OREM, Utah — After a nationwide search, TuTangeni DaSheek Akwenye has been appointed chief inclusion and diversity officer (CIDO) and Dr. Rasha Qudisat has been named program director in Utah Valley University’s (UVU) Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
As chief officer, Akwenye will lead and promote inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and opportunity across the university and will continue to build on UVU’s nationally recognized strategic Inclusion and Diversity Plan and efforts. He will sit on all UVU executive committees and will oversee the Inclusion Committee.
Qudisat will focus on assessments, analytics, and university-wide justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) projects in the Office of Inclusion. Her data collection and analysis skills will guide the university’s strategic planning decisions as it continues to build upon its current plan.
“At UVU, we have built a nationally recognized Inclusion and Diversity Plan and look forward to DaSheek and Rasha making it even more effective,” said UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez. “It is critical to have strong, committed, insightful leaders in these positions who will help all students feel welcome, use resources effectively, and create an environment where all can thrive.”
A UVU alumnus, Akwene’s connection with the university began as an international student-athlete 20 years ago. After finishing his Master of Science in Exercise Science from Utah State University, he returned to UVU in 2014 where he has served as the director and senior director of Campus Recreation and Wellness.
In 2019, Akwene received the Champion of Inclusion Award for his commitment to inclusion and diversity at UVU. He has provided meaningful and substantive inclusion advocacy work and has served on many committees, including the Executive Inclusion, African Diaspora Executive, First Generation Mentor, and Police Academy Bias Education Training Committees. He was also invited to be UVU’s first Juneteenth speaker.
Qudisat has a PhD from Brigham Young University in Education, Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation. As a consultant to UVU for the past several years, she has worked on many engaged-learning, National Science Foundation-funded, and business management projects. She specializes in assessment research and is skilled in predictive and quantitative analytics, impact evaluation, and gender analysis.
About Utah Valley University
At Utah Valley University, we believe everyone deserves the transforming benefits of high-quality education — and it needs to be affordable, accessible, and flexible. With opportunities to earn certificates to master’s degrees, our students succeed by gaining real-world experience and developing career-ready skills. As we celebrate the milestone of our 80th anniversary in 2021/2022, we continue to invite people to come as they are — and leave ready and prepared to make a difference in the world. For more, visit uvu.edu or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.