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Posse Foundation vice president to join Middlebury College as dean for institutional diversity

September 14, 2006

Shirley Ramirez

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Shirley Ramirez, executive vice president of the New York City-based Posse Foundation, will join Middlebury College as dean for institutional diversity. In her new position, Ramirez will serve as a member of the president's staff and work to ensure that diversity issues are an integral aspect of all institutional initiatives and strategic planning. She will act as both a leader and a consultant in the effort to recruit and retain a faculty, staff and student body of varied backgrounds and interests. Ramirez will report to Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz. She will begin working at Middlebury full time on Jan. 2.

At The Posse Foundation, Ramirez is responsible for managing the administrative and overall operations of the organization on a national level. The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and selects outstanding student leaders from public high schools to form multicultural teams called "Posses" that go on to top universities and colleges nationwide, including Middlebury, which has participated since 1999. Posse high school sites include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Liebowitz said, "We are delighted and most fortunate to welcome Shirley Ramirez to the college to serve in this most important position.  Her experience will help us further our efforts to foster the educational benefits that derive from living and learning within a diverse community. I am certain Shirley's wide array of talents will redound to the college in numerous ways in the coming years.

"Middlebury has benefited tremendously from the efforts of Shirley and her colleagues at The Posse Foundation and we look forward to continuing our work with the foundation," added Liebowitz.

Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Foundation, said, "We will miss Shirley but are confident that the strengths she brought to Posse will serve Middlebury well and deepen our partnership at the same time.  Middlebury has been an outstanding partner and we are impressed with the college's ongoing and very serious commitment to diversity."

When The Posse Foundation was founded in 1989, Ramirez herself was one of the students in the very first Posse, whose members attended Vanderbilt University. She is also the first Posse Scholar to receive a doctorate. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, Ramirez is the first person in her family to go to college as well.

Ramirez is currently an adjunct assistant professor at New York University and the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at New School University, where she teaches courses focused on research methods, leadership development, management and organizational behavior and organizational change. She has served as an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University and George Mason University. As a clinical psychologist, she has worked extensively with multicultural populations struggling with trauma including sexual abuse, political torture, hate crimes, and domestic violence. She is also a member of the board of directors of Henry Street Settlement in New York City.