After a national search, Andrea Guzmán has accepted the position of vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at UCF. She anticipates starting her new role on July 6.
Guzmán is currently the associate vice president for student outreach and diversity at Florida Atlantic University, where she leads efforts to provide a campus climate that supports diversity and inclusion, student success, personal development, and integrated student learning experiences. She has also developed three university-wide centers; a number of student success programs for marginalized populations; and several symposiums to advance and sustain diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff and students.
“Our path to becoming one of the world’s leading metropolitan research universities requires an inclusive environment with a culture of compassion at its core,” says President Alexander N. Cartwright. “Andrea’s passion and experience align well with our mission and values and illustrate that she is the perfect fit to lead this charge and help UCF become a model for inclusive excellence.”
“Andrea’s passion and experience align well with our mission and values and illustrate that she is the perfect fit to lead this charge and help UCF become a model for inclusive excellence.” — President Alexander N. Cartwright
Guzmán’s passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work started at a very young age. Born in Detroit to Puerto Rican parents, she is a first-generation college graduate from humble beginnings who is dedicated to identifying and closing opportunity and achievement gaps for students of all backgrounds.
“Education is not only transformative, but is also an equalizer for social mobility, changing the trajectory for students and future generations,” says Guzmán. “It also helps in the development of a healthy economy in order to create a diverse and vibrant society.”
During her time at Florida Atlantic University, Guzmán is most proud of the creation of the Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education, and Advocacy (IDEAs), which houses offices that directly support university-wide diversity, equity an inclusion goals. Through education, training, and student success programs for international, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+ and Black/African American students, the Center for IDEAs seeks to remove educational barriers for marginalized populations and create a sense community. Understanding that diversity is multifaceted, she also created two other university-wide centers that provide student support and advance institutional goals of diversity: the Military and Veterans Student Success Center, and the Women and Gender Equity Resource Center. In addition to supporting student success, each center also provides professional development opportunities for faculty and staff and works collaboratively across colleges and the community on training, research, and fundraising.
One of UCF’s priorities is realizing a bold ambition to become the national model for inclusive excellence. This means creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and included every day and where differences are celebrated. We know the diversity of background and experience, thought and religion, beliefs and ideals — brought together — makes us better and makes our goals more attainable.
In her role at UCF, Guzmán will report to the president as a member of the executive leadership team, working with students, faculty, staff, community members and others to achieve this vision. She will also lead the development of a comprehensive strategy that champions evidence-based practices in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion in the context of a dynamic, multi-campus university.
“There is so much about UCF that stood out to me — the fact that it is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and enrolls a large percentage of first-generation, Pell-eligible, non-traditional students means that we can make a huge impact on student lives and in the community,” says Guzmán. “When you combine this with a university leadership committed to making institutional and sustainable change from the very top, faculty and staff that form a proud community of DEI champions, and deep community partnerships, it creates an environment that I am very excited to be a part of.”
The 15-member search committee was co-chaired by Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, dean of the Burnett Honors College, and Edwanna Andrews, assistant vice president for community support within Student Development and Enrollment Services.
“Andrea’s commitment to inclusive excellence through collaboration and mutual respect is evident. The committee was impressed by her accomplishments and, most importantly, her style of leadership which brings people together,” says Piñeres and Andrews. “She will be a key partner with both internal and external constituents and UCF is fortunate that Andrea has chosen to be part of our UCF family.”
Guzmán earned her bachelor’s in societal politics, Master of Public Administration and Doctor of Education from the University of Michigan. She is the proud mother of two teenage boys, Isaias (17) and Pedro (15), and a 7-year-old daughter, Isabella. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, going to the beach and reading. Ella tambien habla Español.