Leslie Asher Blair
Executive Director, Communications
As executive director of communications, Leslie Blair plans and develops internal and external communications efforts in collaboration with Associate Vice President Erica Saenz and a team of five communications professionals. The team maintains the division’s website and social media accounts and produces newsletters, reports, magazines, brochures, flyers and video to support the DDCE brand. Blair also oversees the division’s media relations and is a member of the Campus Climate Response Team. Before joining the DDCE staff in 2008, Blair was a communications associate and project director at SEDL, a nonprofit educational research organization. She previously worked at New Mexico State University. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas State University and an M.A. in English from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Charles Breithaupt serves as the executive director of the University Interscholastic League (UIL). Breithaupt is the seventh executive director in the 100-year history of UIL. Breithaupt joined the League in June of 1992 after 17 years in coaching and currently serves on the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee and served as liaison to the NCAA Football Rules Committee for the past 10 years. He has also served as an athletic director, assistant principal, high school principal and as a school board member throughout his career. He coached football, basketball, baseball, track and field, and cross- country and taught English and History. He has been named Coach of the year nine times and was named State Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches in 1991. He was inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Southeast Texas Coaches Hall of Honor in 2001. He was inducted in the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor in 2005.
Dr. Aileen Bumphus is an associate vice president for academic diversity initiatives and executive director of the Gateway Scholars Program in the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE). In her role, she oversees all programming and academic support components of the program, which is designed to maximize the academic success and social connections of incoming first-generation and underrepresented students at UT Austin. Gateway Scholars serves more than 400 students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. She is a strong advocate for studying abroad and has been collaborating with the UT Study Abroad office to ensure that the students in the Gateway program have complete access to the many resources available to enhance the likelihood that they study abroad during their college experience. As a first-generation college student and the only one in her family to gave attended college, she understands first-hand the challenges facing first-generation college student, Bumphus served on the planning team to launch the first-ever study abroad experience in LCAE. As a result, the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence successfully took a record number of students to Beijing, China, during the 2013 Maymester. A native of Atlanta, GA, Charles earned her BA in philosophy from Rollins College, her MPA from The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, and her PhD in higher education leadership and policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.
Dr. Melissa M. Chavez, M.Ed.
Associate Vice President and Superintendent, University Charter School System
2200 East Sixth Street
Austin, TX 78702
Melissa Chavez began her career with UT Elementary School in its inception as the assistant principal and created the special education and reading programs. She was promoted to principal in 2006, helping the school to earn several Exemplary titles. Melissa became Executive Director of UT Elementary School in 2009 and continues to serve in that role. Prior to coming to UT Elementary, Melissa taught first grade in Austin ISD and quickly rose to Assistant to the Associate Superintendent, before being recruited to help open The University of Texas Elementary School in 2003. Melissa has a bachelors degree in curriculum and instruction and a masters degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin College of Education. Her masters specialization was the principalship program – a highly competitive program ranked in the top five in the nation. Currently Melissa is pursuing a doctorate degree at The University of Texas, and her dissertation focuses on behavioral momentum theory and its application to increasing positive student behavior.
Dr. Suchitra Gururaj serves as assistant vice president for the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement and executive director of the Community Engagement Center. In these roles, Dr. Gururaj provides administrative and strategic leadership for student engagement programs rooted in service; community-based learning course offerings; and public engagement programming. As a lecturer in the College of Liberal Arts at UT-Austin, Dr. Gururaj teaches courses on community organizing and leadership development through service. Prior to arriving at UT-Austin, Dr. Gururaj enjoyed a twelve-year career as a digital media and communications professional across corporate, nonprofit, and university settings. Dr. Gururaj earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Yale University; a master’s degree in English literature, with a concentration in postcolonial theory, from The University of Chicago; and a doctorate in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Jennifer Maedgen
Senior Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
512-232-2910; FAC 402
Dr. Jennifer Maedgen has oversight responsibility for the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and disability efforts on campus, serving as the University’s ADAAA/504/EIR Coordinator. She also serves as the vice president’s liaison to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the University Interscholastic League, and functions as the chief of staff for the division. Maedgen received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), graduating summa cum laude. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Maedgen completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she worked in children’s rehabilitation, adult/child neuropsychology, and forensic settings. She also completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia, during which time she worked in the neuropsychology clinic in the Department of Psychiatric Medicine and at the Learning Needs and Evaluation Center (LNEC). She was later appointed as the director of the LNEC, and served in this role and as an assistant professor of clinical psychiatric medicine for three years. Dr. Maedgen returned to The University of Texas at Austin in 2003 as an assistant dean of students and director of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). She joined the DDCE in January 2007. In addition to her administrative role, she has taught courses on critical thinking, psychological assessment, and disability, as well as published articles and book chapters on issues relating to attentional disorders and disability accommodations. She has a clinical appointment in the Department of Educational Psychology and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas.
