Meet the Instructors

With a strong foundation in content knowledge and institutional leadership, Dynamics of Diversity guides learners beyond discussions about inclusion to the actual practice itself. Our team of presenters and facilitators provide a strong learning foundation for your diversity needs.

Instructors

The Dynamics of Diversity instructors are subject matter experts from across the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement who create the learning content for our courses. The presenters build the courses based on insights gained from their daily practice as diversity advocates and educators. While all of our presenters have a minimum of two years presenting trainings in their areas of expertise, many have over ten years of teaching experience. You will find our presenters leading live discussions as well as teaching in the asynchronous videos for hybrid learners.

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Marquita Booker

Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Equity

Marquita Booker is the Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Equity, serving as an executive-level strategist, responsible for guiding efforts and creating opportunities to define, assess, and promote equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and cultural competence for faculty, staff, students, and surrounding community. Ms. Booker’s background includes civil rights advocacy and extensive experience developing, implementing, and managing robust equity and inclusion programs. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Florida A&M University College of Law, an advanced law degree in employment law from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, a Master of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in educational policy and organizational leadership. Ms. Booker is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas and Florida.

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Kelli Bradley

Executive Director of Services for Students with Disabilities

Kelli Bradley serves as the Executive Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at the University of Texas at Austin and has been in this position since 2013 and at the university since 2011. In this role, she provides strategic direction and leadership of the department and supervises university services and programs for students with disabilities including interpreting disability law and determining appropriate accommodations for students. She manages a caseload of students with learning, attentional, and psychological disabilities. Kelli has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Social work from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston at Victoria. She has a business background in marketing and management and is a licensed master social worker in the state of Texas.

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Shavonne Coleman (she/her/they)

Education Consultant

Shavonne Coleman (she/her/they) is an Education Consultant in the Faculty Innovation Center. She received a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University in Applied Drama/Theatre for the Young, where she cultivated her praxis through various projects with the Office of Academic Service-Learning and Engagement. Other experiences that have shaped her career include traveling to Seoul, S. Korea, where she directed a Youth Theatre performance; serving as Assistant Director of Acting at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, where she developed the Mosaic Experience Empowerment Project after-school program with Detroit Public Schools; returning to her alma mater Grand Valley State for a Visiting Faculty position; and becoming a staff writer for TYA magazine, to name a few. Shavonne believes inclusivity is an integral part of pedagogy and hopes to support faculty, staff, and students in fostering highly effective learning environments through dialogue, workshops, applied theatre techniques, consultations, and community-building events.

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Liz Elsen (they/she)

Director of The Gender and Sexuality Center

Liz Elsen (they/she) currently serves as the Director of The Gender and Sexuality Center, which is UT’s Women’s Center and LGBTQIA+ Center. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2004 receiving Honors in Creative Writing and a degree in Dramatic Art. Liz went on to receive her Master’s Degree in College and University Student Personnel Administration from UT Austin in 2008. Upon graduation, they started working at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign as a Residence Hall Director for the social-justice themed Living & Learning Community, Intersections, and advising LGBTQ and feminist organizations. The call to return to Austin was strong, however, and they have been back at UT (and to the GSC) since 2012.

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Brandelyn Flunder

Director for the Multicultural Engagement Center

Brandelyn Flunder currently serves as the Director for the Multicultural Engagement Center and has 12+ years in higher education.  She graduated from UT in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and in 2013 with a Master of Education from the Program in Higher Education Leadership with a focus in College and University Student Personnel Administration. Specific interests within higher education and student affairs includes college access, mentorship, and development.

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Dr. Edmund T. Gordon

Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology of the African Diaspora, and Vice Provost for Diversity

Dr. Edmund T. Gordon is the founding (former) chair of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology of the African Diaspora, and Vice Provost for Diversity at The University of Texas at Austin. His teaching and research interests include: Culture and power in the African Diaspora, gender studies (particularly Black males), critical race theory, race education, and the racial economy of space and resources. His publications include Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community, 1998 UT Press. Dr. Gordon received his Doctorate in Social Anthropology from Stanford University and his Master’s of Arts from Stanford University in Anthropology and Master’s degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Miami.

