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Shirley M. Collado received her undergraduate degree in human & organizational development and psychology from Vanderbilt University in 1994, followed by MA and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from Duke University. Shirley is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in trauma among multicultural populations. She has taught at a number of colleges and universities, including New York University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, The New School, Middlebury College and Lafayette College. A national thought leader on diversity, collaboration and innovation, Shirley has delivered numerous keynote addresses and presentations, facilitated workshops and trainings, consulted on initiatives with many organizations, and received several awards.
In January 2015, Shirley joined the Rutgers University — Newark community as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer. She continues her research and teaching pursuits at RU-N as a faculty member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with an affiliation in the Department of Psychology.
Prior to her appointment at Rutgers University — Newark, Shirley served as vice president for student affairs and dean of the college, and associate professor of psychology at Middlebury College. During her time at Middlebury, she successfully led transformative initiatives including the enhancement of the Center for Careers and Internships, the development of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, the strengthening of The Commons residential life experience, the development of forward-looking sexual misconduct and judicial policies, the establishment of faculty diversity and retention initiatives, and the initiation of a nationally recognized new student orientation program (MiddView).
Prior to joining Middlebury College, Shirley was the executive vice president of The Posse Foundation where she significantly grew the organization and managed operations on a national level. A member of The Posse Foundation’s inaugural class of students and a Brooklyn-born daughter of Dominican immigrants, Shirley is the first person in her family to undergo the transformative experience of college matriculation and graduation. Moreover, she is the first Posse Scholar to receive a doctoral degree and become a trustee of an institution of higher education, her alma mater, Vanderbilt University.
Shirley is currently developing and leading the Creating Connections Consortium (C3), one of the most innovative faculty diversity initiatives in higher education. Under her leadership as co-principal investigator of C3 and with a major grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, C3 is building a dynamic partnership to strengthen diversity and innovation and to broaden the pathway to the professoriate through enhanced interactions between liberal arts colleges and research universities. She also co-founded (2007) and co-led (until 2014) the national organization of Liberal Arts Diversity Officers (LADO), a national consortium that promotes the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in support of academic excellence at liberal arts colleges.
Shirley serves as a trustee at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and at the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York City. She lives in South Orange, New Jersey, with her husband, A. Van Jordan, an award-winning poet and the first Henry Rutgers Presidential Professor at Rutgers University.