Who's Who in Diversity, Inclusion, and Strategic Partneships
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Strategic Partnerships Team
We focus on excellence in graduate student research, teaching, and service through innovative diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Catherine Cotrupi, Interim Assistant Dean and Director
Catherine Cotrupi (she/hers) serves as the Interim Assistant Dean and Director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Strategic Partnerships for the Graduate School at Virginia Tech.
She is passionate about community engagement, DEIJ, antiracism, and justice-based efforts and has served in professional and personal roles working to bridge the these to leverage the resources of each for the benefit of the others.
Her professional work and passions lie at the intersection of community engagement and DEIJ efforts. Her previous professional roles include working for VT Engage, the Center for Service Learning, Leadership Education, and Civic Engagement; and Multicultural Programs and Services (now the Cultural and Community Centers) at Virginia Tech; and as Community Engagement Manager at the University of Southern Indiana.
She uses her experience and expertise to support antiracist and social justice efforts on campus and off.
Catherine earned both her doctoral degree in Higher Education and her master’s degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech and she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Clemson University. Her dissertation research focused on white faculty members’ actions to resist upholding whiteness and white supremacy culture in their community engagement efforts. Her personal, professional, and academic interests include individuals’ actions toward actively addressing inequity and hegemony.
She is involved in the regional community in a variety of ways; she has served on the Board of the New River Conservancy since 2020 where she currently serves as Chair; she has been on the City of Radford’s Recreation Commission since 2018, and she has been an Officer of Elections serving as a Poll Worker then Precinct Chief since 2016.
She and her wife, Tara, live in Radford their dog, Hugo, and their cats, Phoebe and Finn.
Shania Clinedinst, Diversity and Inclusion Support Specialist
Shania Clinedinst (she, her) is passionate about creating a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment both on campus and within the greater community.
As the first in her family to pursue higher education, Shania recognizes the various challenges students may face when navigating various processes and serves as a champion for their success from application to degree.
Shania takes pride in mentorship and leadership roles and has received multiple certifications related to her diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, in addition to professional development.
Shania is an active member of several campus organizations, and partners with community non-profits, such as Christiansburg Institute, an African-American cultural heritage and historic preservation focused on promoting education and racial justice, Feeding Southwest Virginia, and Soles4Souls, a non-profit that provides global assistance to communities seeking access to affordable shoes and an avenue out of poverty. Shania received a degree in criminal justice and has previously worked in law enforcement. She holds a bachelor's degree from Old Dominion University and is a current master's degree student.