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Dr. Suchitra Gururaj

Assistant Vice President for Community and Economic Engagement

Dr. Suchitra Gururaj, Ph.D., serves as Assistant Vice President for Community and Economic Engagement in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is the visionary and strategic lead for student engagement programs rooted in service, community-based learning course offerings, public engagement programming, and in-kind sponsorships. A lecturer in the College of Liberal Arts at UT-Austin, Dr. Gururaj teaches courses on community organizing and leadership development. Her research focuses on service-learning outcomes, university-community partnerships, and social inclusion policies in higher education. Dr. Gururaj earned a B.A. in English literature from Yale University, an M.A. in English from The University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gururaj serves as book review editor for the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, and holds a seat on the Executive Committee for the Commission on Economic and Community Engagement for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

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Amory Krueger 

Director for Student Engagement Programs in the Center for Community Engagement

Amory Krueger currently serves as the director for student engagement programs in the Center for Community Engagement, overseeing service resources and programs that connect anyone at UT looking to volunteer with community organizations who need volunteers. She has been a staff member in CCE since fall of 2007, when she started as a graduate assistant while completing her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration (M.Ed ’09). Amory graduated from Arizona State University in 2007.

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Jennifer Maedgen

Chief of Staff

Dr. Jennifer Maedgen has oversight responsibility for the auxiliary units in DDCE (Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, the University Interscholastic League, and the University of Texas Charter School System) as well as those relating to equity and access at the University [Office for Inclusion and Equity (OIE); Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)]. In addition, she serves as the University’s ADA/504/EIR Coordinator and chief of staff for the division. Dr. Maedgen received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and her master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she worked in children’s rehabilitation, adult/child neuropsychology, forensics, 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 several years. In addition to her administrative roles, Dr.Maedgen 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 is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychology and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas.

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Octavio N. Martinez

Executive Director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and Senior Associate Vice-President

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., is the executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and Senior Associate Vice-President in DDCE. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Dell Medical School, Clinical Professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work; Faculty Affiliate of the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice in the School of Law, and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio.

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Jenn Corey Meehan

Institutional Equity Investigator

Jenn Corey Meehan works for the University of Texas, Austin as an Institutional Equity Investigator with the Office for Inclusion and Equity under DDCE. Previously, she worked for three years as a Human Rights Investigator for the Maine Human Rights Commission enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination statutory law. She is also a lawyer and a 2013 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.

Stephanie Meyers

Stephanie Myers 

Deputy ADA Coordinator

Stephanie Myers is the Deputy ADA Coordinator for the University of Texas at Austin. In her role, she consults and facilitates the interactive process for exploring reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff. Before joining the University in 2015, Stephanie was the Accessibility and Disability Rights Coordinator for the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. She also worked as a Project Coordinator for the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in English from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in Disability Studies from the City University of New York, School of Professional Studies.

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Quỳnh-Hương Nguyễn (She, They, Chi, Chanh)

Assistant Director for the Gender and Sexuality Center

Quỳnh-Hương Nguyễn (She, They, Chi, Chanh)has a strong research background with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Dominican University and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused on Student Affairs in Higher Education from Texas State University. Their academic focus is on queer identities, Asian identity, and mental health. Their professional passion is to provide educational opportunities for everyone to make spaces more welcoming affirming for womxn, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with more than one of these identities. Additionally, they use intersectional research, personal experience, compassion, and storytelling to foster and develop best practices to center the voices of the most marginalized communities. Finally, they love using dry humor, memes, and food to connect with others.

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Emily Shryock

Assistant Director of Services for Students with Disabilities

Emily Shryockis the Assistant Director of the Services for Students with Disabilities office at the University of Texas at Austin where she has worked since 2010. Her responsibilities include developing SSD outreach and education initiatives, coordinating assessment efforts, and managing a caseload of students with disabilities. Emily has been a four-time presenter at the Association on Higher Education and Disability National Conference and has also presented at the PacRim International Conference on Disability and Diversity. Emily has a bachelor’s degree in Disability Studies from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis and a master’s degree in Social Work from UT Austin. She currently serves as a Commissioner on the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and is on the Board of Directors for non-profits Parking Mobility and ArtSpark Texas.

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Dr. Ryan Sutton 

Director, Heman Sweatt Center for Black Males (Sweatt Center), Director, Community Integrated Health Initiative, Assistant Professor of Practice, Educational Psychology

Dr. Ryan Sutton earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Xavier University. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Howard University and has published on African American youth and mental health, juvenile justice and academic achievement.

