University Council on Diversity

Council Charge

The University Council on Diversity was established in 2003 to move SUNY Oneonta forward in creating a welcoming, inclusive, and bias-free environment.

The Council continues its work toward valuing differences, fostering inclusion and supporting excellence; Its structure and charge was redefined in 2020 to reflect the changing needs of the institution and to foster a broader campus involvement in DEI issues. The Council will work to foster DEI and inclusivity through an Advisory Committee to the President and its five subcommittees.

Council Membership

University Advisory Committee

The University Advisory Committee is made up of the five subcommittee co-chairs and the chair (appointed by the president). The University Advisory Committee serves as the University Council on Diversity steering committee. The University Council on Diversity chair convenes a monthly steering committee meeting. The Advisory Committee meets with the president and the CDO quarterly and as needed.

University Council on Diversity Chair

Dr. Bernadette Tiapo, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer

University Council on Diversity Subcommittees

Each University Council on Diversity subcommittee is made up of faculty, staff and students. Each subcommittee defines the framework and schedule of its activities based on charge.

The five subcommittees are charged with one of the following areas:

  • campus climate
  • faculty, staff and student advocacy and support
  • community outreach, communication and membership
  • inclusive excellence, and
  • strategic planning and assessment

Campus Climate Subcommittee


  • Pathy Leiva, Director, Access and Opportunities Programs


  • Jenny Bagby, Coordinator, Accessibility Resources
  • Cameron Conover, Head Men’s Basketball Coach
  • Summer Cunningham, Assistant Professor Communication Studies
  • Alejandra Escudero, Professor, Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Emmon Johnson, Customer Support Solutions Specialist
  • Samantha Kaminski, Student
  • Robert Kirk, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • J Lentner, Director, Student Accounts Office
  • Brent McGrady, University Police Officer 1
  • Sean Shannon, Lecturer of Law, School of Liberal Arts and Business
  • Betty Wambui, Professor, Africana and Latinx Studies


  • Campus Climate Survey – assist with the administration and presentation of results
  • Follow-up on outcomes, in collaboration with Strategic Planning Subcommittee
  • Updates to campus community
  • Active collaboration with BART, Office of Title IX and Affirmative Action
  • Campus climate related discussions

Areas of focus

  • Establish and advertise an online access point for members of the SUNY Oneonta community to provide feedback related to campus climate.
  • Hold at least one forum/meeting to communicate data and trends related to our current campus climate and/or to invite additional feedback from the campus community.

Faculty, Staff, and Student Advocacy and Support Subcommittee


  • Emily Stewart, Associate Director, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center & OEI Program Associate
  • Matthew Hendley, Professor, History
  • Jeannine Webster, Accessibility Counselor, The Student Learning Center


  • James Damico, Area Coordinator, Higgins Hall
  • Angie Eichler, Associate Director Student Life and Leadership
  • Denise Leinonen, Global Program Coordinator, Office of Global Education
  • Chelsea McCracken, Assistant Professor of Media Studies
  • Kelly Spettel, Administrative Assistant, School of Economics and Business
  • Ashley Allen, Assistant Professor, Geography + Environmental Sustainability
  • Lester Lamoree, Administrative Assistant, Office of Global Education
  • Lori Wienke, Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Librarian
  • Samantha Mosca, Career Counselor for Career Development


  • Concerned with discussions and suggestions geared towards retention efforts; for example, the establishment and/or reinforcement of
  • Mentoring programs
  • Affinity groups
  • New employee welcome /Get together opportunities
  • Collaborations with Faculty Learning Center, Human Resources etc.
  • Concerned with discussions and suggestions on equity related issues
  • Collaboration with Affirmative Action Officer and Human Resources
  • Assist with developing and reviewing DEI related policies

Areas of focus

  • Evaluate how our institution currently cultivates and supports marginalized identities within faculty, staff, and students.
  • Create opportunities to continue to build trust and strengthen networking across campus.

Community Outreach and Engagement Subcommittee


  • Deb Bruce, Program Aide, Office of Facilities and Safety
  • Wesley Bernard, Assistant Professor, Art


  • Suzanne Black, Associate Professor, English
  • Kelly Gallagher, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Laura Lincoln, Director, Office of Alumni Engagement
  • Bryce Wooden, Counselor/Recruiter, Educational Opportunity Program
  • Dawn Sohns, Visiting Lecturer, Communication & Media
  • Rabbi Meir Rubashkin


  • Develop networking opportunities with community organizations to better understand the role of DEI in their operations.
  • Partner with community organizations to plan and organize at least one DEI related event each semester.
  • In collaboration with the OEI, University Council on Diversity Campus Climate Subcommittee, CRJIE, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and belonging at Hartwick, and other community partners, establish and coordinate an Annual Business Inclusive Award through the administration of a short survey to all students and employees each spring semester. Plan a recognition ceremony for award recipient(s).
  • Work with the OEI to plan and organize an annual Campus and Community DEI Fest/Celebration and Recognition event each fall semester.
  • In partnership with the OEI, University Council on Diversity, Campus Climate Subcommittee, CRJIE and Hartwick Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, develop and administer a needs assessment survey to community businesses and organizations. Share data with the OEI for targeted actions.

