Advancing Our Imperative: Educational Equity and the Future of Higher Education — Presenter Profiles


Keynote Speakers

Eddie R. Cole, Associate Professor of Education and History, UCLA

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Eddie R. Cole is associate professor of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA. His research focuses on college presidents’ historic role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. His book “The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom” was described by New York Times–bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi as “a stunning and ambitious origins story … embedded with breath-taking narratives recovered from meticulous research.” In 2023 he was named a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow for 2023–24.

Jeff Strohl, Director of Research, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

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Jeff Strohl is the director of research at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) where he continues his long involvement in the analysis of education and labor market outcomes and policy. He leads CEW’s research investigating the supply and demand of education and how education enhances career opportunities for today’s workforce. Dr. Strohl also focuses on how to quantify skills and how to better understand competencies given the evolving nature of the U.S. workplace.

Before moving to CEW, Dr. Strohl was a senior analyst and project director at Westat, Inc. While at Westat, Dr. Strohl was primarily involved in program evaluation and analysis of education outcomes. He helped design and direct several projects that investigated socioeconomic diversity in American education and sought to affect postsecondary admissions policies. Dr. Strohl also helped design a model that predicts occupational risks to offshoring as a function of workplace competencies.

At Westat, Dr. Strohl used economic modeling to evaluate the Federal GEAR UP program, the Federal Youth Opportunity Grant Initiative, the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s National and Local Emphasis programs.

Dr. Strohl received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from American University. His dissertation was a cross-country study of how education can enhance overall economic flexibility in times of economic crisis and structural shift.


Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, University of Oregon

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Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is an award-winning researcher, university professor and equity strategist as well as a member of the Oregon and Indiana State Bar Associations, leadership consultant, certified coach, workshop facilitator and keynote speaker. She has, over the last 25 years, delivered results in higher education, nonprofits and faith-based organizations as well as for individuals across America, in Africa, Asia and Europe. Her lifelong belief in the power of unconditional love, as actualized in L.A.C.E., is the driving force behind how she conducts research, teaches, leads and coaches.

Currently based at the University of Oregon, Dr. Alex-Assensoh leads the university’s equity and anti-racism strategic planning as well as implementation work, coupled with the development of institutional policies, coordination of research and evaluation infrastructure for equity and inclusion work, coordination of pipeline programs, and provision of organizational leadership to units within the Division of Equity and Inclusion (DEI), while also  leading innovative  initiatives focused on equity and inclusion. In partnership with her DEI team and the broader campus, VP Alex-Assensoh played a leading role in the designing and implementation of the campus-wide IDEAL framework, which created award-winning inclusion programs and which have led to the garnering of national awards. Her work has been referenced in varied sources, including The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Apart from serving as a full professor in the Political Science Department, Dr. Alex-Assensoh also teaches in the Knight School of Law as an adjunct. In her capacity as a certified coach, she designed high-impact coaching programs for diverse UO populations.

Prior to joining the University of Oregon, Dr. Alex-Assensoh served as a tenured full professor of Political Science and a Dean at Indiana University’s flagship Bloomington campus. She has won outstanding research awards as well as secured funding from the National Science Foundation, American Council on Education, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (Ford Dissertation Fellowship). She served as a Fulbright Scholar at University of Zagreb in Croatia and also led national professional committees focusing on issues of equity, diversity, teaching excellence and ethics. In addition to being an internationally recognized public speaker, she is also the author/co-author of five books, dozens of scholarly essays, book chapters and numerous published journalistic/trade essays.

Dr. Alex-Assensoh and her husband of 26 years (Indiana University Emeritus  Professor A.B. Assensoh) are parents of two young adult sons (Kwadwo Stephen Alex-Assensoh and Livingston Alex Kwabena Assensoh). A native of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA, she enjoys volunteering, reading young adult and Christian fiction, playing board games and entertaining friends with African and Louisiana-flavored cuisine.

Dexter Bailey, Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations, The California Institute of Technology

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Dexter A. Bailey Jr. is a fundraising executive with 30 years of experience, including 17 years as a vice president. His expertise includes reengineering comprehensive fundraising programs, complex principal gifts, grateful patients, alumni relations, staff development and organizational optimization. Dexter often speaks on issues related to campaigns, institutional leadership and the role and experience of minorities in university advancement.

Caltech is the smallest institution ever to secure more than $3.4 billion during its Break Through Campaign that ended in September 2021. Prior to joining Caltech in July 2019, Dexter served for 8+ years as senior vice president for advancement at Stony Brook University and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation where he spearheaded the most successful campaign in the history of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. He is the recipient of the 2019 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award. He successfully managed development and alumni relations programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Berkeley Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, University of Washington School of Law and Ohio University College of Education.

Taffye Benson Clayton, Associate Provost and Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, Auburn University

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Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton is the inaugural vice president and associate provost for Inclusion and Diversity at Auburn University. Dr. Clayton and her team are tasked with strengthening Auburn’s diversity and inclusion footprint within the institution and nationally. Dr. Clayton formerly served as associate vice chancellor for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as associate provost and chief diversity officer at East Carolina University.

Throughout her 25+ year career as an executive administrator leading diversity and inclusion efforts at major universities, Dr. Clayton has served students, faculty, staff, community, visitors and alums. Dr. Clayton is the designated executive leader for administering the university’s diversity and inclusion strategy and is the principal advocate and adviser to the provost, president and senior university leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Clayton is known nationally for her presentations on faculty diversity recruitment and retention, integrating diversity and inclusion in higher education institutions, strategically positioning diversity and inclusion and translating promising corporate diversity and inclusion practices into the higher education context. She is the current co-chair of the membership committee of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) and program chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategists Executive Council of The Conference Board, a global, independent business membership and research organization. Dr. Clayton serves on the executive committee of APLU’s Council on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and is the convener for the SEC VP/CDO group, with representation from senior Cabinet-level DEI leaders from universities throughout the Southeastern Athletic Conference.

Dyonne Bergeron, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, University of California, Irvine

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Dr. Dyonne Bergeron serves as the vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at the University of California, Irvine. Bergeron oversees the Office of Inclusive Excellence and is UC Irvine’s senior executive responsible for providing a holistic and integrated vision of all major inclusive excellence endeavors on the Irvine campus and at UCI Health. She is an accomplished higher education leader in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), academic affairs and student affairs. Her areas of expertise include DEI consulting and curriculum development; training for faculty, staff and students; recruitment and retention of underrepresented student and staff; crisis management, student conduct and mediation; community building; sorority and fraternity life; first-generation students; housing and residence life; and student and staff leadership development.

She came to UC Irvine from the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was the acting vice provost and associate vice chancellor in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement. Bergeron also provided leadership and oversight at the Center for Inclusion and Social Change, created and headed the efforts of the staff and faculty DEI Inclusive Culture Team and helped advance a range of campuswide matters relating to policies, initiatives and strategies that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Before that, Bergeron also served as an assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, as interim dean of students in the Office of the Dean of Students, and in various capacities in University of Colorado Student Government, the Women’s Resource Center, the Gender and Sexuality Center, the Cultural Unity and Engagement Center, the Volunteer Resource Center, Veteran and Military Affairs, and Career Services.

