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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Recent Gubernatorial Appointments Include ODU Alumna, Professor

By Sherry DiBari

Recent appointments by Gov. Ralph Northam to state positions and boards include Old Dominion University Assistant Professor Mira Mariano and alumna Dymon Bailey.

Mariano, a clinical assistant professor in College of Health Sciences, was recently reappointed to the Board of Physical Therapy.

The board regulates physical therapists and physical therapy assistants throughout the commonwealth, issues professional licenses and serves as decisionmaker on complaints lodged against practices or individuals.

Mariano was originally appointed to the board by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2017.

She holds a Ph.D. in urban education and an M.S. in community health and physical therapy from ODU and a B.S. in physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bailey, ODU '20, was named special assistant to the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

Prior to her appointment, she served as a Governor's Fellow in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and as a 2020 General Assembly intern.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in sociology with a minor in criminal justice from ODU and is working on her Master of Public Administration degree from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

At ODU, Bailey served on the President's Task Force on Inclusive Excellence and was the Student Government Association's director of legislative affairs and diversity.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was created in 2019 with Janice Underwood serving as the nation's first cabinet-level chief diversity officer. Underwood was the former director of diversity initiatives at ODU and the chair of the President's Task Force on Inclusive Excellence.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has several purposes including:

Creating a statewide assessment to evaluate inequities with formal and informal systems, processes, leaders, legislation and overall logistics.

Developing a sustainable framework for the continued promotion of inclusive practices across state government.

Collaborating with more than 100 state agencies within the commonwealth to ensure equity and inclusion within the areas of employee engagement, hiring and retention practices, and the implementation of a diversity strategic plan.

Engaging with diverse stakeholders to establish and increase inclusive excellence across the state.

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