Inclusive Excellence Subcommittee


  • Chelsea McCracken, Assistant Professor, Communication and Media
  • Chloe Diamond-Lenow, Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies


  • Apurva Apurva, Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Tracy Betsinger, Professor, of Anthropology
  • Dr. Shahin Kachwala, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Kirsten Kemmerer, Assistant Professor, Sociology
  • Dorothy Rombo, Associate Professor, Child and Family Studies
  • Alanna Rudzik, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
  • Nicole Waid, Assistant Professor, Secondary Education and Educational Technology
  • Davelyn Whyte-Johnson, Counselor, Educational Opportunity Program
  • Suriati Abas, Assistant Professor, Elementary Education + Reading
  • Roberto Rincon, Assistant Professor, Africana and Latinx Studies


  • Inclusive curriculum initiatives in collaboration with the Faculty Learning Center
  • Discussions and suggestions on student advocacy related to the classroom environment
  • Tapestry of Diversity Award planning and organization
  • Collaboration with other subcommittees, offices and programs to obtain data for suggestions of targeted trainings for the campus community
  • Recommendations for outside trainings and/or webinars
  • Assist with facilitating trainings, as necessary, in collaboration with other departments

Areas of focus

  • Develop a sub-committee for the Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion Award.
  • Hold conversations based on scenarios that faculty face in the classrooms around issues of diversity and inclusion as a possible model for some faculty training in the future.

Strategic Planning and Assessment Subcommittee


  • Joshua Nelson, Assessment Specialist, Office of Institutional Assessment
  • Elyse Purcell, Assistant Professor, Philosophy


  • Dawn Hamlin, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education
  • Bill Harceleroad, Director of Campus Activites and Leadership
  • Penina Kamina, Professor, Elementary Education and Reading
  • Trudy Thomas-Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Kiyoko Yokota, Associate Professor of Biology and Biological Field Station Researcher
  • Karen Brown, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment
  • Erin Francisco, Assistant Director of DEI Projects & Initiatives


  • Assist with the coordination and development of DEI Strategic Plan, in collaboration with campus constituents
  • Assist with monitoring of implementation of the strategic plan and continuous assessment efforts
  • Assist with facilitating regular campus updates on DEI Strategic Plan progress
  • Identification of focus areas for annual Learning Outcomes.

Areas of focus

  • Collect evidence for the 2020 Diversity Report. Examine measures used for success and ultimately identify shared success and opportunities for future focus.
Council Membership



Samantha Kaminski Student Representative 2023
Carl Dutreuil Student Representative 2023
Andrea Fallon-Korb Sports and Exercise Sciences 2023
Summer Cunningham Communication Studies 2023
Jenny Bagby Accessibility Resources 2024
J Lentner Student Accounts 2024
Emmon Johnson ITS 2024
Alejandra Escudero Foreign Languages and Literatures 2024
Brent McGrady University Police Department 2024
Betty Wambui Africana and Latinx Studies 2024
Robert Kirk Psychology 2024
Cameron Conover Athletics 2024
Sean Shannon Economics and Business 2024
Jian Cui Art 2023
Alexandra Burwood Student Representative 2023
Rhea Nowak Art 2023
Pearlie Rose Baluyut Art History 2023
Elizabeth Dunn Liberal Arts 2024
Alyssa Carbone Student Representative 2023
Matthew Hendley History 2024
Kelly Spettell Economics & Business 2024
Grazyna Kamburowska Math., Computer Science, and Statistics 2024
Denise Leinonen International Student Advisor 2024
Frank Thornton Special Education 2024
Angie Eichler Student Life and Leadership 2024
Chelsea McCracken Media Studies 2024
Maurice Odago Chemistry and Biochemistry 2024
Hailey Mancini Community Director 2024
Peter Owens Athletics 2023
Bryce Wooden Educational Opportunity Program 2023
Laura Lincoln Alumni Engagement 2023
Cassandra Miller Communication and Media 2024
Steve Walsh Marketing 2024
Carlene Burman Cooperstown Graduate Program 2024
Katrine Guliano Student Representative 2024
Kelly Gallagher Chemistry & Biochemistry 2024
Wesley Bernard Art 2024
Suzanne Black English 2024
Kathy Hewlett Student Life and Leadership 2024
Dorothy Rombo Human Ecology 2023
Emma Wiggans Student Representative 2023
Elio Santos Psychology 2023
Davelyn Whyte-Johnson EOP Counselor 2023
Shahin Kachwala Women’s and Gender Studies 2023
Apurva Apurva Sociology 2024
Tim Newton Music 2024
Kirsten Kemmerer Sociology 2024
Tracy Betsinger Anthropology 2024
Babatunde Aiyemo Economics & Business 2024
Jillian Segina Student Representative 2024
Nicole Waid Secondary Ed & Ed. Technology 2024
Alanna Rudzik Anthropology 2024
Joshua Nelson Strategy, Planning and Effectiveness 2023
Dawn Hamlin Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education 2023
Kevin Dean Student Representative 2023
Elyse Purcell Philosophy 2024
Shyia Magan Cooperstown Graduate Program 2024
Kiyoko Yokota Biology and Biological Field Station 2024
Mara Silva Student Representative 2024
Karen Brown Admissions 2024
Penina Kamina Elementary Education and Reading 2024
Trudy Thomas-Smith Chemistry and Biochemistry 2024
Deb Bruce Communication and Media 2024

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