Dr. Bergeron has received several awards and recognitions for exemplary work to make institutions and higher education a more inclusive, equitable and just environment for students, staff and community. She was highlighted at the April 2021 National Association of System Heads (NASH) fifth annual Taking Student Success to Scale Network Convening for successfully creating and coordinating 4500 participants in a campuswide initiative themed The Power of Community: Courage, Healing and Unity. Her presentations at universities, nonprofits, and national and regional conferences around the country include topics of first-generation student success; anti-racism; creating communities that embody inclusive excellence; courageous conversations; and leading with an equity mindset. Most recently, Dr. Bergeron was honored in the March 1, 2024 issue of Orange Coast Magazine as one of the “Power of Women at UC Irvine.”

She earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership, with an emphasis in college leadership, at the University of South Florida; an M.Ed. in college student affairs, also at the University of South Florida; and a B.A. in speech communication at Louisiana State University. She loves motivating others and helping students, faculty and staff to discover their greatness.

Sheila Caldwell, Vice President of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer, Southern Illinois University System

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Dr. Sheila Caldwell currently serves as the vice president of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and as chief diversity officer for the Southern Illinois University (SIU) System in Springfield, Illinois. She works across the campuses in Springfield, Carbondale, Edwardsville, and East St. Louis to strengthen equity and ensure a level playing field for all students, staff and faculty members. During her tenure, she has collaborated with SIU team members to develop a systemwide Land Acknowledgement Statement, Antiracism Vision Statement, Inclusive Language Guide, and ADEI Leadership Certificate and to conduct a systemwide campus climate survey. She is the pioneer for the Illinois Higher Education Equity Symposium.

Prior to joining Sothern Illinois University in July 2021, Dr. Caldwell served as the inaugural chief intercultural engagement officer for Wheaton College. She collaborated across the college to create the first Christ-Centered Diversity Commitment Statement, Flourishing for All Diversity Strategic Plan, and Gender Equity Vision Statement. During her tenure she also implemented, expanded and sustained faculty mentoring programs, inclusive hiring training, and employee strategic advisory councils for Asian, African American and Latinx faculty and staff members.

Most recently, she has received notable awards for championing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The SIU System received the National Association of Diversity Officer in Higher Education 2023 Institutional Excellence Award and is the only system in the country to receive the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. She has been honored by the Urban League as a 2020 Women of Power Honoree and by SHE Chicago for Strong, Humble and Empowering leadership. Caldwell earned a Doctorate in Education from the University of Georgia. She completed Harvard Kennedy School Strategies for Building and Leading Diverse Organizations Executive Education program.

Taisha Caldwell-Harvey (Dr. Tai), Founder and CEO, The Black Girl Doctor

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Dr. Taisha Caldwell-Harvey (Dr. Tai) is a licensed psychologist who finds purpose in using herself as a tool to heal and inspire others. Originally from the California Bay Area, she earned a Bachelor’s degree from Spelman College, and then a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She completed both a pre and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Irvine, and her research and published work is in the areas of worldview, achievement motivation, retention, and career selection.   

Dr. Tai spent 7 years as a mental health program manager for the University of California Office of the President where most notably, she managed an $8M mental health grant that spanned across the 10 campus system. In that role, she spearheaded new innovations, policy changes, funding augmentations, and the identification of an entire series of best practices in responding to the mental health needs of diverse students. 

In 2017, she founded The Black Girl Doctor, a niche mental health practice that specializes in the mental healthcare of high achieving Black women. As the Founder and CEO, she leads a team of psychologists who are changing the landscape of wellness in Black communities. In addition to offering therapy and coaching services nationwide, The Black Girl Doctor offers a suite of innovative workplace and university wellness programs that supplement existing healthcare benefits offering high quality support to employees and students often left underserved. They differentiate themselves in the mental health space by staffing only doctoral level mental health professionals who specialize in care for Black communities, offering a strength based and data driven approach, showing up with polished and professional service branding, being tech forward and innovative with engagement, and having the ability to customize services to each organizations unique needs. 

As part of her commitment to staying engaged in the work while leading, Dr. Tai also serves as a consultant and advisor to healthtech startups seeking to develop and expand the efficacy of mental health services for Black communities. As a therapist, she provides a safe space for ambitious, high achievers to work through things most people in their lives won't understand— dreams bigger than their own comprehension. She guides her clients through their pain, helping them create meaning, find direction, and see strength where they thought there wasn't any.


Mitchell Chang, Interim Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Education and Asian American Studies, UCLA

Mitchell Chang

Mitchell Chang is the interim vice provost for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the University of California, Los Angeles. As interim vice provost, Professor Chang utilizes his extensive expertise, his familiarity with the staff and structure of the EDI office, his deep relationships throughout UCLA and his dedication to research-informed best practices to help ensure that our campus is a welcoming and supportive environment where people of all backgrounds and identities can thrive.

Prior to his role as interim vice provost, Chang served as UCLA professor of Education and Asian American Studies and associate vice chancellor in the EDI office, where he undertook a major initiative to evaluate UCLA faculty diversity programs and apply his findings across the campus.

Chang’s research focuses on the educational efficacy of diversity-related initiatives on college campuses and how to apply those best practices toward advancing student learning and democratizing institutions. He has written over one hundred publications, some of which were cited in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Grutter v. Bollinger, one of two cases involving the use of race-sensitive admissions practices at the University of Michigan. He later served as an expert witness on the case Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina.

Chang received a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Fellowship in 2001 and was awarded the Outstanding Outcomes Assessment Research Award, 1999–2000 by the American College Personnel Association for conducting one of the first studies to document empirically the positive educational impact of racial diversity on students’ learning and college experiences. In 2006, he was profiled as one of the nation’s top ten scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and in 2008, he and his co-researchers received the ACPA Asian Pacific American Network Outstanding Contribution to APIDA Research Award. Chang has also served in elected positions for both the American Educational Research Association (at-large member of AERA Executive Council and Division J), which inducted him as a fellow in 2016, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Board of Directors), which awarded him the Founder’s Service Award in 2014 and the Research Achievement Award in 2020.

Carol Christ, Chancellor, UC Berkeley

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Carol Christ began her term as the 11th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley on July 1, 2017. A celebrated scholar of Victorian literature, Christ is also well known as an advocate for quality and accessible public higher education, a proponent of the value of a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences and a champion of women’s issues and diversity on college campuses.

Christ spent more than three decades as a professor and administrator at UC Berkeley before serving as president of Smith College, one of the country’s most distinguished liberal arts colleges, from 2002 to 2013. She returned to Berkeley in January 2015 to direct the campus’s Center for Studies in Higher Education and was appointed interim executive vice chancellor and provost in April 2016 before being named chancellor in March 2017. Since her return to Berkeley, she has worked to foster community and improve the campus climate for people of all backgrounds, celebrate the institution's longstanding commitment to free speech, strengthen Berkeley's financial position, address a housing shortage, and develop a 10-year strategic plan for the campus.

Prior to joining Smith, Christ served as UC Berkeley’s executive vice chancellor and provost from 1994 until 2000. During her six years as the campus’s top academic officer, she sharpened Berkeley’s intellectual focus, strengthening many of the institution’s top-rated departments in the humanities and sciences as well as advancing major initiatives in areas including neuroscience and bioengineering.

Christ received her B.A. (1966) from Douglass College and her M.Ph. (1969) and Ph.D. (1970) from Yale University. She joined the Berkeley English faculty in 1970, and in addition to her other roles, has served as chair of that department, dean of the Division of Humanities and provost for the College of Letters and Science. 

