LaVar J. Charleston
Dr. Charleston is the inaugural Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the School of Education. In this role, he provides leadership to faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that promote the School of Education and UW–Madison’s mission for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Director of Student Engagement
Ida has over 20 years of higher education experience, ranging from her own graduate education, to student services, academic administration, advising, teaching and health and wellness. She practices a socio-ecological approach to her work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is a fierce social justice practitioner and advocate. She holds a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from UW–Madison and bachelor’s degrees from Texas Tech University, in both Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies and is currently an EdD student at UW–LaCrosse.
She enjoys making meaningful connections with students and being a small part of their life journey. She’s also a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout Troops, loves cooking, time with her partner outdoors, reading and most importantly spending time with loved ones and dear colleagues. She is committed to life-long learning, self-care and advocacy and is a proud Chicana, born in California, raised in Texas, and living in Wisconsin.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Program Associate
Justin has been working in higher education since 2013, both in academic and residential environments, including teaching courses during graduate school. Justin brings a passion to both equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as administrative work to this position and knows that doing administrative and budgetary work well helps make an office function effectively. Justin has been working at UW-Madison since 2019, first in the Division of Continuing Studies before transitioning to the School of Education’s Dean’s Office and, finally, into the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. As a queer first-generation student from a low-income, single parent household, Justin understands the ways in which many students struggle to find belonging and community during their higher education experience and is determined to address these issues as part of their work now and in future positions.
Justin holds a BA in Religious Studies with minors in Jewish Studies and Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies from Elon University as well as an MA in Religious Studies with a focus in Ancient Indian Languages and Literatures from Indiana University-Bloomington.
EDI Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation
Sam’s background in higher education includes academic work like teaching classes and providing research assistance as an academic librarian as well as programming support in social justice education. She brings a passion for education as a pathway toward liberation and a strong belief in the importance of information use in operationalizing one’s autonomy. Authenticity, reflection, and continual development are key to her professional identity as is sharing her knowledge in ways that are accessible and meaningful to her audience.
Sam came to UW Madison in a professional capacity in 2019, working first in the division of student affairs before moving into the School of Education. Her identities as a queer, woman of color and a transracial adoptee are critical to how she navigates her work, her role in the institution, and her relationships with students and faculty.
Sam holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Roosevelt University and a MA in Library and Information Science from UW Madison. She is currently working on her PhD in Education from Drake University.
We look forward to meeting you!
If you’re interested in learning more about any of our initiatives, drop in or call for an appointment
105 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., M–F, 608-262-8427