Meshea L. Poore, Esq.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Meshea L. Poore, Esq., a long-time champion of underrepresented people, serves as vice president and chief diversity officer for the West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In that role, she motivates the Mountaineer family to recognize the value in diversity and challenges all who interact with her to create transformational change.
Poore has been helping light the way toward equity throughout her career. An attorney who served in the WV House of Delegates from 2009-2014, she is an accomplished and sought-after motivational speaker, public and political leadership consultant and strategist. The Women’s Campaign Fund named her a “Game Changer” during her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for WV's 2nd Congressional District. She has mentored and consulted with hundreds of elected officials throughout the nation as they seek higher office. Poore is also an experienced educator who served as an adjunct professor at WV State University, as a faculty member in residence at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and has teaching privileges at WVU College of Law. In 2017, Poore became the first African-American woman named president of the West Virginia State Bar since its 1947 founding. Prior to operating her own practice, she was an attorney in the Office of the Kanawha County Public Defender in Charleston, WV. She is an alumna of the prestigious German Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a member of the executive committee for the Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and is President of the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. Poore earned her bachelor's degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and her law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She also graduated from the Women's Campaign School at Yale University and is a 2023 graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Chapter.
Poore has facilitated insightful conversations with leading voices in social justice work, including Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award Winner and author of How to Be an Antiracist; Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and creator of the landmark 1619 Project; and W. Kamau Bell, sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America.
James Goins Jr.
Director of Equity Assurance/Title IX Coordinator
James Goins currently serves as the Director of Equity Assurance and the Title IX Coordinator in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. James provides senior-level leadership pertaining to all issues of civil rights and is responsible for the oversight of institutional equity compliance, including Title IX and ADA/Section 504 compliance, as well as relationship violence and sexual misconduct prevention, outreach, and education for the University and its regional campuses.
Angela Malone Cartwright, Ph.D.
Director of Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement
Dr. Angela Cartwright brings her expertise in multicultural and equity issues in education and experience as a leader in higher education to the role of Director of Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement. She is a career educator with international experience that ranges from elementary students to university graduate students. Her first classroom was with AmeriCorps Energy Express in Flemington, WV. She later worked in a high school Social Studies department where she specialized in working with at-risk students and earned the OEA Grassroots Activist Educator of the Year Award. Upon completion of her PhD in Multicultural and Equity Studies, she joined higher education, earning tenure and Associate rank before moving to a Vice Provost role in London, England.
Assistant Director for Prevention, Education and Youth Protection
Cortney Simmons serves as the Assistant Director of Prevention, Education and Youth Protection for the Office of Equity Assurance within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She works closely with units across the WVU system including WVU Potomac State and the WVU Institute of Technology, implementing the WVU Board of Governors Rule 1.6. Cortney is responsible for training, coordinating, and facilitating prevention education for students on topics such as healthy relationships, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, bystander intervention and/or response efforts on campus with an intersectional lens. In addition, Cortney oversees BOG Board of Governance Rule 1.7—Rule on Child Protection where youth are invited to participate in academic, athletic and enrichment programs on campus and across West Virginia. Youth Protection exists to provide guidelines and best practices to program administrators that promote the safety of youth engaged in WVU Youth programs, activities, events and research.
Cortney serves as an Anonymous Employee to faculty, staff, and students who have been involved in Title IX related issues who want to further discuss options for reporting and/or gathering resources.
Prior to joining WVU, Cortney was the Victim Specialist for the West Virginia State Police Crimes Against Children Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Cortney worked throughout West Virginia providing direct services and assistance to victims, families, and other agencies affiliated to the West Virginia ICAC Task Force. Cortney designed and implemented an Employee Support Program to safeguard members of the unit who are exposed to child sexual exploitation materials in addition to other violent crimes against children. Cortney was a ChildFirst Forensic Interviewer and managed the West Virginia Missing Children Clearinghouse.
Senior Executive Assistant
Megan Chambers serves as the Senior Executive Assistant for the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Megan is a graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. Prior to her current role, Megan worked as an Administrative Specialist for the WVU Cancer Institute where she assisted the Chief of Advanced Practice Professionals and the Associate Director of Administration.
Special Events Coordinator
Anne Kerns serves as the Special Events Coordinator for the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She is a graduate of American Military University with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Anne brings her experience as a photographer, graphic designer, business owner, and previous work in graduate education to her position at West Virginia University.
Kayla is a Case Manager for the Office of Equity Assurance. She is responsible for triaging complaints as they come into the office and providing resources and supportive measures to those who require assistance. She earned her Master of Legal Studies degree from West Virginia University in 2017.
Madisyn is a Case Manager for the Office of Equity Assurance. She is responsible for triaging complaints as they come into the office and providing resources and supportive measures to those who require assistance. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from West Virginia University in 2021. Prior to joining the division, Madisyn served as a victim advocate for the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center where she provided support and advocacy to community members in the greater Morgantown area.