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Anabella Tarango 

Assistant Director for Student Engagement Programs in the Center for Community Engagement

Anabella Tarango currently serves as the assistant director for student engagement programs in the Center for Community Engagement and oversees three signature service-based programs, Alternative Breaks, UT Service Scholars, and the Google Community Mentor Program. Prior to working at CCE, Anabella worked in the nonprofit sector of Austin working towards providing educational opportunities for Latinas. She received her B.A. and MSSW from the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Betty Jeanne Taylor

Assistant Vice President

Dr. Betty Jeanne Taylor is an educator and social justice advocate with twenty years of experience as an administrator, facilitator, and educator. She currently serves as assistant vice president in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at The University of Texas at Austin, where she leads the university’s Campus Climate Response Team, partnering with colleagues to respond to reports of bias incidents impacting the university community. Dr. Taylor is responsible for campus climate initiatives such as creating inclusive classrooms and minimizing bias in recruitment/search processes. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, as an assistant professor of practice. Dr. Taylor holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from The University of Texas at Austin and received a B.S. in communication and an M.S. in higher education from Florida State University. Her research interests focus on intersectional identity development, inclusive climates, and recruitment/retention of faculty of color at predominantly white institutions.

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Brelynn Thomas

Title IX Deputy and Education Coordinator

Brelynn Thomas currently serves as Title IX Deputy and Education Coordinator at The University of Texas at Austin. She earned a Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Virginia. Brelynn has worked in education for over six years.

Devin Walker

Devin Walker

Postdoctoral Fellow, Director of Global Leadership and Social Impact

Dr. Devin Walker is a post-doctoral fellow with DDCE and serves as the director of Global Leadership and Social Impact. He also leads DDCE’s newest initiative, XP3, an innovative year-long professional development fellowship providing students the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, experiences, and network to thrive in the 21st-century global workforce.

Erica Hernandez

Civil Rights Intake Assessment Coordinator

Erica works in the Office for Inclusion and Equity at the University of Texas at Austin as a Civil Rights Intake/Assessment Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management. Prior to joining OIE in 2019, Erica worked in higher education for five years, specifically in Civil Rights and Diversity and Inclusion.

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Yeo Ju Choi

Senior Student Program Coordinator

Yeo Ju Choi is a lifelong learner committed to effecting transformation through education. She is a senior student program coordinator at the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement with an MBA from the McCombs School of Business. Yeo Ju works to help people see the boundaries of the institutions that define their experience and give them the tools to challenge and speak back to those boundaries.

Facilitators

The Dynamics of Diversity facilitators are experts from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement who support the learning process by guiding live discussion sessions. You will find our facilitators in group discussions asking challenging questions and inviting learners to transfer knowledge to practice.

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Thaïs Bass-Moore

Director of the Fearless Leadership Institute

Thaïs Bass-Moore is a native of Pasadena, CA who earned an undergraduate degree at UCLA in 1999. While teaching elementary school in Compton and then in Pasadena, she studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. In 2003, she established The Black Theatre Company of Baton Rouge where she served as playwright and director by night and stay-at-home mom by day. She currently serves as co-founder and director of the Fearless Leadership Institute at The University of Texas in Austin, which provides academic, professional, and personal development to African American women and Latina undergraduates. She graduated from UT Austin in December 2018 with a master’s in Human Dimensions of Organizations. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, friends and extended family, traveling, water fun, and volleyball. What makes Thaïs unique is her infectious laughter. Thaïs’ long term goal for FLI is to establish one at every PWI in the country.

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Taryn I. Bright-Haskett

Assistant Director, UT Youth Engagement Center – Dallas

Taryn I. Bright-Haskett is the Assistant Director of UT Youth Engagement Center-Dallas.  Taryn is a Dallas native. She graduated from UT Austin in 2014. Then, she began her career at The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. She enjoys helping students throughout their high school journey and supporting them in their next to steps to college.

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Emmet E. Campos

Director for Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students

Dr. Emmet E. Campos, Ph.D. directs Project MALES and the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color (Consortium) in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at UT Austin. As Director, Dr. Campos serves as the chief operations officer for all Project MALES and Consortium activities and is responsible for communications and engagement with key stakeholders and community partners. Previously, he directed grant-funded research initiatives focused on male students of color in K-12 and higher education, and Latinx students college transfer and completion at the Center for Community College Student Engagement (UT Austin), served as Director for the Institute for Community, University, and School Partnerships (UT Austin) building partnerships between the university, Austin area school districts, and the greater Austin community to serve students of color. His teaching experience includes appointments at UT Austin, St. Edward’s University, and Austin Community College in the College of Liberal Arts, College of Education, and English Departments. He received his B.A. in English/Ethnic and Third World Studies, and his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies in Education/Curriculum and Instruction from UT Austin.