A native Texan and licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Martinez is the fifth executive director and the first Hispanic to lead the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health since its creation in 1940. The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health services, research, policy analysis and educational projects in Texas. He is a clinical professor with an appointment in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin and a guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. His academic interests include minority health, health disparities, and workforce issues. In addition to his administrative and academic duties, he is on the board of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities Region VI Health Equity Board, a commissioner on the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families, a member of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Texas Implementation of Medication Algorithm Advisory Council, and a member of the University of Texas – University Charter School Advisory Board. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and also a member of the American College of Mental Health Administration, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the Texas Society for Psychiatric Physicians, the Harvard Faculty Club, and The Reede Scholars, a network of public health leaders who have completed The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School. He is licensed to practice medicine in Texas and North Carolina and is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a doctor’s degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Leonard Moore
Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Diversity Initiatives and Student Engagement
Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence; Professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Leonard Moore has a wide-spanning portfolio that includes the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence, TRIO Programs, Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs and the Longhorn Center for Community Engagement. Additionally, he is a professor in the Department of History. Dr. Moore teaches several popular undergraduate courses, including the Gateway Scholars signature course titled Race in the Age of Obama. He is a frequent speaker across the country on issues related to race, education, and social entrepreneurship. He has been at the University of Texas since 2007. In 2011, Dr. Moore received the Salute Chair’s Award from Austin Partners in Education. Through his advocacy in the community and in the classroom he led more than a hundred students and residents to volunteer in the Austin Independent School District. A student population that he has actively taught and mentored on campus is student athletes. Through his work with black male athletes he promotes a healthy balance between academics and athletics. Prior to coming to the University of Texas, he spent nine years as a professor and administrator at Louisiana State University. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from Ohio State University in 1998 at the age of 26. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Jackson State University in 1993 and he is a native of Cleveland, Ohio.
Patrick Patterson currently serves as the Assistant Vice President of The Longhorn Center for School Partnerships. He was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, and attended Chicago Public Schools. Upon completing his graduate degree in Education from Chicago State University, he moved to Austin Texas in 1983 to begin his public school teaching career. He worked in what many would consider “tough” schools, but he always knew that education was the main reason for his quality of life and he wanted other young people who were from disadvantaged situations to break their family’s poverty cycle by obtaining a quality education and joining, at a minimum, working class society. He was a pioneer in Austin Public Schools as he became the first and only, at this time, person to become campus principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. His (two) high schools (Lanier, 2004 and LBJ, 2005-2009) were recognized by Newsweek as top 1200 high schools in the nation for multiple years. During his last four years as LBJ High School Principal, LBJ led the Central Texas area in the ApplyTexas rate and was recognized by The Austin Chamber of Commerce each of those years for doing so. This was done in a high school that was 100% minority and over 80% of the students qualified for free/reduced lunch. He felt very strongly about giving the opportunity of post-secondary education to his students. In 2009 Mr. Patterson was named AISD Secondary Principal of the Year, and in his final year in 2010, the Texas Assoc. of Journalism Educators, named him Administrator of the Year for the entire State of Texas! After 28 years of employment credit with Austin ISD, and thirty years overall, he decided to retire and start over in a different capacity as he felt he had given all he had in the public school setting and wanted to try something new. Hence, his new work at The University of Texas at Austin. In January, 2014, Mr. Patterson was selected as Asst. Vice President of the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships (LCSP), in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. His portfolio includes all of the Outreach Centers across the State of Texas, as well as the unit, Pre-College Academic Readiness Program (PCARP).
Gregory is a seasoned fundraising professional, trainer, mentor and creative writer. He believes that successful fundraising is achieved when the donor’s passions and values are aligned with the organization’s mission and needs. Gregory has 25 years of combined experience in fundraising management and higher education. He is passionate about building strong institutions and uses his expertise to accomplish this at each organization he serves. As a chief development officer at several organizations, he has lead staff and volunteers in securing philanthropic support, creating a culture of philanthropy, and increasing contributions, donors, and giving at all levels with innovative initiatives and events. As a consultant, he has successfully worked with organizations to plan and implement proven fundraising strategies. As a trainer, he has conducted workshops, seminars and presentations on fundraising and board development. Gregory serves on the CASE District IV, Mid America Arts Alliance and University of Texas Elementary School boards; and the advisory council for the Armstrong Community Music School. Previously he held leadership positions on the boards/committees for Creative Action, A Legacy of Giving, Association for Fundraising Professionals, University of Houston Alumni Association and Leadership Houston. He earned both an undergraduate and M.F.A in theatre from the University of Houston; and in addition to his fundraising career, has been involved in theater for more than 25 years as an actor, writer, director, or producer. He studied with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Edward Albee, who selected one of Gregory’s plays for the Edward Albee Playwrights’ Workshop. Gregory is an accomplishments playwright with five commissions to his credit. He recently completed a family play, “Liberty! Equality! and Fireworks!,” commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company in Austin, TX. The play explores aspects of the Civil Rights Movement in a fun, enlightening and engaging way.
