Inclusive Leadership Cohort 2020-21
NACP Administrative Assistant
Alura Benally is the Administrative Assistant for the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) program at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She is a member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation and graduated from the University of Arizona in the summer of 2019 with her Master of Public Health degree.
David Bradshaw, M.P.A.
Assistant Director, Graduate Center, a unit of the Graduate College
David Bradshaw is the Assistant Director for the Graduate Center, a unit committed to professional development and interdisciplinary collaboration across graduate education. He is responsible for the daily management of the center and for assisting the Director in the implementation of new initiatives for the center and the University Fellows Program. Through student-centered and process-oriented approaches, he strives to advance networks of support and structural change to enhance student engagement and a culture of collaboration.
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, CAPLA
Altaf Engineer is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and UA Institute on Place, Wellbeing and Performance (IPWP). He is the faculty advisor of the Master of Science in Architecture Health and Built Environment Program (MS Arch - HBE). Altaf’s scholarship, teaching, and practice are informed by his interest in health and wellbeing outcomes in the built environment.
Jessica D. Findley, J.D., Ph.D, is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law (Research Scholar) at the University of Arizona College of Law. She is a Principle Investigator for several grant-funded educational programs including the BA in Law's Lawtina Program that launched in Spring 2020 and JD-Next a program for matriculating law students with Dr. Christopher Robertson. She also works on other grant-funded empirical program evaluations and federally-funded research. Dr. Findley’s interdisciplinary approach to attorney advocacy was published by the American Psychological Association in 2010.
Graduate Program Coordinator, Chemical and Environmental Engineering
After working for a number of years with diversity and inclusion programming at a western NY university, Grace joined the University of Arizona in 2018. She is an avid reader who has worked to learn about unconscious bias, income inequities, and the disparities that result from systemic, structural racism and societal indifference. The ILCC will provide a chance to build knowledge and apply it in her work and interactions across the university community.
Academic Advisor/Coordinator, Executive Undergraduate Program
Kate is a two time alumna of the University of Arizona (B.A. in Global Studies & French, M.A. in French) and currently works as an advisor for No Major Selected students within The A Center and as Coordinator for the Executive Undergraduate Program, a program for students who are working and commuting to campus. She is excited to take part in this certificate and apply inclusive leadership principles to her positions on campus.
Manager: Persistence and Completion, Academic Interventions and Financial Wellness Initiatives
Alexei M. Marquez is a native Tucsonan. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education (English) and her Master's in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at the College of Education, focusing on scholarly identities of Chicana/Latina students in Higher Education. She is currently the President of the UA Hispanic Alumni. She is a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. and a former MAS/Raza studies student. She and her husband, Leonel, have three children, Dominic, Raquel, and Maya Elena.
Assistant Dean for Programs, Diversity & Inclusion
Dr. Cheree Meeks is a first-generation college graduate who leads the college’s DEI efforts and initiatives and manages the First Year Experience. Dr. Meeks’ interests include exploring the experiences of African American women in higher education and addressing the impact of disproportionate policing and incarceration on the Black community. She is from Iowa and loves the Iowa Hawkeyes! Dr. Meeks enjoys Law & Order, reading, music, and collecting elephants!
Director, Office of Multicultural Advancement
Karla worked for the State of Arizona for over 17 years with the Division of Benefits and Medical Eligibility and assisted thousands of Arizona families to receive state and federally funded assistance. During her tenure at United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona, Karla raised over 8 million dollars to support programs which directly impacted the community in the areas of education, income, and health. Currently working in the Office of Provost of, Karla oversees the multicultural advancement efforts, as well coordinate the university wide charitable campaign and the year wide employee volunteer efforts.
Sr. Coordinator, Cultural Programs
My name is Chris and I have been working in the Thrive Center since 2019. I was born and raised in California, moving to Tucson when I was 18. I received my B.S. in Computer Science from UArizona in 2017 and my M.Ed. in Counseling-Student Affairs from NAU in 2019. My favorite part of my job is listening the experiences my students share with me and providing space for community-building, processing, reflection, and holistic development.
