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New College of Letters and Science Committee to Advise on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

The College of Letters and Science at UC Davis has launched a committee that will advise the college leadership on targeted efforts and priorities to support diversity, equity and inclusion related to faculty, staff and students. 

“Diversity strengthens our work as scholars and educators, and it enriches every aspect of what we do,” said Dean Estella Atekwana. “Strength through diversity is one of the defining characteristics of our college.”  

This new committee will expand the college's efforts in building a culturally diverse and globally conscious community that fosters inclusive excellence where all members and voices are valued, nurtured, supported and celebrated.  

“At UC Davis, we are proactive about removing the barriers that keep each of us from succeeding,” said Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor of diversity, equity and inclusion at UC Davis. “The new DEI Committee in the College of Letters and Science will identify important opportunities that make sure everyone feels like they are equally part of our community, allowing DEI to remain a core value.” 

The College of Letters and Science DEI Committee, which includes faculty, students and staff, is guided by the UC Davis Principles of Community and the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision. The DEI Committee also aligns with the UC Davis “To Boldly Go” strategic plan in embracing diversity, practicing inclusive excellence, striving for equity and supporting a culture that values the contributions and aspirations of all our students, staff and faculty.   

The DEI Committee’s first members will serve a two-year term and advise Dean Estella Atekwana and the college leadership on targeted ways to support DEI in the college. The committee’s efforts will include:    

  • Input on strategic investments to enhance and promote DEI efforts in the college and conduct DEI climate and engagement analysis to inform sustainable DEI initiatives.  
  • Supporting the university-wide effort to develop and implement policies that enhance diversity on our campus and liaise with the UC Davis Office of DEI to identify and help implement best practices supporting diversity across the college.  

  • Working closely with the departments and college leadership to develop and expand programs for undergraduate and graduate student success and inclusion and to support and expand programs to recruit, retain and recognize diverse faculty, staff and students.  

  • Highlighting the unique contributions of the college to the overarching culture of our campus.  

2023-2025 DEI Committee Members

  • Estella Atekwana (co-chair), Dean, College of Letters and Science
  • Ron Mangun (co-chair), Professor, Psychology
  • Ali Anooshahr, Professor, Middle East/South Asia Studies
  • Diana Aramburu, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Shannon Chee, Staff Member, Information Technology
  • Sunjo Claris Nyuysoni, Graduate Student, Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Christopher Coleman, Graduate Student, Psychology
  • Rene Flowers, Staff Member, Green Cluster
  • Viviana Gonzalez, Staff Member, Mathematics
  • Chris Hanssmann, Professor, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
  • Brad Jones, Professor, Political Science
  • Susan Kauzlarich, Professor, Chemistry
  • Branwen Okpako, Professor, Cinema and Digital Media
  • Mark Reyes, Staff Member, Undergraduate Education and Advising
  • Olga Rodriguez, Staff Member, Statistics
  • Anne Schilling, Professor, Mathematics
  • Samantha Sime, Graduate Student, Sociology
  • Teresa Steele, Professor, Anthropology
  • David Wittman, Professor, Physics and Astronomy


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