Frances Contreras, Dean and Professor, School of Education, UC Irvine

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Dr. Frances Contreras is the dean and professor for the School of Education at UC Irvine. Previously, Dr. Contreras was an associate vice chancellor for Faculty, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and professor in the Department of Education Studies at UC San Diego. Dr. Contreras has over 15 years of administrative leadership both at UC San Diego and the University of Washington College of Education, where she directed their higher education program.

Her work has been published in leading education journals and presses such as the American Education Research Journal, Harvard Educational Review, Educational Policy, The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education, Harvard University Press and Teachers College Press. Dr. Contreras’ books include “Achieving Equity for Latino Students,” “Expanding the Pathway to Higher Education through Public Policy” and “The Latino Education Crisis” with P. Gandara, and “High-Achieving African American Students and the College Choice Process: Applications of Critical Race Theory” with T. Chapman, E. Comeaux, E. Martinez and G. Rodriguez. This most recent book was a result of a statewide examination she led as the principal investigator to examine African American college choice across UC.

As a result of her research agenda and institutional efforts to advance equity and justice, Dr. Contreras was previously honored as an Emerging Scholar and among the Top 25 to Watch among academicians in the United States by Diverse Magazine. She was also selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as a scholar in residence at the Bellagio Center in Bellagio Italy to complete her first book with P. Gandara. Additionally, Dr. Contreras was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award by the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs for her work to address Latino student equity. In Spring 2021, Dr. Contreras was the recipient of the Cesar Chavez Faculty award, which recognizes faculty for their outstanding contributions to the campus community. Finally, in on December 17, 2021, the City of San Diego honored her with Dr. Frances Contreras Day, in recognition of her leadership and service to the City and County of San Diego.

As a first-generation college student and Professor, Dean Contreras is the first Chicana/Latina Dean to lead a School of Education in the University of California system.

Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice Provost Emerita of Enrollment Management, UCLA 

Youlonda Copeland-Morgan

Youlonda Copeland-Morgan is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, serving at national, state and local levels for over 35 years. In her past role as vice provost for Enrollment Management at UCLA, she oversaw the Office of Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid and Scholarships, outreach and community engagement. Previously, she was associate vice president for Enrollment Management and director of Scholarships and Student Aid at Syracuse University, vice president and dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Harvey Mudd College and director of Financial Aid at Occidental College.  

Copeland-Morgan’s career is a testament to her commitment to access, equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education. She served for nine years as a Trustee of the College Board, a one-billion-dollar non-profit organization with over 6000 members. She serves on the Advisory Board of Cambridge Assessment UK, an international not-for-profit exams group that designs and delivers fair, ethical and best-practices assessments to over 8 million learners in over 170 countries. She is also on the National Advisory Board for Re-Imagining College Access (RCA), an organization combining performance assessments alongside more traditional tests to measure how well students apply knowledge, skills and abilities to authentic problems.

Copeland-Morgan is a frequent speaker on issues of diversity, multiculturalism, financial aid and inclusion in college admission. She has testified before the California State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California, where she has taught a course on “Leadership in Enrollment Management” since 2011, and was also a faculty member for continuing education at UCLA for nine years.

Ronald Crutcher, President Emeritus and University Professor, University of Richmond

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Ronald A. Crutcher is president emeritus and university professor at the University of Richmond where he served as president from 2015–2021. He previously served as president of Wheaton College (MA) for 10 years. He writes and speaks widely on the democratic purposes of higher education and free expression on college campuses. In 2021, he was appointed a senior fellow at the Aspen Institute.

During his 45-year career in higher education, Crutcher has consulted with higher-education institutions, nonprofit organizations and corporations in the USA and abroad on issues related to organizational culture, especially bridging racial and cultural divides. His thematic memoir, I Had No Idea You Were Black:  Navigating Race on the Road to Leadership, was published in February 2021.

Crutcher began studying cello at the age 15 with Professor Elizabeth Potteiger, a faculty member at Miami University; he won the Cincinnati Symphony Young Artist Competition at the age of 17. He is a former member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and several other symphonies. For almost 40 years, he performed in the U.S. and Europe as a member of The Klemperer Trio. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in March 1985.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Miami University of Ohio, he received a master’s and a doctoral degree from Yale University. He holds honorary degrees from Colgate University, Muhlenberg College, Randolph Macon College, Wheaton College, University of Richmond and the University of New England. Crutcher also speaks German and lived and worked in Germany for several years. 

He has been married for 45 years to Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher, a higher-education consultant and professor.  They have one daughter, Sara Crutcher Moore, who lives in Spain with her husband, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Moore.

Keith Curry, President/CEO, Compton College

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Dr. Curry is the president/CEO of the Compton College and Compton Community College District (CCCD). Compton College is the 114th California Community College, achieving initial accreditation status on June 7, 2017. Dr. Curry is responsible for overseeing all departments and functions of Compton College and Compton District and serves as secretary for the CCCD Board of Trustees. He brings an abundance of energy and innovative ideas to Compton College, along with a wealth of experience as a postsecondary education administrator.

At Compton College, Curry is responsible for promoting student enrollment, success and retention, while working with the college’s vice presidents to develop strategic plans and procedures that enhance their academic and student services programs. Curry is dedicated to the development of new programs and the redirection of existing programs to meet the instructional and student services needs of Compton College students. He is personally invested in delivering on the mission of Compton College, which is to offer a welcoming environment where the diversity of its students is supported in pursuing and attaining academic and professional excellence.

Dr. Curry is an active member of the Foundation for Compton Community College District; the Association of California Community College Administrators; the California Community College Athletic Association; the Statewide Association of Community Colleges (SWACC); the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice Advisory Board; and the President’s Roundtable. He has participated on Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Visiting Teams, most recently for San Quentin University Prison Project.

Andriel Dees, Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

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Andriel Dees serves as the vice chancellor for Equity and Inclusion for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. In her leadership role, Andriel serves as the primary advisor to the chancellor on issues of equity and inclusion and provides guidance and oversight for the system’s Equity 2030 imperative.

Andriel has also served at Capella University as corporate director of Diversity and Inclusion, at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as chief diversity officer and special assistant to the chancellor for Affirmative Action/EEO compliance, and as associate dean for Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law. With a highly collaborative and thoughtful style, she has led efforts in strategic diversity leadership within higher education. She recently served as chair for the Equity Action Collaborative for the National Association of Higher Education Systems (NASH). Her strong personal and intellectual commitment to social justice and to advancing excellence through diversity has shown her to be a transformational leader in higher education.

Andriel earned her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She is active in her community as an advisory board member for the Page Education Foundation and board member for the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Foundation.

Renetta Garrison Tull, Vice Chancellor Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UC Davis


Renetta Garrison Tull is the University of California Davis' inaugural vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which houses Academic Diversity; the Office of Campus Community Relations; four centers; and Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEI within the medical school, nursing school and health center). She formerly served as associate vice provost for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and as a director for the University System of Maryland. In past roles at UMBC, Tull served as either co-PI or PI on AGEP, ADVANCE and LSAMP proposals. At UC Davis, she is PI of the PROMISE Engineering Institute. Her degrees in electrical engineering and speech science are from Howard University and Northwestern University, and she has had faculty roles at UW-Madison, University of Maryland College Park and UMBC.