Youth Protection Program Specialist
Maya Huggins is the Youth Protection Program Specialist for the Office of Equity Assurance at West Virginia University. With her extensive educational background, Maya graduated in 2023 with a Masters in Public Administration and in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Prior to her current position, she served as a graduate assistant with the prevention team for the Office of Equity Assurance, where she collaborated with fellow team members to expand prevention resources and educational initiatives throughout the WVU campus. In her present role, Maya's primary focus is to ensure the safety and well-being of children involved in WVU youth programs. She works closely with the WVU community members who oversee these programs, guiding them in adhering to relevant laws and WVU policies, thus creating a secure and protective environment for all participants. Maya's expertise and commitment contribute significantly to fostering a culture of safety and accountability within the university community.
Diversity Outreach Coordinator
Caitlin Fulp is the Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the Division. She is a graduate of West Virginia University where she received a degree in Political Science in 2021 and a master's in public administration in 2023. Prior to joining the Division in her current role, Caitlin served as the graduate assistant to Vice President Poore and as a community organizer in various capacities. Her community organizing experience deepened her desire to serve the greater Morgantown area, her home state, and her alma mater. Caitlin oversees the Diversity Ambassadors and the Chancellor’s Scholar program.
Jill Hess serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for WVU. In her work, she provides direct service and accommodations to faculty, staff and GA/GTA/RAs with disabilities on all WVU campuses and ensures institutional compliance with Title I and Title II of the ADA. Jill began her career as a consultant for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), and in 2006 joined WVU’s Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) as a Rehabilitation Counselor, serving students and faculty members on the Morgantown, WVU Tech, and Potomac State College Campuses. She is passionate about inclusivity, intersectionality, and the accessibility of all Mountaineers.
Maggie Von Dolteren
Prevention Education Specialist
Maggie von Dolteren
serves as a Prevention Education Specialist, providing education, training,
and technical assistance designed to prevent interpersonal violence before it
occurs and minimize the harm people experience. Maggie also works with the Peer
Advocate program, empowering students to respond to violence and oppression
while supporting their peers. Prior to joining the team, Maggie was a
certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivor Advocate at the Rape
and Domestic Violence Information Center, specializing in supporting survivors
of domestic violence engaged with the child welfare system, training child
protection workers on the impacts and dynamics of domestic violence, and
facilitating coordinated community responses to violence.
Prevention Education Specialist
Deborah Blakney serves as our Prevention Education Specialist responsible for assisting the Assistant Director in the development and implementation of theory-driven, evidence-based prevention and awareness programs, coordinating and managing prevention programs for our campus community and support groups, in addition to working closely with Athletics, Greek Life, and supervising the delivery of sexual assault prevention, sexual health, and alcohol education programs. She earned her Master’s of Science in Education, from the University of New Haven, CT and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Policy & Government, from Eastern Connecticut State University. Prior to joining the Division, she taught in public and private schools and is a retired Associate Warden where she served over 22 years in federal law enforcement. Deborah is also a proud United States Army veteran.
Lauren Florio currently serves as the Student Intern for West Virginia University's Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion under Jill Hess, ADA Coordinator. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Science from WVU in 2021 and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Social Work.
Presley Caplinger serves as a graduate service assistant at the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, while being a second-year Doctor of Audiology student. Presley graduated in December 2022 from West Virginia University with her Bachelor's of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is from Clarksburg, West Virginia, and plans to gain further experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion so that she can apply it to the field of audiology in the future.
Special Assistant to The Vice President
Hunter Bohon is one of our graduate assistants. He is the special assistant to the Vice President for the division. He is a graduate from Roanoke College where he received his bachelors in Public Health and Spanish. Currently, he is pursuing his Masters in Public Health at the University.
Prevention Education Graduate Assistant
Paulina Serwaa Gyamfi serves as a Prevention Graduate Assistant at the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, working under the supervision of Cortney Simmons. Paulina is a dedicated student at WVU, where she is pursuing her Masters degree in Journalism. Hailing from Ghana, Paulina brings a unique international perspective to the team. In addition to her academic pursuits, she is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about issues related to discrimination and abuse. Her commitment to education and social justice is an inspiration to all who know her.
Annabella Davis is currently serving as a Student Worker for The Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as she pursues her Bachelor Degree in Political Science and International Studies. She brings her experience to the position from her previous work in Norborne Preschool and Daycare Center.
Riley Katz is currently serving as a Student Worker for the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as she pursues a Bachelor Degree in Animal & Nutritional Sciences. She brings her experience from multiple volunteering activities in Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, BBYO (B’nai Brith Youth Organization, a Jewish Teen Leadership Organization), and Camp Louise.