A former teacher, school principal and director, Dr. Virginia Cárdenas worked with K-12 schools throughout North Carolina for more than 30 years. Cárdenas has dedicated herself personally and professionally to the work of school transformation, language acquisition and support of diverse student cultures. She received her master’s degree in school administration in 1998 and doctorate degree in school leadership in 2006 from UNC-Chapel Hill and began her work with ACRED in 2007.
Through ACRED, she has been able to support and connect with University endeavors that reflect her personal passions. As the new chair of ACRED, Cárdenas noted that it is tremendously rewarding to serve as an ambassador of the University’s work and as a voice on how to help Carolina make meaningful and inclusive strides for a more racial and ethnically diverse campus.
Dr. Cárdenas shares her introductory message to ACRED members below.
Greetings ACRED Members,
It is a tremendous honor to serve as the chair of ACRED. I thank my predecessor, Lucrecia R. Moore ’92 for her dedication and hard work on behalf of ACRED and our University. I look forward to following Lucrecia’s great example. The opportunity to help lay out a path for growth and development for our committee’s work and the future work of our University is one I fully embrace. Also, knowing the commitment and vision of Vice Chair Lou Patalano, our subcommittee chairs and each of our ACRED members, reassures me that ACRED will continue its tradition of philanthropy, service, leadership and advocacy. ACRED members bring unique and highly specialized tools, skills, perspectives and stories to each of our meetings. I never fail to be impressed with your capacity, agency and heart.
As ambassadors of our University and leaders within our fields, we will carry on our efforts to raise awareness and build the diverse and strong Carolina community required of a “flagship” public university. While our base is fundraising, our heart will remain committed to motivating Carolina’s continued growth as a place for all people.
The first initiative of Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, the University’s strategic framework, is “Build Our Community Together,” and we hope our work as a development committee will make an impact in supporting its objectives to invest in policies, systems and infrastructure that promote belonging, community and transparency throughout the University community. We will promote the educational benefits of diversity, equity and inclusion through effective student recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation. Our endeavors will prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching, research and service, and in hiring, evaluation, retention and promotion of underrepresented faculty and staff.
In addition to helping our University community, I will also strive to make ACRED a space where we can learn with and from each of our four subcommittee’s rich and unique histories, values, traditions and dreams. By knowing and understanding each other more authentically, we will better promote the work of each of our subcommittees.
Thank you for your commitment to serving and engaging with our diverse community. I look forward to the great things that we will accomplish this year.
Virginia L. Cárdenas ’98 (M.S.A.), ’06 (Ed.D.)