Dr. Tull is a member of the Council of Vice Chancellors for Equity and Inclusion for the University of California, and she is an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis. An international speaker on global diversity in STEM, Dr. Tull was a Global Engineering Deans Council/Airbus Diversity Award Finalist and received the ABET Claire L. Felbinger Award for Diversity and the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development Global Mentoring Award. She was part of the consensus committee for the National Academies’ “Impact of COVID-19 on the Careers of Women in Academic STEMM” and is part of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES) community. Her research interests in Humanitarian Engineering continue through sharing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Yvette Gullatt, Vice President for Graduate and Undergraduate Affairs, Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer, University of California


Yvette Gullatt serves as the inaugural vice president for graduate and undergraduate affairs; vice provost for equity, diversity and inclusion; and chief diversity officer for the University of California system.

She oversees systemwide programs, services and initiatives that maximize baccalaureate and graduate degree attainment, including outreach and educational partnerships, student affairs, financial aid, undergraduate admissions, graduate studies, teacher education and teacher professional development, and online education. As chief diversity officer for the university, she leads institutional strategy to further UC’s aspirations as a diverse, equitable and inclusive institution for students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Gullatt has served in a variety of University of California systemwide leadership positions, including vice provost for education partnerships, vice provost for diversity and engagement and interim vice president for student affairs. Among other contributions, she has led strategic expansion of graduate and undergraduate initiatives to support UC-wide diversity and inclusion efforts. Recently, she has led development of improved systemwide anti-discrimination policy as well as new policies to ensure that all students, employees, alumni and affiliates are identified by their accurate gender identity and lived or preferred name on university-issued identification documents and in UC’s information systems. 

Her work has contributed to greater access and opportunity for California’s K–12 students. She has launched key initiatives to expand UC’s role in public education; these include innovations such as information systems that increase access to college-preparatory coursework and improve college eligibility rates, and partnerships with K–12 schools, California higher education institutions and community-based organizations to improve academic preparation for more first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students.

She serves as a trustee for the College Board, serves on the board of the LANL Foundation and on the Executive Committee of the APLU Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CDEI). She represents the university on a number of state and national committees, including the Intersegmental Coordinating Committee of the California Education Roundtable and the AB 928 (Transfer) Implementation Committee.

She received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

William Harvey, Distinguished Scholar, American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED)

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William B. Harvey has returned to his position as Distinguished Scholar at the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, after having served as the rector (CEO) of Danubius University in Galati, Romania, where he was the first African American to ever lead a European institution of higher learning. An internationally recognized researcher and administrator, he has five decades of experiences in the academic and nonprofit sectors, where he has focused on the cultural and social factors that affect underserved populations, with particular emphasis on college and university settings.  

Earlier in his career, he also held positions as vice president and director of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity at the American Council on Education (ACE), as the inaugural vice president for Diversity and Equity at the University of Virginia and as the founding president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.  

In addition to having been a tenured full professor at four research universities, Harvey also served as chair of the Education Advisory Committee for NASA and as a board member of the National Council for Research on Women; the Yale-Howard Center on Health Disparities; the Study of New Scholars Project at Harvard University; the W. E. B. DuBois Scholars project at Princeton University; the Site Support for Schools Project at Johns Hopkins University; the American Association for Blacks in Higher Education; and the Martin Luther King Living History and Public Policy Center.

Doug Haynes, Professor of History and Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs, UC Office of the President

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Doug Haynes serves as vice provost for Academic Personnel and Programs in the Office of the President of the University of California. He is responsible for UC’s 74,000 academic personnel, including supporting the inclusive success of academic appointees attracted to UC’s 10 campuses, five academic medical centers and three national laboratories.

He also has oversight of several systemwide academic programs, including the California Digital Library, UC Press, President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, UC Center Sacramento, UC Washington Center, University of California Television and the Advancing Faculty Diversity program. As vice provost, he works closely with the Academic Senate and university leaders to assure academic priorities are met. 

Doug comes to the Office of the President from UC Irvine, where he served as the inaugural vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. In that role, he oversaw nation-leading efforts that established UC Irvine as a global model of inclusive excellence. As part of a comprehensive vision of inclusive excellence, he led the UC Irvine Black Thriving Initiative, secured federal designation for the campus as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution and established the UC Irvine Confronting Extremism program.

During his tenure, he introduced a range of programs in support of early career scholars, equitable search practices and work-life integration. In 2021, the American Association for the Advancement of Science honored UC Irvine with the STEMM Equity Achievement Bronze award in recognition of its commitment to transforming the professoriate and knowledge workforce of the future. 

Joining the UC Irvine faculty in 1992, his research program and teaching interests span from the development of the modern medical profession and comparative health care systems to representations of disease and illness in mass media. A designated chancellor’s research fellow, Dr. Haynes served as the founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities, leading path-breaking collaborations among faculty from the schools of the arts, humanities and medicine to advance the understanding of health, healing and well-being. He was also a founding faculty member of the Department of African American Studies and served as the inaugural director of the undergraduate program in Global Cultures. In recognition of his many contributions to the university, the Academic Senate awarded him the Distinguished Mid-Career Faculty Award for Service.

A former Fulbright scholar and president’s postdoctoral fellow, Douglas Haynes completed his doctorate in modern European history at UC Berkeley and received his bachelor’s degree in history from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Darnell Hunt, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UCLA

Darnell Hunt headshot

Darnell Hunt began serving as UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost — responsible for administering campus operations and the academic enterprise — in September of 2022. A celebrated scholar of race and media, he is also well known for his longstanding commitment to high-quality public education, support of interdisciplinary research for the common good and vision for inclusive excellence.

EVCP Hunt has written extensively about issues related to race, media and culture, including four books and numerous articles for both scholarly journals and media outlets. For more than two decades, he has studied questions of access and diversity in the entertainment industry. From 2014 to 2022, he was the lead author of UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report, providing comprehensive analyses of the employment of women and people of color in front of and behind the camera in film and television. He also authored six installments of the Writers Guild of America’s Hollywood Writers Report between 2005 and 2016. 

A sought-after expert and commentator on subjects tied to race and media, EVCP Hunt has spoken at events sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, the United Nations, the Congressional Black Caucus, numerous colleges and universities, and other organizations. He served as a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations Academic Advisory Board and as a staff researcher for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ hearings on the 1992 Los Angeles civil disturbances. 

EVCP Hunt is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Association of Black Sociologists and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as a sociology professor at the University of Southern California from 1994 to 2001. EVCP Hunt received his Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from UCLA, an M.B.A. from Georgetown University and an A.B. in public relations from USC.

Kedra Ishop, Vice President for Enrollment Management, University of Southern California

Kedra Ishop headshot

Dr. Kedra Ishop is vice president for Enrollment Management and also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the Rossier School of Education. In her administrative capacity, she oversees the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, Orientation, Enrollment Marketing and Communication, and Registrar.

She joined the University of Southern California in 2020 from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where she served as the school’s first vice provost for Enrollment Management from 2014–2020. During her tenure there, she advanced a student-centered vision while overseeing Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, New Student Programs and the Registrar. To support this work, she expanded the Enrollment Management support structures to include Marketing and Communications, Enrollment Research, Data and Analytics, Strategic Initiatives, and Operational Effectiveness. Prior to Michigan, she served for 17 years in Admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, concluding her service there as vice provost and Director of Admissions.

Dr. Ishop is a nationally recognized expert, speaker and adviser on issues in higher education focused on issues of access and opportunity for low-income students and students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, recruitment and enrollment practices, legal and policy issues in admissions and enrollment, and assessment and curriculum development. She has served and serves on numerous boards and organizations that support student access, educational policy and student success. 

