The ODI Team
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Andrea Guzmán joined UCF as Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in July of 2021. Prior to this, she served as Associate Vice President for Student Outreach and Diversity at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) since 2014. In this role, she lead efforts to provide a campus climate that supports diversity and inclusion, student success, personal development, and integrated student learning experiences. In addition, Dr. Guzmán assisted the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management in implementing continuous improvement efforts, goal setting, strategic plans, assessment, and professional development programs within the division.
At FAU, Dr. Guzmán provided direct leadership and administrative oversight to the Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education, and Advocacy (IDEAs), which includes the Office of Hispanic/Latina/o/x Initiatives and FUTUROS Success Program, the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives and Allyship, the Office of International Education and Programs, the Office of Black Student Success and Initiatives, and the Office of Diversity Education and Training. She also oversaw the Office of First-Generation Student Success; the Military and Veterans Student Success Center; Student Activities and Involvement; Student Government; Fraternity and Sorority Life; Student Media; the Office of Leadership Education and Development; and the Weppner Center for Service Learning.
Dr. Guzmán chaired the university-wide Diversity Platform Council at FAU since its inception in 2017 until her departure in 2021. She was awarded the “National Role Model Administrator Award” from Minority Access, Incorporated, and the “Patriotic Employer Award” from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2017. She was also showcased on the Latina Leadership Collective as a “Latina Woman in Leadership” and has presented at international, national and regional conferences along the topics of first-generation student success; Hispanic/Latina/o/x student success; diversity, equity and inclusion; navigating institutional politics; and imposture syndrome. Under her leadership, Dr. Guzmán developed three university-wide centers at FAU, a number of student success programs for marginalized populations, and several symposiums to advance and sustain diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for faculty, staff and students.
In 2020, Dr. Guzmán was instrumental in writing for and securing over $600,000 to support first-generation, low-income, and marginalized student populations. She continues to partner with internal and external stakeholders to identify funding that not only advances diversity, equity and inclusion goals of the institution, but addresses larger systemic barriers impacting marginalized populations. Additionally, Dr. Guzmán is currently a mentor in the Kelly/Strul Emerging Scholars Program, which serves low-income first-generation college students and has mentored many students in the Red Jacket mentoring program and in graduate programs.
Prior to joining Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Guzmán worked for Wayne County Community College District in Detroit, Michigan for 12 years, where she last served as Chief Academic Officer and Provost of Health Sciences. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, going to the beach, and reading.
Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships
Dr. Cyndia Morales Muñiz is Director of HSI Culture and Partnerships. In this role, she provides strategic leadership and stewards national partnerships that advance UCF’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) objectives. Dr. Muñiz works with senior leadership to develop and implement HSI policies and procedures across divisions and academic colleges. She also serves as the university representative for organizations who have a dedicated interest in Latino student success and Hispanic/Minority Serving Institution Success (i.e. Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Excelencia in Education, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, etc.)
Dr. Muñiz joined the UCF community in 2008 as a doctoral student and has since worked in the College of Undergraduate Studies, College of Graduate Studies and the division of Student Development and Enrollment Services. She joined the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2017 as Assistant Director of Hispanic Initiatives and Professional development, chairing UCF’s HSI Task Force in preparation for HSI designation, launching UCF’s Vamos Knights brand, and assuming signatory responsibility for HSI verification requests.
Dr. Muñiz is the founding President of the Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA) at UCF, having served from 2015 – 2021, and launched the CREAR Futuros Mentoring Program, and UCF’s Latino/a/x Graduation Celebration – Nuestra Graduación.
Dr. Muñiz earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Binghamton University, a master’s degree in Sociology at St. John’s University and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at UCF. Her efforts and accomplishments have been recognized by UCF, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, the Puerto Rican Chamber of Central Florida, La Prensa Newspaper, the Orlando Business Journal, the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando, the Council for Latino Workplace Equity and the College Board.
Additional Language: Español (Spanish)
Associate DirectorTraining, Faculty
Barbara E. Thompson is the Associate Director in the University of Central Florida’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. For the past 29 years, she has designed, facilitated, and debriefed learning experiences on more than 75 topics related to diversity and inclusion. She has worked at UCF for twelve years, and is dedicated to the university’s strategic goal “to become more inclusive and diverse.” Barbara is a passionate and committed educator and believes in being an ally, advocate, and accomplice in the furtherance of social justice. She frequently serves as a consultant on diversity-related issues in organizations.
Barbara earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University, and has several conference presentations and publications related to human memory and concept development. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and practiced as a tax professional for eight years. She acknowledges the value of both her psychology and business backgrounds in her work today.
Kavita joined the UCF Knights as an undergraduate in 2002, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Education. She became an employee of UCF in 2007, expanding her role from Program Assistant to Coordinator of Support Services and Clinical Administration at Counseling and Psychological Services. During an interim period, she also served as the Office Manager at the Office of Pre-Professional Advising (OPPA). In 2014 Kavita was accepted into the graduate program of Louisiana State University (LSU) and earned her Master’s degree in Human Resources Education and Leadership Training in 2015. She transitioned to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) as a Coordinator in January 2020. In this new role, Kavita coordinates the Leadership Empowerment Program (LEP), facilitates the Seeking Education Equity and Diversity (SEED) program, and assists Dr. Guzmán, UCF’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with various projects, including managing ODI’s social media, the ODI website, Dr. Guzmán’s schedule and supervising the student assistants.
While Kavita may have a bit of tiger blood in her from her days at LSU she is a KNIGHT through and through!
Flore Septimus is a Training Specialist in the University of Central Florida’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Flore was born in Port Au Prince Haiti and moved to the United States at a young age. Flore Spent most of her childhood in Orlando before she moved to Tampa to continue her education. Flore attended University of South Florida where she received her bachelors in Mass Communication and Business Entrepreneurship and her masters in College Student Affairs: Curriculum and Instruction.
Flore’s work experience lies heavily within curriculum development and event planning and programming development especially within the realm of Higher Education. Flore approaches her work through the lens of Black Feminist Epistimology, which acknowledges the importance of intersecting identities in communicating knowledge and highlights qualitative research as means to understand and interpret quantitative data. As a student Affairs professional, Flore values the Student Learning Imperative and Multicultural Competence as pillars to success in the higher education environment.
According to StrengthsFinder, Flore’s top five strengths are Individualization, Self-Assurance, Command, Learner, and Relator. Her hobbies include boxing, yoga, reading, and being outdoors.
Senior Executive SecretaryAdministration
Susan Laden comes to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a Senior Executive Secretary. She serves as the initial point of contact for visitors and callers. Susan undertakes a wide range of administrative tasks. She is proud recipient of the University of Central Florida Diversity Excellence Award for exemplary service and gracious support. Susan is enthusiastic to work with the impressive team at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Susan has worked at the University since 1995. Her first three years were at Convenience Copiers/Printing Services and then moved in 1998 to serve the Office of the President for 19 years.
Susan is dependable and professional with excellent people skills. She has 25 years of experience at UCF in providing effective and comprehensive support to the students, senior executives, including, VP’s, President and Board of Trustees.