Staff Profile

Charlana Y Simmons

Charlana Yvette Simmons

Title: Director
Department: Multicultural Affairs

As the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, I lead the office’s mission of supporting a diverse and inclusive environment at WPI that is aligned with the larger Institutional goals of diversity and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. We accomplish this by providing a range of programs designed to celebrate diversity and inclusion in many forms, including but not limited to: race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Under the auspices of the Office of Multicultural Affair are also the OASIS house and the Collegiate Religious Center. 
My previous roles include Director of Student Success and Diversity at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2014 – 2017) and Associate Director of College Programs in the David T. Kearns Center at the University of Rochester (2007 – 2013).  I received both a Master of Science in Secondary English Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.   During my 10-year tenure as a higher education professional, I have continuously advocated for educational equity and move towards a more inclusive society with a focus on supporting students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.  Published works include one book and one article: Intersectionality & Higher Education:  Theory, Research & Praxis, 2014 – Peter Lange Publishing.  Narrating Identities:  Schools as Touchstones of Endemic Marginalization, 2011 – Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 42(2), 121- 133.  As a Native of Western, New York I have a natural enjoyment of water sports, running, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.