Dr. Ishop holds three degrees from the University of Texas at Austin: a B.A. in sociology, a Master of Education in higher education administration, and a Ph.D. in educational administration.

Rebecca Karoff, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Texas System

Rebecca Karoff

Dr. Rebecca Karoff leads systemwide student success initiatives at The University of Texas System as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. She is dedicated to utilizing the power of the system as a catalyst for quality educational attainment, equity, innovation and transformation in the 21st-century global society. Her work addresses the student success continuum — PK–20 and into the workforce — and recognizes the remarkable responsibility and opportunity of the University of Texas System to achieve more equitable access and outcomes for the state's increasingly diverse students. 

She leads several system-institutional collaborative initiatives, including the Equitable Student Pathways Project funded by the Lumina and Trellis Foundations, Accelerating Latino Student Success through Hispanic Servingness, initiatives on transfer and advising, and the UT System’s momentum-building strategy on Open Educational Resources (OER). She is a co-author of the NASH Equity Action Framework, a tool designed for university systems and institutions to assess their progress towards equity. She is also active in the national collaborative Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS3), helping to lead the Hewlett Foundation-funded project to implement the Equity Through OER Rubric, of which she is a co-author.

A native of Massachusetts, Dr. Karoff worked in the University of Wisconsin System for 21 years before moving to Texas. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which she uses every day in her work.

Mariam Lam, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, UC Riverside

Mariam Lam headshot

Mariam Lam is Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Southeast Asian Studies in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages with a Cooperating Faculty appointment in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside.

In her administrative capacity, Lam heads a wide range of initiatives and committees that address DEI, partners with campus and community stakeholders to advance UCR’s diversity mission, and represents UCR at the systemwide, state and national levels. Lam served as Chair of the systemwide University of California Council of Vice Chancellors for Equity and Inclusion for two terms (2018-2022), Interim Assistant Dean of Students for Ethnic and Gender Programs (2020), Co-Chair of the Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force and Committee (2016-2022), and initiated HBCU and AANAPISI Committees for UCR. She convenes a Council of CDOs for the University Innovation Alliance, and is one of 21 institutional liaisons for the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities. She has worked on UC systemwide task forces/committees on anti-discrimination policies and processes, faculty diversification, postdoctoral diversity programs, gender recognition and lived name policy implementation, campus safety, and disability inclusion. She has led compliance and climate task forces, improved hiring processes, and developed an equity advisors program to address recruitment, retention and climate challenges. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English, a Minor in Spanish, and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Literature with Certificates of Emphasis in Feminist Studies and Asian American Studies from UC Irvine.

Lam joined the UCR faculty in 2002 as a member of the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages with specialization in Southeast Asian studies, part of a Henry Luce Foundation and College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences initiative in Southeast Asian Studies. She is trained in comparative Asian and diasporic literatures, arts and cultures, postcolonial criticism, critical race and ethnic studies, globalization, gender and sexuality, translation, tourism, community politics, media and educational development, trauma and affect, minoritization and multiculturalism, la Francophonie, and academic disciplinarity. She was founding co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies for the University of California Press from 2005-2016, served as Director of Graduate Studies and Admissions Advisor for both Comparative Literature and the Southeast Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Research Program, later stepping into the position of Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Program from 2011-2016. As a faculty member, Lam has served as Vice Chair of the Academic Senate (2014-2016), Chair of the Committee on Committees and systemwide UCOC member (2012-2014), CHASS Executive Committee member (2009-2011), and in many other systemwide roles.

Todd Marshall, Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion/CDO, Mohawk Valley Community College

Todd Marshall headshot

Dr. Todd Alden Marshall is Mohawk Valley Community College’s inaugural executive director of Equity and Inclusion/CDO beginning in 2020. Todd received his B.A. with a major in French and Linguistics and a minor in German in 1980 from Central College in Pella, Iowa. In 1992, he received his master’s in Slavic Studies and General Linguistics and later in 2002 received his Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics, both from Cornell University. For over 30 years he has taught French, Spanish and Russian courses in several colleges and universities in New York, Arkansas and California. He returned to Utica, New York in 2012 and started working at Mohawk Valley Community teaching ESL and French.

Todd’s current role allows him to collaborate with various departments to coordinate DEI training and programs to engage and support faculty, staff and students. Todd’s titles also include affirmative action officer and a Title IX advisor. He co-chairs MVCC’s Diversity Council and CITE (The Center for Inclusive Teaching Excellence). He joined a team of MVCC DEI facilitators who conduct starter workshops for organizations in the community on topics that promote equity, inclusion and belonging. Todd also sits on the local refugee center board.

Yolanda Moses, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Excellence Emerita, UC Riverside

Yolanda Moses

Yolanda Moses served as professor of Anthropology (2003–2023) and as associate vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Excellence (2007–2017) at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Moses’ research focuses on the broad question of the origins and sustainability of social inequality systems and practices in complex societies using comparative ethnographic and survey methods. She has explored gender and class disparities in the Caribbean, East Africa and in the United States. Recent research has focused on issues of diversity and change in universities and colleges in the United States, India, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

Moses served as president of the American Anthropological Association (1995–97), chair of the board of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (2000), past president of City University of New York/The City College (1993–1999) and president of the American Association for Higher Education (2000–2003). She was a member of the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation from 1996 to 2008. She is a graduate of UC Riverside. 

In 2009, she was named an AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Fellow. In 2016 she was presented the Franz Boas Lifetime Achievement Award for service and enlightenment to the field of anthropology by the American Anthropology Association. In 2017 she received a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Fellowship at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Charlie Nelms, Chancellor Emeritus, North Carolina Central University 

Charles Nelms headshot

Charlie Nelms is a person of the soil. One of eleven children, he was born and reared on a farm in the Arkansas Delta. With the love and encouragement of his parents, teachers and members of the small rural church where his family worshipped, Charlie went on to become a drum major for racial justice and a national leader in higher education. He earned his undergraduate degree in agronomy and chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and his master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education administration from Indiana University.

Nelms served as chancellor of Indiana University East, University of Michigan of Michigan-Flint, and North Carolina Central University. In addition, he served as vice president of Institutional Development and Student Affairs and professor of higher education at Indiana University, where he had responsibility for a wide range of administrative functions including diversity and equity, the university’s Honors College, institutional research and strategic planning. In retirement, Nelms serves as president-in-residence with the United Negro College Fund and as a senior consultant with the Association of Governing Boards in Washington, DC. Nelms serves on numerous boards including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Gardner Institute.

In 2019, the Indiana University Press published his book, “From Cotton Fields to University Leadership: All Eyes on Charlie, A Memoir.” All royalties from the sale of his book are donated to the United Negro College Fund and to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for scholarships for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Femi Ogundele, Associate Vice Chancellor of Admissions and Enrollment, UC Berkeley

Femi Ogundele

In his capacity as associate vice chancellor of Admissions & Enrollment, Femi provides vision, strategy and leadership in the recruitment and evaluation of California’s public flagship. His vision and leadership in undergraduate admissions outreach initiatives targeting the state’s underrepresented, undocumented, underserved and first-generation students have resulted in four consecutive years of the most ethnically and geographically diverse classes of students to Berkeley in three decades. Femi’s been successful at building outreach and evaluation processes that have resulted in greater diversity at Stanford University, Cornell University, University of Delaware, Ithaca College and now the University of California, Berkeley.

He sits on national college access boards and has done work to establish higher-education pipelines for students and educators throughout sub-Saharan Africa. With degrees from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and Ithaca College, Femi remains committed to the scholarship of equity in education as he is also currently pursuing a doctoral degree at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education.

