The UW–Madison School of Education’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) is adding two members to its team.
Ida Balderrama-Trudell (she/her) is OEDI’s inaugural director of student engagement and will begin her role on Jan. 24, and Justin Brown (they/them) started Jan. 11 as equity, diversity, and inclusion program associate.
“Ida and Justin are two absolutely fantastic candidates who both have a strong record of achievement and success in the areas they will oversee,” says LaVar Charleston, the School of Education’s associate dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “They are ideal additions to help build the new OEDI and promote initiatives that effectively recruit, retain, and support the success of historically marginalized students, faculty, and staff.”
The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion provides leadership to faculty, staff, and students in developing and implementing strategic initiatives that promote the School of Education and UW–Madison’s mission for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Balderrama-Trudell will come to OEDI after serving UW–Madison’s Student Affairs organization as the inaugural, interim director for inclusion education. In that role her responsibilities included directing the Our Wisconsin initiative, social justice education programs, and the Social Justice Hub. Balderrama-Trudell has also served as interim director for the Multicultural Student Center and as a special assistant and chief of staff for the dean of students at UW-Madison. Her expertise and guidance were integral in the organizational change and design process that drove the current structure of Student Affairs at UW-Madison.
In her new position, Balderrama-Trudell will oversee the portfolio of OEDI programs and events within the School of Education, including management and strategy for those programs. These programs and initiatives include: the College Access Program (CAP); Education Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS); and the Summer Education Research Program (SERP), among others.
Balderrama-Trudell is an alumnus of UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology, receiving a master’s degree in human development and family studies (1999).
As a scholar-practitioner, Balderrama-Trudell is committed to continual learning about social justice, diversity, and inclusion and is currently pursuing an EdD at UW-La Crosse in student affairs administration.
Brown comes to OEDI after working in the School of Education’s Dean’s Office as an administrative assistant for the past year. They are an experienced office and program associate with seven years of experience in higher education institutions.
Brown is driven by a desire to create equitable and inclusive academic spaces and takes pride in ensuring that administrative and budgetary tasks are completed to the best of their ability so that their coworkers can have all the information they need to perform at their best.
Brown explains that as a first-generation undergraduate and graduate student from a low-income, single-parent household, they understand the struggle that many students experience upon arriving to college for the first time.
Within the OEDI, they will provide the office with support in the realms of fiscal management, administrative leadership, and event planning. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Elon University and a master of arts in religious studies, with a focus in ancient Indian languages and literature, from Indiana University.