Karen A. Jones, former director of corporate diversity at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Rochester, N.Y., was recently named executive director for equity and access in the Department of Human Resources at Virginia Tech.
Reporting to the associate vice president for human resources, Jones will serve as the Virginia Tech’s chief Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Civil Rights officer. She will provide leadership and oversight for expanding, developing, and implementing the university’s equal opportunity/affirmative action program and hiring initiatives; affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person though the prevention of unlawful discrimination or harassment; assist campus leaders in reducing conflict and maintaining a positive work climate by ensuring fairness in the workplace; and assure compliance with applicable federal, state, local, and university regulations regarding access and non-discriminatory practices for persons with disabilities.
As director of corporate diversity Excellus BlueCross BlueShield from 2006 to 2009, Jones was responsible for directing and sustaining leadership for the corporate-wide diversity and inclusion strategic plan and related initiatives. From 2004 to 2006, she managed a voluntary mentoring program to assist underrepresented students with college adjustment and academic success as the director of the CONNECT Program/Counselor at St. John Fisher College in Rochester.
From 2000 to 2003, she served as cultural relations specialist for Global Crossing, North America in Rochester and was director of leadership and community development from 1995 to 2000 and coordinator of the Office for Students with Disabilities/ADA Compliance from 1990 to 1995, both at the State University of New York College at Brockport.
Jones received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, a master’s degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport, and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.