Hironao Okahana, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director, Education Futures Lab, American Council on Education (ACE)


Hironao Okahana is a mission-driven professional thriving to help higher education meet its full potential as a public good and vehicle for social change and equity. He thinks deeply and innovatively, connects ideas and people and offers insights and counsel. Through his work and also by bringing together other researchers and experts, he seeks to amplify underserved voices — informing and facilitating the evidence-based discourse that will serve as a catalyst for institutional changes and policy reforms in higher education.

Having joined ACE in 2021, Okahana currently serves as the assistant vice president for ACE Research, where he develops and manages its research agenda to help advance the council’s thought leadership areas: equity-minded leadership, institutional transformation and student success. Prior to joining ACE, he held progressively increasing responsibilities at the Council of Graduate Schools for over eight years, culminating his tour there as the vice president for research and knowledge development.

As a researcher, his work focuses on enrollment trends, labor market outcomes, diversity and inclusiveness, and organizational analysis of U.S. postsecondary education, with particular emphasis on master’s and doctoral education. Okahana has written a number of technical reports, research briefs, and peer-reviewed articles, as well as given academic conference presentations. As an expert, he has served on several technical review and advisory panels for various studies of graduate education, as well as having delivered invited talks on the state and implications of U.S. graduate education at national and regional convenings. Among other places, he was featured in a webcast hosted by Inside Higher Ed and also quoted in Teen Vogue and The Wall Street Journal.

In addition to his role at ACE, Okahana is a higher education program affiliate and adjunct faculty at George Mason University and an adjunct assistant professor of education at the William & Mary School of Education. He is also a member of the editorial review board of Innovative Higher Education.

Originally from Tokyo, Japan, he resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Saleha Bholat, who is associate dean of arts at the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College, and their kindergartener son. Okahana earned his Ph.D. in education and MPP in public policy from UCLA and his undergraduate degrees from California State University, Long Beach.

Cynthia Olivo, President, Fullerton College

Cynthia Olivo headshot

Dr. Cynthia Olivo is the president of Fullerton College, which was founded in 1913. In her 28th year of higher education, she has served for nearly 15 years at Pasadena City College (PCC) as dean, associate vice president and assistant superintendent/vice president. While there, she was instrumental in leading college transformation to center students success and it led to PCC becoming the #1 community college in the state for graduating Asian American, Pacific Islander, Black and Latinx Students. She was also a key leader in helping PCC become the #1 community college in California for the highest number of Latinx student graduates; this leadership journey was captured in an article by a journalist in Politico.

Dr. Olivo’s leadership qualities include leading innovation to improve student equity and success, consensus building to advance student equity and creating an engaging and inclusive environment to foster change in our practices while emphasizing cultural fluency to align with student needs. Initiatives include creating a college culture receptive to equity mindedness, racial equity and social justice. Results of these changes include PCC earning distinctions such as Top 10 Community College in the Nation by the Aspen Prize for College Excellence; Top 10 Best for Vets in the USA by Military Times Magazine; Champion in Higher Education for being a top producer of associate degrees for transfers in California by the Campaign for College Opportunity and Top 10 in the Nation for Latina/o/x Students from Diverse Issues in Higher Education and Hispanic Outlook Magazine.

Cynthia was selected for the Aspen Presidential Fellows Program Class of 2017, completed the Harvard Institute for Management & Leadership in Education and the American Council on Education Advancing to the Presidency. She served as the president for the statewide chief Student Services officers of California Community Colleges, president and co-founder for COLEGAS — a statewide Latina/o/x California Community College Organization — for nearly five years, and founding member of The Coalition, uniting the African American, Asian Pacific Islander and Latinx communities. Dr. Olivo was an adjunct associate professor at the University of Southern California Rossier College of Education doctoral program and serves on the Policy and Leadership Trust for Jobs for the Future national organization.      

Prior to PCC, Dr. Olivo was a staff member and administrator at California State University, San Bernardino for 13 years, where she was Housing and Residential Life coordinator, outreach counselor, and associate director of Admissions and Student Recruitment, with responsibilities for undergraduate and graduate enrollment for domestic and international students. 

Cynthia earned her B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Science in Counseling from California State University San Bernardino and her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Urban Leadership from Claremont Graduate University in 2009. Dr. Olivo is the granddaughter of migrant farmworkers who were born in this country during a period of segregation. She is the daughter of an amazing single mom.  Cynthia is the first in her family to go to college and a third-generation Chicana. 

Robin Parent, Associate Vice President, DEI and STEM Education, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)

Robin Parent headshot

Robin Parent is the associate vice president, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and STEM Education at APLU. She serves as the project manager for the Aspire Alliance funded by the National Science Foundation, aimed at diversifying the nation’s STEM college educators and expanding the use of inclusive practices. Dr. Parent is primarily responsible for coordinating the “backbone” of this national change effort to accomplish project goals and objectives.

Prior to joining APLU, Dr. Parent served at several institutions in faculty and administrative positions. Most recently she was the director of Student Engagement of the Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana, where she focused on recruitment, retention and advising for the college and served as the co-chair of the Diversity Advisory Council. Before the University of Montana, she was the Inclusive Excellence instruction specialist in the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology at California Polytechnic State University — San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly she worked with the campus community on inclusive pedagogy and teaching practices and taught courses for Women & Gender Studies. She began her career in higher ed at Utah State University, where she taught English, Women & Gender Studies and Education courses.

Dr. Parent received her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in cultural studies, M.S. in American Studies/Folklore, B.S. in Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in Women & Gender Studies, all from Utah State University.

Cynthia Pickett, Presidential Associate for Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, California State Polytechnic University—Pomona 


Dr. Cynthia Pickett serves as the presidential associate for Inclusion and chief diversity officer (CDO) at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona. In this role she provides leadership to the university in its work to advance equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as core values and collaborates with partners across the campus to foster a meaningful sense of belonging for all members of the Cal Poly Pomona community. 

Dr. Pickett came to Cal Poly Pomona from DePaul University, where she served as associate provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and associate professor of Psychology. At DePaul, she developed and implemented a range of policies and practices that promote inclusive hiring, foster supportive academic environments and engage in proactive retention efforts to build a diverse academic community. She previously served as the associate vice-provost for Faculty Equity and Inclusion at the University of California, Davis.  

A social psychologist by training, Dr. Pickett conducts research in the areas of social identity, intergroup relations, the self, social cognition and social inclusion and belonging, with her recent work focusing on promoting inclusive scientific practices. She serves as president-elect of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Pickett is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and is also a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Ohio State University and her A.B. from Stanford University. 

Anju Reejhsinghani, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UC Santa Cruz

Anju Reejhsinghani

Anju Reejhsinghani serves as the inaugural vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UC Santa Cruz. As VC DEI and chief diversity officer, Reejhsinghani partners with campuswide leadership to guide inclusivity efforts, working proactively to foster a more welcoming campus. 

Reejhsinghani has deep professional experience in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work, both in the college classroom as an educator and as a senior administrator.

Anju came to UC Santa Cruz from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she served most recently as assistant vice provost for Strategic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administration. Previously she served as executive director at UW Madison’s Institute for Regional and International Studies. Before entering higher education leadership, she was a tenured associate professor in the Department of History and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, a four-year regional comprehensive campus.

