Marco Ortiz and Damon Yarnell
Marco A. Ortiz (left) will serve as the inaugural executive director of the Weinstein Learning Center, and Damon Yarnell is UR's first associate provost and executive director for Career Development.

University of Richmond Announces Two New Roles in Provost’s Office Focusing on Student Success

New Leaders of Weinstein Learning Center and Career Development to Join Spider Community this Summer
May 28, 2024

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — This summer, the University of Richmond’s Office of the Provost will welcome two nationally recognized higher education professionals for positions new to UR, both focused on student success.

Marco A. Ortiz will serve as the inaugural executive director of the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Learning Center, effective July 1.

For the past 12 years, Ortiz has served in various leadership roles and is currently the director of the University of Arizona’s Think Tank, an academic support center that offers tutoring, supplemental instruction, and a writing center. He is president-elect of the College Reading & Learning Association. 

Ortiz will oversee the Weinstein Learning Center, a state-of-the-art intellectual gathering space that will support all students in every stage of their academic journey. The new center, which will be located within the footprint of Boatwright Memorial Library co-locates, integrates, and expands services that support academic achievement for students, including effective speaking, writing, peer tutoring, and quantitative support.

“Marco’s rich experience in amplifying academic services to support students will serve our community well, and his leadership of the Weinstein Learning Center will help us transform our student’s development in innovative ways,” said Joan Saab, executive vice president and provost.

“Partnerships from faculty, staff, and every corner of campus are needed to provide world-class support for students,” Ortiz said. “Centralization of services can bring many benefits to the student experience, and I look forward to helping UR integrate and amplify the stellar student services that are already available.”

Damon Yarnell will join the University of Richmond as the first associate provost and executive director for Career Development, effective Aug. 1.

Yarnell has more than a decade of experience in higher education leadership. He currently serves as dean of student and global advancement at Colby College where he leads DavisConnects, a program that allows all students, regardless of economic circumstances, to participate in transformative global, internship, research, and fellowship opportunities. He previously worked as an associate provost at Dickinson College, where he led the integration of academic and career advising.  

“Damon’s strength and deep experience in career advising, global education, alumni and employer relations, internships and student research, and partnerships across campus and externally will be critical in his leadership of our career team,” Saab said.  

“The University of Richmond has earned a national reputation as a leader for academic excellence, holistic student development, and experiential learning," Yarnell said. "Combined with the University's commitment to belonging and community, these priorities mirror my own. I’m excited to be part of the campus-wide collaboration to support students' ambitious achievements, in and outside the classroom and, ultimately, in their careers and post-graduate lives.”