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Ruben Cantu 

Executive Director, Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ruben Cantu is a first-generation college graduate raised in East Austin as a son of immigrants. He holds a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from the Moody College of Communications and an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business, both from The University of Texas at Austin. He has founded various startups and as a social entrepreneur, his ambitions are focused on establishing a platform through media and entrepreneurship that allows society to reflect on its condition and spur progressive change.

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Eric Dieter

Executive Director in the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity

Dr. Eric Dieter is Executive Director in the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity, directing the College-to-Career Initiatives and Gateway Scholars, and co-directing McNair Scholars. He is part of the LCAE’s assessment team, and the DDCE’s PreK-to-PhD Educational Pathways committee. Previously, he was Executive Director of Dual Enrollment Initiatives in the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships. He has a Ph.D. in rhetoric from UT-Ausitn, and a teaching appointment in UT’s Department of Rhetoric and Writing. He is a first-generation college student supporting current first-generation students. A Midwesterner, he has lived in Austin since 2001. He can be reached via email <ericdieter@austin.utexas.edu> and LinkedIn <linkedin.com/in/ericdieter>

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Joanna Drake

Administrative Manager

Joanna Drake is a UT alum and has been a UT staff member for over 9 years; she has been providing financial and program support for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement since 2018. Her background within dialogue first began in 2010 where she was part of the inaugural cohort of an interfaith dialogue community in Austin, TX. One of the most important lessons she has learned from dialogue is to seek to understand, before being understood. Her core strengths include connecting with others, developing those around her, striving for harmony and empathy, and engaging in intellectual discourse. To that end, she believes in authentic relationships both professionally and personally and feels effective dialogue can achieve that.

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Stephanie Lang

Director, Equity and Community Advocacy

Stephanie Lang has been leading both the cultural and historic preservation efforts for the CCE the past year.  Previously, Lang worked for the John L Warfield Center for African & African American Studies at the University of Texas for over 14 years. In her position as Program Administrator, she created community-centered programming that fostered relationships between UT and Austin community organizations through collaborations, shared resources, and other forms of support.

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Malachia Lawrence

UT Youth Engagement Center Counselor

Malachia Lawrence: UT Youth Engagement Center – Houston Engagement Center Counselor mlawrence@austin.utexas.edu

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Tiffany Lewis

Assistant Vice-President, Longhorn Center for Academic Equity

Dr. Tiffany Lewis is the Assistant Vice-President, Longhorn Center for Academic Equity and the director of the Longhorn Link Program (LLP). LLP is an institutionally funded Student Support Services program (SSS). The primary goal of the program is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants and facilitate the process of transition from one level of higher education to the next. The program takes a holistic approach to preparing students by providing students with academic support, leadership development, and enrichment opportunities. In her role, she is responsible for the academic success of the students, which include managing the tutoring services, mentoring, and coaching.

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Milly Lopez

Director of Institutional Partnerships

Milly Lopez serves as director of institutional partnerships for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) where she manages collaboration and engagement efforts with 400+ partner organizations both on and off campus. She works with stakeholders to identify and cultivate industries of opportunities for students and community while assuring partnerships with nonprofits and corporations drive innovation and social impact.

Patrick Patterson

Patrick Patterson

Assistant Vice President for School Partnerships

Patrick Patterson has served in the DDCE for ten years. His portfolio includes all pre-college programming offered by the Div. of Diversity and Community Engagement through the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships (LCSP). For the year 2019-2020, his programs served 49,000 students state-wide!

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Tyrone Rose

Engagement Center Counselor

Tyrone Rose, M.S. earned a Bachelor’s degree in History/Education from St. Joseph’s College in New York and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership in Ohio. He believes in all forms of diversity and makes a conscious effort to eliminate his blind spots. He lives by the quote “You decide your own level of involvement.” He says, “If we want to make change, we all need to decide how involved we’re going to be in making it happen.”

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Cheryl Sawyer

Director of the Advise TX College Advising Corps

Cheryl Sawyer is the Director of the Advise TX College Advising Corps within the Longhorn Center for School Partnerships.  In this capacity, she manages recent college graduates who serve as college advisers working in selected low-income high schools in four regions of Texas. She has more than 20 years of diverse experience in program development and management, fund-raising and communications.  She has a B.A. in psychology from Clark Atlanta University and a Master’s degree in Intercultural Administration from the School for International Training.