By SHANNON O. WELLS
As 2022 drew to a close, Provost Ann Cudd welcomed two Pitt faculty members to newly created associate vice provost positions.
In a Dec. 20 announcement, Cudd named Belkys Torres, director of global engagement at the University Center for International Studies, to the role of associate vice provost for inclusive excellence in education.
Michael Colaresi, a professor of political science and research and academic director for the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, will now serve as associate vice provost for data science.
Both positions were effective as of Jan. 1.
Cudd said Torres, who has been at Pitt for seven years, in her new role will focus on “increasing educational equity by identifying and working toward the removal of academic and structural barriers to student persistence and completion,” with an emphasis on issues that disproportionately impact select student groups.
Torres, who recently joined the Dietrich School’s Department of English as an assistant teaching professor, will report to Joe McCarthy, vice provost for undergraduate studies.
Cudd said Torres will leverage her “considerable strengths in communication, collaboration and coordination” in partnering with the provost office’s director of student success and the director of the Educational Outreach Center, as well as the vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion and others across the University “to foster academic success for all Pitt undergraduates.”
Torres co-chaired the University’s Year of Pitt Global committee in 2018-19, as well as the Embracing the World Working Group during Pitt's decennial reaffirmation of accreditation through Middle States.
Cudd further cited Torres’ contributions including serving to advance and assess global learning; improving processes and procedures related to international partnership agreements; and leading implementation of key initiatives related to Pitt’s strategic and global plans.
Cudd said Michael Colaresi, who arrived at Pitt in 2017, brings a “wealth of experience” to the associate vice provost for data science role.
He will create and oversee a structure that will “convene, coordinate, and connect” with University leadership to advance Pitt’s data science efforts. This will include development of a strategy to implement the Data Task Force’s goals and actions.
Before Pitt, Colaresi served as director of Michigan State University’s Social Science Data Analytics Initiative. He has since worked to elevate Pitt’s access to data science opportunities and training across the Pitt community, Cudd noted.
A member of the provost’s Data Science Task Force from 2019-20, Colaresi also founded the interdisciplinary Pitt Disinformation Lab and co-created an integrated major in Computational Social Science.
“I am excited about the opportunities this new role affords the University in supporting student success,” Cudd said.
Shannon O. Wells is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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