Vanessa Martizez, Operations

Originally from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, Vanessa E. Martinez-Renuncio, PhD, is an experienced medical anthropologist, professor, trainer, non-profit professional and leader in the areas of justice, equity, anti-oppression, cultural humility and culturally responsive pedagogy.  With over twenty years of experience working in higher education colleges, both predominantly white institutions (PWI) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), her focus has been on building campus and community wide equity and inclusion initiatives and programs to support student retention, graduation, transfer and workforce development.  Vanessa has trained faculty, researchers, non-profit and health professionals for over 10 years.  As a professor, she engages students as storytellers, question askers, and knowledge producers showing how learning and critical thinking flows in multiple directions, whether it is teacher to student, student to teacher, student to student, and/or student to self. She received her Master’s in applied medical anthropology from Georgia State University in 2002 and her PhD in anthropology with a focus in medicine from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014. She is also a co-founder of The Women of Color Healthy Equity Collective (The Collective), a movement building non-profit in Western Massachusetts whose mission is to ensure girls and women of color are able to achieve optimal health.  She runs both the research and advocacy arms of The Collective with the goal of meeting community needs.