Puget Sound Names Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Ph.D., as Inaugural Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity

March 24, 2021

Tacoma, Wash.— Following an extensive and highly competitive national search, University of Puget Sound has named Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, Ph.D., as the institution’s first vice president for institutional equity and diversity effective July 1, 2021. She comes to Puget Sound from Whitworth University in Spokane, where she currently serves as chief diversity officer and associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, in addition to service on the Spokane Human Rights Commission, the College Success Foundation Regional Board, and the Hispanic Business and Professionals Association.

A cognitive psychologist, Hernandez Jarvis has an extensive background in intergroup dialogue, has conducted and published research in acculturation processes and psychological well-being in adolescents, and is a published author in the field of semantic development in young children, bilingualism and bilingual education.

“Dr. Hernandez Jarvis has a deep understanding of the need for and challenges of institutional transformation,” said President Isiaah Crawford. “She brings to Puget Sound a record of scholarly and administrative achievement in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism on college campuses, and is known as an innovative and empathetic bridge builder who works effectively across a broad spectrum of difference. The intersections of her own identity and lived experience, in both Mexico and the United States, as the daughter of a sociologist/anthropologist and as a Latina American with Jewish ancestry, inform her understanding and approach to her work in significant ways.”

Hernandez Jarvis holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Akron, and a master of arts and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Kent State University. She previously served as a faculty member and administrator at Hope College (Holland, Michigan), where she was co-designer and co-director of the Global Learning Fellows Faculty Development Program; chair of the Department of Psychology; and director of General Education and Interdisciplinary Studies. She has designed and facilitated workshops and trainings for universities throughout the United States and abroad, and worked closely with the public schools and arts organizations.

“I welcome the opportunity to contribute my skills, expertise and experience at a higher education institution that clearly cares deeply about approaching the work of equity with honesty, integrity, clarity of mind, and a strong sense of purpose,” said Hernandez Jarvis. “I am impressed by University of Puget Sound’s honesty and institutional self-awareness. It is critical for an organization to acknowledge their history, including the positive and negative aspects of it, recognize and celebrate the hard work that has been done, acknowledge with integrity the challenges it faces, and aspire to face such challenges with honesty, compassion, collaboration, commitment and hope. I look forward to helping the university achieve its goals, and to serving as an advocate, ally and empathetic presence for students. It is critical for students to see themselves and their communities represented in the disciplinary content they study.”

University of Puget Sound has a strong commitment to diversity as an essential foundation for a broad liberal arts education that prepares students for leadership in a pluralistic world. Numerous programs and resources  to engage the campus and broader community in efforts to become more fully welcoming and inclusive include the flagship Race and Pedagogy Institute and national conference; Freedom Education Project Puget Sound, which educates students at the Washington Corrections Center for Women; partnerships with the Tacoma Public Schools and Posse Foundation; the Center for Student Support;  Access Programs; a Knowledge, Identity and Power graduation requirement; a regular campus climate survey; anti-bias and other training programs; numerous academic areas of study; and more. Additional information is available at pugetsound.edu/diversity.