Meet Mark Brimhall-Vargas
Mark Brimhall-Vargas became Brandeis’ first chief diversity officer (CDO) and vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion on Jan. 11. Appointed to the position last fall, Brimhall-Vargas has spent nearly two decades working to make universities more equitable places for their increasingly diverse faculty, staff and students. Most recently, he was CDO and associate provost at Tufts University, where he had primary responsibility for the implementation of that university’s 2013 President’s Diversity Report. Previously, he served for 17 years in various diversity management positions at the University of Maryland, College Park, including deputy CDO.
Brimhall-Vargas sat down for a conversation with BrandeisNOW shortly after his arrival.
BrandeisNOW: What are your first impressions of Brandeis?
Brimhall-Vargas: One thing that immediately strikes me about the community is the willingness of faculty and staff to engage in events that are a part of the culture of the institution, and the willingness of students to come out in large numbers and support each other. I attended Mela 2016 [an annual charity show that promotes understanding and awareness of South Asian culture] in November and the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial event [this year titled “Black Girl Magic”]. They were literally packed, standing room only, and I thought, that says something about this institution, and the desire of people who are here to participate, to engage, to support one another, to create the community we hope for.