Reejhsinghani holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree, both in history, from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned a diploma in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has a bachelor of arts in history from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude.

Pablo Reguerín, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UC Davis

Pablo Reguerin

As vice chancellor, Pablo Reguerín oversees the nearly 30 units that make up the Division of Student Affairs, including programs and partnerships that promote student learning and success, personal growth and lifelong education.

Reguerín earned his doctorate in education from the UC Davis School of Education CANDEL (Capitol Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership) Program in 2017, with a dissertation titled “Graduating Students of Color: An Analysis of Public Four-Year HSI and Non-HSI in California.” 

He has served as principal investigator on multiple U.S. Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution, or HSI, Title V and Title III grants, totaling more than $15 million. His experience and expertise on HSI initiatives will further campus efforts to increase racial equity across student outcomes.

Throughout his career, Reguerín has also been responsible for managing a wide array of fund sources within the UC system, including state general funds; student services fees; gift/donor funds; endowments; private, state and federal grants; and auxiliary revenue and student measure/referenda fees.   

His professional interest in serving student success and equity began during his days as an undergraduate work-study employee in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) center at UC Santa Cruz. Completing his Bachelor of Arts in Latino and Latin American Studies at Santa Cruz, he went on to earn a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Columbia University.

Reguerín’s family immigrated to the Bay Area from Bolivia when he was two years old, and education has had a transformative influence in his life. As a leader in higher education, he emphasizes equity, inclusion and access to the opportunity it represents.

L. Song Richardson, President, Colorado College

L. Song Richardson headshot

Song Richardson is the 14th president of Colorado College. In July 2024, she will be returning to the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, where she previously served as dean and chancellor’s professor of Law. She earned her A.B. from Harvard College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Richardson is an award-winning educator, legal scholar and lawyer who is recognized for her transformational leadership in higher education. During her presidency, Colorado College prioritized civic preparedness and courageous conversations across difference, invested in curricular innovations, broke fundraising records, received the most applications in its history, increased access and affordability, developed its first partnership with a community college, launched a groundbreaking mental health and wellness partnership with Children’s Hospital and received national recognition for its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Under her leadership as dean, UCI Law quadrupled the number of endowed student scholarships, launched a CEO Fellowship program, partnered with the UN’s AI for Good Conference, launched new revenue-generating educational programs, established a satellite program on the East Coast and enrolled one of the most diverse student bodies in the top 30 law schools.

Richardson’s interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment. Her scholarship has been published by the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review and the California Law Review, among many others. Her article “Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment” was selected as a “Must Read” by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. She is a co-editor of Criminal Procedure, Cases and Materials published by West Academic Publishing, currently in its 3rd edition.

Richardson has won numerous awards and recognitions, including the Association of American Law Schools’ Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching and scholarship; the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, which is NAPABA’s highest honor; the Council of Korean American’s Empower Award, which honors exceptional Korean American leaders who have demonstrated outstanding life and professional achievements of national significance; and GlobalMindED’s Inclusive Leader Award.

Delia Saenz, Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer, UC Merced

 Delia Saenz headshot

Dr. Delia Saenz is a Texan by birth, a social psychologist by training and a Chicana by heritage. She currently serves as vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UC Merced. Dr. Saenz received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Princeton University and has also held administrative and faculty appointments at Arizona State University, Bennington College and Notre Dame University.

Dr. Saenz’s areas of expertise include organizational effectiveness, group processes, social identity and culture. Across her career, her scholarly work, teaching and service have advanced the understanding of difference as a social concept and the optimization of learning and working in diverse, multilevel contexts.

Dr. Saenz has been recognized for her contributions to the broadening of participation of underrepresented populations across educational and work domains. In addition, she has been recognized numerous times for outstanding teaching and mentoring and for significant contributions to the professional development of students of color.

Dr. Saenz’s work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the US Agency for International Development, the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, Google and others. 

Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Chancellor, UC Merced

Juan Sanchez Munoz

A California native whose parents immigrated from Mexico and whose father worked in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz has deep roots in the UC System and the Central Valley region. He earned his B.A. in psychology from UC Santa Barbara. Prior to earning his M.A. in Mexican American studies from California State University, Los Angeles, he was a secondary school teacher and instructor in the California Community College system. He earned his Ph.D. in education at UCLA, where he studied curriculum and instruction in the Division of Urban Schooling.

Dr. Muñoz joined UC Merced as the school’s 4th chancellor from the University of Houston Downtown (UHD), where he had served as president, launching within his first year the university’s largest capital campaign and leading the institution’s recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey. Prior to UHD, Dr. Muñoz served as senior vice president and vice provost at Texas Tech University. 

He is the author of book chapters, academic articles, essays, and conference presentations and is a professor in the Department of Sociology. In 2010, Chancellor Muñoz was among the contributing editors of the seminal compilation, the Handbook of Latinos and Education.

Dr. Muñoz has also served on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence, and is currently vice chair of the board of directors of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Excelencia in Education, and the American Council on Education.

He was appointed by Governor Newsom to the board of the California Strategic Growth Council in December 2020.

He is a graduate of the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership offered jointly by Arizona State and Georgetown Universities, ACE’s Spectrum Executive Leadership Program, Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership, UC Berkeley’s Executive Leadership Academy and the University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Policy’s Governor’s Executive Development Program.

Mia Settles-Tidwell, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and University Diversity Officer, Sacramento State University

Mia Settles Tidwell headshot

Dr. Mia Settles-Tidwell is currently the vice president for Inclusive Excellence and university diversity officer at Sacramento State. Dr. Settles-Tidwell is a proud graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Social Welfare, and CSU East Bay, where she earned M.S. and Ed.D. degrees in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. She is the third woman to lead the Division of Inclusive Excellence at Sac State. She is charged with implementing the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan (AICP) for the university and quickly made her mark by transforming the AICP into an action plan and made it operational.

She introduced to the campus the Believing, Becoming, and Being framework for transforming the campus into one where all belong. She envisioned and co-led a mural project at Santa Clara Hall that would chronicle the campus's journey through diverse artwork, artists and perspectives. Dr. Settles-Tidwell launched the first Office for Disability Justice at Sac State, co-leads the Taskforces on Addressing Antisemitism and Islamophobia, co-leads the Black Success Initiative, executed the first campuswide Juneteenth Celebration at Sac State, co-leads the establishment of the CSU Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Student Achievement Center, is co-leading the planning of the 2024 CSU Juneteenth Symposium, and is serving as the co-sponsor of the Promote Sac State Staff Initiative.

With over 30 years of educational leadership expertise in both K–12 and higher education systems, Dr. Mia is a prolific writer for justice and is a self-proclaimed "At the Table Activist.” She is known for her effective and stealthy approach to challenging institutions to examine inequitable practices and remove barriers that impede success for underserved groups. She exemplifies an unwavering commitment to use her position of influence to elevate the voices of those who have been silenced. Dr. Settles-Tidwell applies innovative and equity-centered strategies to common educational dilemmas and nurtures strong cultural, racial and social partnerships among diverse groups.

Tamara N. Stevenson, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Westminster University in Salt Lake City, Utah

Tamara Stevenson

Tamara N. Stevenson, Ed.D. is vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Westminster University in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her scholarship and practice explore the internal and external rhetorical activities of educational institutions as organizational sites of power through a critical race lens. In addition to her administrative role, her range of service activities at the college includes mentoring first-generation students in the First Scholars program and the McNair Scholars Program, as well as serving as the university’s first faculty fellow of diversity, equity and inclusion.