Professor of French and Francophone Studies and Head of the Department of French & Italian.
Denis has devoted the last two decades to examining LGBTQ communities in French and Francophone cultures. His research is intersectional and cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries through an exploration of the transnational flow of languages, peoples, and ideas -- related to gender, sexuality, class, race, and religion -- in North America, Europe, and North Africa. In 2018-19, Denis also completed the Academic Leadership Institute at UA and is now looking forward to building on those skills as part of this year’s cohort in the ILCC.
Senior Director, Writing Program
Rochelle (Shelley) Rodrigo is the Senior Director of the Writing Program; Associate Professor in the Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English (RCTE); and Associate Writing Specialist (Continuing Status) in the Department of English. She researches how “newer” technologies better facilitate communicative interactions, specifically teaching and learning.
Assistant Professor of Practice
Teresa Rosano is a Registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional. She is Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona School of Architecture and co-founder of Ibarra Rosano Design Architects, which has garnered national recognition as one of Arizona's top design firms for its modern desert architecture. She recently earned a Certificate in College Teaching, and her teaching experience includes seminar courses and design studios, as well as dance and martial arts instruction.
Assistant Dean, Research Development; Assistant Director, STEM Learning Center; College of Education, University of Arizona
Dr. Sara Chavarria designs and conducts informal educational programming that creates learner-centered interactive experiences for underserved and underrepresented students (K-20) as well as for teachers/educators that serve these populations. She is especially interested in best practices for attraction and retention of low income, first generation undergraduate students and advises university partners on effective design of K-16 academic summer programs to engage and retain underrepresented audiences in their areas of study. She also provides extensive broader impact grant writing support to education faculty and faculty from UA Colleges of Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine, and Science and connects College of Education researchers with UA faculty to leverage Education science expertise on topics such as Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Retention of students to facilitate research on effective learning practices for UA students and PK-12 audiences. She also collaborates with researchers, administrators, and staff across campus to facilitate institutional partnerships, support effective initiatives, and advance scholarship that promote equitable access to high-quality educational experiences, resources, tools, and expertise.
Assistant Dean, Finance and Administration, University of Arizona Libraries
Octavio Fuentes serves as the Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration at The University of Arizona Libraries. Octavio is a first-generation UA alumni having earned Bachelors of Arts degrees in Political Science and Mexican American Studies. He is currently in Eller's Executive MBA program - Class of 2021. Octavio spent four years working internationally in the private sector and worked with colleagues from around the world. Octavio has sought to practice his leadership responsibilities by developing himself as a mindful leader who seeks to shape a mindful, compassionate, and inclusive workplace culture at Libraries and beyond. Octavio has attended the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) Mindfulness Based Emotional Intelligence Training for Leaders, the Mindful Leadership Summit, and is currently in an Inner MBA program. He is also a trained Inter-Group Dialogue Facilitator via UA's Office of Initiatives for Organizational Inclusion and served as an active member of the Libraries' Diversity, Social Justice, and Equity Council. Octavio recognizes the importance of leadership as service by contributing towards a more just, kind, and compassionate workplace and the impact that can create in society at large.
Assistant Professor of Practice, Office of Instruction and Assessment
I am an educational developer. My 2019 HSI Fellows project resulted in the mini-course “Intentional Learning Relationships.” I also co-lead the Inclusive Teaching Tidbits webinars. I co-coordinate and teach in the Certificate in College Teaching Program, and have designed a new course, IA 597D: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in College Teaching. My work grows from strong collaborations with all of you, as we are striving to transform our Wildcat community toward greater equity and excellence.
Assistant Professor of Practice, Counseling Program
Vanessa M. Perry is Assistant Professor of Practice in the Counseling Program at The University of Arizona. Vanessa has served as a rehabilitation counselor, disability rights advocate, military social service support, and clinical mental health counselor. Her research interests include Spanish-English bilingual counseling, clinical supervision, and counselor education, and the shared decision making process in mental health treatment. She was selected as a member of the inaugural 2018-2019 class of UA's Hispanic Serving Institution Fellows Program.