Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, a 1998 Delta Iota initiate and member of the Madison (WI) Alumni Chapter has been selected as the Assistant Director and Senior Research Associate at Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei Lab) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). This new position provides oversight and direction to the research operations within the Wei Lab. Dr. Charleston will work in partnership with the Director in three key areas: (1) research agenda and strategic planning; (2) quality assurance of research instrumentation, methods, conduction, analysis and evaluation; and (3) general oversight of research projects to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The Wei Lab, established in May 2010, aims to help policymakers, practitioners, and citizens promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments. The Wei Lab is an externally-funded research lab housed within the world-renowned Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER). The Wei Lab is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research on topics of equity and inclusion in education, with a particular focus on higher education. Broadly constructed, the lab operationalizes equity and inclusion as efforts taken by organizations to ensure educational success for all of its constituents.
At the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dr. Charleston also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Dr. Charleston’s central research interest focuses on the trajectory of underrepresented populations into highly technological positions and broadening participation for underrepresented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in higher education and the scientific workforce. Dr. Charleston’s work addressing the understanding of interventions and/or broadening participation in STEM has been supported by thought-leading agencies such as the Lumina Foundation, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Charleston currently serves on the review board for the Journal of African American Males in Education (JAAME), and has served as the associate editor for the Annuals of The Next Generation Journal and as the assistant director for development and marketing at the Center for African American Research and Policy (CAARP). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.