, sister (I’m one of five kids where I am the second oldest), daughter, I and love to travel. I actually really enjoy traveling with my students. I think it’s a pretty neat to be with them on a level outside of the office and making the most of the experiences.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes?
A: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.—When life gets really tough it gives me perspective. I can take a step back and say, ‘You’re okay, you’ll be fine.’
Q: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: I’ve always said that I want to go to Dubai and I don’t really have a reason why, it’s just that I’ve heard great things. One of my former supervisors from when I worked at Ben & Jerry’s a long time ago had gone twice and always came back raving. I think that it is more of a curious thing. I just want to see everything that there is to see. Egypt is also on my short list for sure, and I’ll probably plan that trip in the next five to seven years.