Associate Vice President for Community and External Relations
Erica Sáenz joined the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and currently serves as associate vice president for community and external relations (CER). The CER portfolio includes DDCE’s communications and special events teams. CER is also responsible for providing program and sponsorship management for campus and community partnerships. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from UCLA. Prior to coming to UT-Austin, Sáenz held various positions at UCLA including serving in the chancellor’s office where she liaised with campus and community constituencies on behalf of the assistant chancellor and assistant provost and gained experience in managing emerging areas of campus concern of both external and internal origin. Sáenz is a proud member of Austin Creative Alliance, Austin Script Works, FuturoFund Austin, Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas- Austin branch, Las Comadres Para Las Americas, and the Screen Actors Guild. Her current board and service commitments include the Austin Involved Advisory Council, Community Action Network, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium Advisory Council, I Live Here, I Give Here, the Long Center for the Performing Arts, Teatro Vivo, and the Texas Exes Hispanic Alumni Network.
Dr. Sherri L. Sanders
Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Equity;
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education
Sherri L. Sanders and her team advance efforts to create an inclusive culture at UT Austin. In this role, she consults with faculty, staff, and departments to enhance knowledge of strategies that promote inclusion and equity. Dr. Sanders works with administrators to investigate and identify positive resolutions regarding university issues and concerns, including those related to equal opportunity. As the Title VI Coordinator, she administers and monitors Title VI activities and the overall nondiscrimination program. Dr. Sanders prepares University’s responses to eeo investigations initiated by governmental agencies and is a liaison to external eeo authorities. In addition, she oversees compliance with equal opportunity laws and policies and development of the University’s Affirmative Action Plan (AAP). She, along with staff, translate AAP data into effective tools to institutionalize best practices and to enhance their work with equity and diversity committees, especially in regards to diversity planning. Dr. Sanders also partners with the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and other academic leaders to create an environment where inclusive strategies for faculty recruitment and retention will succeed. Prior to 2007, she was a member of the Office of the Dean of Students senior leadership team for nineteen years and served both as assistant and associate dean of students. In 1998, she received her Ph.D. in educational administration from UT-Austin. Her research interests include diversity planning, gender equity, faculty recruitment and retention, and climate assessment. Dr. Sanders earned her M.A. in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and a B.S. in psychology from Louisiana State University. Throughout her tenure, she has received numerous awards including the Parents’ Association Outstanding Student Affairs Staff Merit Award and the Margaret C. Berry Outstanding Contribution to Student Life Award. In 2004, she was honored as a participant in the Fulbright Scholar Program in Germany.
Betty Jeanne Taylor, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President
Betty Jeanne Taylor, assistant vice president, is actively involved with the university’s diversity planning process and the faculty recruitment and retention partnership with the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. She is also the creator of the “Inclusive Classrooms Leadership Certificate Seminar Series” for assistant instructors and teaching assistants. Dr. Taylor serves as a member of the Campus Climate Response Team (CCRT) and partners with colleagues to resolve bias incidents impacting faculty and staff. Her research and professional practice includes work with academic colleges and departments on diversity efforts including development of inclusive classrooms and faculty recruitment and retention initiatives. Dr. Taylor also has served in an advisory capacity for the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) since 2007, is a member of the International Office’s Longhorn DREAMers Project, and serves as a mentor for the Texas Hillel Launching Longhorns program. With 15 years of experience in higher education administration, Dr. Taylor has served as an instructor, facilitator, and administrator. Prior to joining DDCE, she served as a member of the management team in the Office of the Dean of Students as Director of Greek Life and Education where she also instructed undergraduate courses and conducted research for a national multi-university research project. During her tenure at the University, Dr. Taylor has been recognized for her service and leadership with honors including the Texas Parents’ Association Staff Merit Award and the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Taylor holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin. She received a B.S. in communication and a M.S. in higher education from The Florida State University. Her research interests include identity development and intersectionality, inclusive climates, and social justice education.
Helen Wormington joined The University of Texas at Austin in 2001, and is currently the deputy to the vice president for diversity and community engagement. She works closely with the vice president and the units within DDCE and colleges to ensure collaboration on thematic faculty recruitment and the thematic graduate student program, and also oversees the Office of the Vice President. Before joining the Division of Diversity and Community engagement, she worked in the School of Biological Sciences in various roles such as graduate coordinator and assistant director for administration. Ms. Wormington received her undergraduate degree in communications and master’s degree in higher education at The University of Texas at Austin.