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Dena Salerno

Department: Student Life

Asst Dean for Student Diversity & Inclusion

Title IX Coordinator

  • Education
  • MED, Bucknell University
  • BA, Eastern University

As Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, I strive to build an intentional SU community where everyone belongs and thrives. I get to work with a team of colleagues and students who are also committed to social justice and who remind me that my success and happiness are always linked to theirs. I direct the Intercultural Center, a vibrant, student-focused space, which takes the lead on diverse community programming, workshops in cultural competence, mediated dialogues and student advocacy. I also serve as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, partnering with students to eliminate sexual violence and discrimination on campus.

Additionally, I am a corporate/educational consultant on issues of inclusivity, workplace conflict, and increasing dialogue around race and sexuality. I often moderate interactive theater as a venue for these workshops and conversations. My previous training is as a therapist/mediator, and I have also been on the adjunct psychology faculty in the Penn State system for many years. My graduate degree is from Bucknell University, and I’ve received additional certifications in life coaching and mediation.

I currently live in Lewisburg with my spouse, Denyse, daughters, Olivia and Sophie, and way too many pets. I really enjoy playing outside, particularly with my hands in the dirt, listening to the blues, reading poems by Mary Oliver, and delighting in sketch comedy. I also believe that “food is love” and never hesitate to share a good meal as a path to happiness!

EXPERIENCE

Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pa. 2008-present

Assistant Dean, Center for Intercultural and Community Engagement

Adjunct Professor, Professional Development

Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Human Resources

  • Develop and facilitate institutional programs and practices which encourage an inclusive and vibrant campus community
  • Direct and initiate programs to recruit, engage and retain underrepresented student and employee populations (i.e. The Scholar Mentor Initiative which introduced a successful leadership model)
  • Founded and chaired the Bias Response and Education Team, an institutional committee which acts as a referral body for allegations of discrimination and harassment , publish an annual report, assess campus climate, and provide relevant and proactive programming
  • Serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinator providing procedural, investigative and educational guidance
  • Facilitate workshops and trainings in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning for faculty and staff regarding cultural competence (i.e. teaching to diverse audiences, responsive pedagogies, establishing Safe Zones), sexual harassment, student development and conflict resolution and mediation
  • Supervise several innovative campus-wide programs to encourage civil discourse , community, positive bystander behavior (i.e. Activist in Residence, Social Justice Fellowship , interactive theatrical workshops and community forums)
  • Forge several community collaborations to discuss perceptions of race/ ethnicity/identity and explore opportunities to enhance town/gown relationships (i.e. Community Alliance for Respect and Equality, local ministerium, radio broadcasts, local police department)
  • Serve on Diversity Advisory Board (chair),Title IX Committee, International Committee, Latino Steering Committee, Women’s Studies Advisory Board, MLK Institutional Committee(chair) , Student Support Network, and several institutional Search Committees
  • Advise National Congress of Black Women university chapter
  • Teach first year seminar course (Perspectives)
  • Created and supervise LGBTQ Coordinator position and co-facilitate Haven, a confidential support group for LGBTQ students
  • Coordinated all transitional support services for international students’ academic and social integration and maintains SEVIS documentation upon arrival
  • Supervise and evaluate professional staff, interns, mentors and eight student assistants
  • Manage 4 budget lines
  • Demonstrate excellent crisis management skills and confidentiality

 

Mediation and Training Consultant 1995-present

Trainer, Moderator and Facilitator

  • Moderated more than 400 interactive workshops for over 450 mid-Atlantic universities and corporations focusing on diversity issues, sexual violence prevention, cultural stereotypes, effective communication, conflict mediation, fostering work/life balance, increasing productivity, and recruiting and retaining a diverse employee team
  • Facilitates mediated conversations around contentious and difficult issues
  • Develop and lead workshops for faculty/staff on teaching to diverse audiences and sexual violence prevention
  • Develop and implement corporate diversity trainings with an emphasis on reducing harassment and discrimination in the hiring process and work environment thereby building an inclusive talent pool
  • Supervise and evaluate a company staff of seven

 

Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Pa. 1995-2007

Psychology Faculty

  • Taught general and developmental psychology courses with an emphasis on socio-cultural models as paradigms with which to view development and mental health
  • Initiated sexuality panel for curriculum and experiential final project requiring students to identify and confront individual prejudice through interaction

 

Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke, Pa. 1995-1997

Academic Advisor

  • Off-site academic/career advising for non-traditional students and 18-20 year old cohorts

 

Greenwood Friends School, Millville, Pa. 2003-2007

Director of Counseling and Admissions/Chief Diversity Officer

  • Performed all aspects of admissions including marketing, recruitment, interviews, budgeting and pursuit of creative funding sources
  • Developed and led diversity programming and workshops on campus and in the community
  • Acted as primary counselor and facilitated support groups which focused on body image, healthy relationships, and conflict resolution techniques

 

Private Practice, Sunbury, Pa. 1993-1999

Therapist

  • Provided individual and group counseling with an emphasis on college population, domestic/sexual violence and mediation

 

EDUCATION

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa.

Master of Science in Education/Counseling, Full Fellowship

 

Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude

 

ADDITIONAL TRAINING

  • SEVIS Basics for F1 and J1 Compliance
  • Title IX ASAP: Compliance and Investigation
  • Stop the Hate: National Campus Bias and Hate Crime Prevention, Train the Trainer
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Healthcare Professionals, Thomas Jefferson University, Pa.
  • Cultural-Relational Intensive Training Institute, Wellesley College, Stone Center for Women, Mass.
  • Process Transformation Training, Geisinger Health System, Pa.

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity (AAAED)
  • National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
  • National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE)
  • National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

 

Recent Corporate/Educational Client List

  • PNC Corporation
  • Wawa
  • Penske Trucking
  • Hershey Foods
  • Geisinger Health System
  • Lock Haven University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Community Alliance for Respect and Equality
  • Harrisburg Area Community College

Courses taught:

  • PRDV-104 Perspectives (all majors)