Viridiana Díaz is inspired every day by the students she serves as assistant vice president of Strategic Diversity Initiatives at Sacramento State.
Over the past 15 years, she has dedicated herself to creating a more inclusive campus for first-generation, Pell Grant-eligible, migrant, immigrant, undocumented, and underserved students, including out-of-school youth.
“They keep me full of energy, optimism, and pride,” she recently told Villa en el valle, a publication of The Sacramento Bee. “They are willing to go outside of their comfort zone to access resources, build a strategic network of caring mentors, and furthermore choose to transform their lives and, by doing so, the lives of their future generations.”
The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Díaz – who was #MadeAtSacState – with its 2016 Latina Inspiration Estrella (“star”) award during a Dec. 14 luncheon at the Sterling Hotel.
“You were chosen by our committee for your dedication and perseverance to achieve your goals and motivate others to do the same,” chamber president Cathy Rodriguez said in congratulating Díaz. “Your professional achievements and leadership are an inspiration to us all.”
Díaz oversees a number of equity programs on campus: the Dedicated to Educating, Graduating, and Retaining Educational Equity Students (DEGREES) Project; the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP); the Serna Center; the Dreamer Resource Center; the Migrant Student Leadership Institute; and the High School Equivalency Program (HEP).
She came to the United States from Mexico at age 12 and was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and two master’s degrees – art in Spanish and art in history – all from Sacramento State. She went on to complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy at Sac State.
To learn more about Díaz and her tireless efforts to help students succeed, please see the story in Villa en el valle: http://bit.ly/2eDllzi.