A first-generation college graduate from Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Stevenson holds doctoral and specialist’s degrees in educational leadership and a community college leadership certificate from Eastern Michigan University, along with a master’s degree in organizational communication and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University. She worked in corporate communication in the metropolitan Detroit area for more than a decade, including print and broadcast journalism, automotive, health care, and K–12 and higher education.

Dr. Stevenson is the first African American hired into Westminster’s communication program, the first to earn multiyear faculty contracts and the first to advance in academic rank to associate professor. She is acting chair of Utah’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission and a member of the advisory board for Utah’s KUER public radio station, the National Public Radio charter affiliate. She was one of two honorees of the 2022 Trailblazer Award by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and the 2022 Educator of the Year by the Tri-Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. In April 2023, she was elected to the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education for a three-year term. She is a member of the Utah’s Women’s Forum and the Greater Salt Lake Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Gloria Thomas, President, HERS: Women in Higher Education Leadership

Gloria Thomas headshot

Dr. Gloria D. Thomas joined HERS as president August 31, 2021, in which role she supports the organization as an entrepreneurial and visionary leader responsible for enhancing the reputation of HERS and building strategic relationships to grow and advance the organization and the community of women it seeks to serve.

Dr. Thomas’s 20+ years of experience in the area of women’s leadership development includes time at the University of North Carolina, and the University of Michigan, as well as the American Council on Education (ACE). She came to HERS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she served as the director of the Carolina Women’s Center, senior personnel for the NSF-funded Targeting Equity in Access to Mentoring (TEAM) ADVANCE, and the curriculum development and facilitator trainer for the NIH-funded PROMISE Study. From 2009–2016, she was the executive director of the Center for the Education of Women (CEW) at the University of Michigan. Earlier, she served as associate director at the American Council on Education (ACE) for eight years, first with the ACE Fellows Program and subsequently in the Office of Women in Higher Education, where she was responsible for ACE Women’s Networks. Prior to working at ACE, she conducted research at CEW and coordinated the Women of Color in the Academy Project, a support network for women of color faculty, while pursuing her doctoral degree. She began her career in academic administration in the Office of Admissions at Swarthmore College, where she worked for seven years.

In North Carolina, Dr. Thomas recently completed a three-year term as state chair of the NC ACE Network of Women Leaders in Higher Education. She also volunteered as a writing tutor at the NC Correctional Institution for Women (NCCIW) and served on the board of BRIDGES, a professional development program for women in NC higher education. Dr. Thomas also served as a member and program chair for the AAUW Orange, Durham, Chatham Counties Branch and as education committee co-chair and member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.

Dr. Thomas earned a B.A. in English and Black Studies from Swarthmore College (PA), an M.A. in English from Villanova University (PA), and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan. She is the proud, single mother of two young adults.

Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief, Science and Past Chancellor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Holden Thorp

Holden Thorp became editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals on 28 October, 2019. He came to Science from Washington University, where he was provost from 2013 to 2019 and professor from 2013 to 2023. He is currently a professor at George Washington University and on leave to serve as the Editor-in-Chief at Science.

Thorp joined Washington University after spending three decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where he served as the 10th chancellor from 2008 through 2013.

Thorp earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from UNC in 1986. He earned a doctorate in chemistry in 1989 at the California Institute of Technology, working with Harry B. Gray on inorganic photochemistry. He completed postdoctoral work at Yale University with Gary W. Brudvig, working on model compounds and reactions for the manganese cluster in the photosynthetic reaction center. He holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  

Thorp cofounded Viamet Pharmaceuticals, which developed VIVJOA (oteseconazole), now approved by the FDA and marketed by Mycovia Pharmaceuticals. Thorp is a venture partner at Hatteras Venture Partners and a consultant to Ancora and Urban Impact Advisors, and he is on the board of directors of PBS, the College Advising Corps and Saint Louis University. He serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Yale School of Medicine and the Underwriters’ Laboratories Research Institutes.

Thorp is the co-author, with Buck Goldstein, of two books on higher education: “Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century” and “Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership Between America and its Colleges and Universities,” both from UNC Press.

Scott Vignos, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Oregon State University

Scott Vignos headshot

Scott Vignos joined Oregon State University in October 2015, serving as vice president and chief diversity officer since November 2022, following 14 months of service in the interim position. In this role, Scott collaborates with partners across the university to design and lead the Office of Institutional Diversity’s portfolio of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Scott is responsible for guiding implementation of the university’s diversity strategic plan — Innovate & Integrate: Plan for Inclusive Excellence and consulting with university leaders to create a more just and equitable Oregon State. He serves on the president’s cabinet and on a variety of university-level committees and task forces.

An attorney by training, Scott has an enduring passion for pursuing justice through action. Prior to his career in higher education, he practiced law in San Francisco at an international law firm and maintained a pro bono practice with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area representing clients seeking asylum in the United States.

Mary Ann Villarreal, Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, University of Utah

Mary Ann Villarreal

As the inaugural vice president for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University of Utah, Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal provides leadership and strategic oversight across the institution to foster an inclusive climate, strengthen community ties and ensure belonging for all. An Air Force veteran and first-generation college graduate, Villarreal holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Arizona State University. She is also the former associate vice president of strategic initiatives at California State University, Fullerton and former associate dean at the University of Denver’s Colorado Women’s College. 

Since she arrived in Utah, Villarreal has focused on meeting the growing needs of the university and its diverse campus. She established the EDI Strategy Council to ensure alignment with the university’s strategic plan; launched One U Thriving, a platform aimed at uniting the campus around efforts to foster inclusivity and belonging; established the Reframing the Conversation panel series in partnership with the Hinckley Institute for Politics, helping increase dialogue amongst students, faculty, trainees and staff; and initiated the Celebrating U Completely campaign to help build a campus where everyone knows they belong.

The immediate past chair of the board of directors for the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), she is also a member of the executive committee for the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities’ Council on Diversity, Equity, &Inclusion, and serves as part of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association Inclusion Council. In all her work, Villarreal strives to strengthen the dignity of all individuals through organizational transformation in practice, policy and processes.

Charles Welch, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Charles Welch headshot

Dr. Charles L. Welch became the seventh president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on January 15, 2024. Dr. Welch joined AASCU after serving nearly 13 years as president of the Arkansas State University System, where he led the state’s second largest higher education system. He is also past president of Henderson State University.

Dr. Welch is past president of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges and served as chairman of the board of the Arkansas Association of Public Universities. He is vice chair of the American Academic Leadership Institute Board of Directors and serves on the board of directors of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. He is a former board member of the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches and was inducted into the Arkansas Boys State Hall of Fame.

He was co-chair of the Executive Council of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. He previously served as chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope-Texarkana, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Arkansas State University-Beebe and dean of university studies at the University of Arkansas — Pulaski Technical College. Welch also worked at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has served as an instructor of education and political science at three different colleges in Arkansas.

Dr. Welch has deep ties to AASCU, having led two AASCU member institutions and served as chair of the AASCU Board of Directors twice from 2019–2021. He co-chaired AASCU’s Presidential Postsecondary Value Commission Task Force. He was also actively engaged with AASCU’s New Presidents Academy and Emerging Leaders Program, serving as executive sponsor for both initiatives.

Dr. Welch is a first-generation college student and the first member of his extended family to receive an advanced degree. He received a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Arkansas, a master of arts in political management from The George Washington University (DC) and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.