Office Leadership

Mohamed Ahmed

Mohamed Ahmed

Community Relations

Mohamed Ahmed received his bachelors in International Security and Conflict Resolution and Master’s in Postsecondary Educational Leadership from San Diego State University and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education at Old Dominion University.

Mohamed has led the university’s development and implementation of a strategic plan for community outreach to underserved, underrepresented student populations and the larger San Diego community. In his career, Mohamed has worked with diverse communities on issues ranging from education, civic engagement, public safety, humanitarian relief, diplomacy, and international relations. Previously, Mohamed has served as the Senior Community Engagement Coordinator for Bytecubed where he led the development and implementation of the strategic framework for community engagement and public safety. Mohamed is a member of the U.S. State Department’s Speakers Program where he serves as an American subject matter expert with international audiences on topics of strategic importance to the United States including; education, community development, and leadership. Mohamed is a leading voice in business and civic circles, providing guidance to local leaders and organizations on community safety, economic empowerment, government relations, and education. Mohamed serves on the City of San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, San Diego District Attorneys Interfaith Advisory Board, and many other boards and commissions.

Mohamed has been recognized for his leadership through numerous honors and awards, including the United States Attorney Local Hero Award, the City of San Diego Ashely L. Walker Social Justice Award, San Diego State University Zuma Community Service Award, the San Diego State University Iscorian of the Year, the Somali Youth United Leadership Award, Phi Beta Sigma Community Activist of the Year, Ocean Leaf Emerging Leaders Award, and the Community Housing Works VALOR awardee.

Cristina Alfaro

Cristina Alfaro

Provost Chair of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Cristina Alfaro has been selected as the inaugural Provost Chair of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion at San Diego State University. As Provost Chair, Alfaro will support the development and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including the implementation of the University Senate resolution to create university and department-level strategic plans for diversity, equity and inclusion. As chair, she will retain her existing assignment and primary role as a professor in the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education in the College of Education.

Alfaro will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of search committee training for all faculty and executive-administrative searches. She will oversee the University Inclusion Program, which will host trainings on implicit bias, microaggressions, teaching practices for underserved students, and understanding what it means to be a Hispanic Serving Institution. In addition, she will serve as leader of the team of five Provost’s Professors of Equity in Education, who are identified below.

Alfaro is a professor and immediate past chair of the Dual Language and English Learner Education Department in SDSU’s College of Education. During times of restrictive language policies, Alfaro has championed and led the largest bilingual teacher education program in the state of California. She is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar in the field of cultural and linguistic diversity education. She is the recipient of the San Diego County Office of Education Biliteracy Leadership Award, the College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award, the National Outstanding Latina in Higher Education Award and the Gomez-Morin Global Education Award. Her background as a biliteracy teacher, school administrator and department chair have served her well, providing a foundation for creating and implementing educational curriculum with diversity and equity at the core. As a researcher, she has examined and published on the role of ideological and pedagogical practices that situate equity within broader efforts to disrupt the racialization of K-16 Latinx and other minoritized student groups and communities.

Alexander Chizhik

Alexander Chizhik

Director of Academic Labor Relations

Dr. Alexander “Sasha” Chizhik is the Director of Academic Labor Relations and Professor of Educational Psychology. In 2000, he joined SDSU as an assistant professor within the School of Teacher Education and during his tenure had an opportunity to serve as the school’s interim director. Prior to SDSU, Dr. Chizhik held a faculty position at the University of Maine in Orono and completed his PhD at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.

Dr. Chizhik served a guest editor for the Journal of Social Issues for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues on the topic of intra-group conflict and cooperation. He is a Fulbright Scholar, having supported faculty in psychology as well as physics and mathematics education at the Ushynsky South Ukrainian State Pedagogical University in Odessa, Ukraine. His research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and USAID through the Foundation for Russian-American Economic Cooperation.

Jennifer Imazeki

Jennifer Imazeki

Senate Distinguished Professor and Professor of Economics

Jennifer Imazeki is a Senate Distinguished Professor and Professor of Economics, and currently serves as the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Chair of the University Senate’s Committee on Faculty Affairs. Her research focuses on the economics of K-12 education, including work on school finance reform, adequacy and teacher labor markets. In addition to academic publications, her work on education policy has included analysis for multiple court cases related to educational adequacy and, most recently, contributing to the Getting Down to Facts II project, an in-depth look at California’s PreK-12 education landscape.

Since joining the SDSU faculty in 2000, Dr. Imazeki has taught a range of economics courses, from a 500-seat section of Principles of Microeconomics to a writing-intensive course for economics majors. She designed a data analysis course with a particular focus on quantitative literacy, and created an Economics for Teachers course for SDSU undergrads working toward their single-subject teaching credential in social science. She has long been an advocate for active and inclusive pedagogies, and writes one of the few blogs focused on teaching economics. In her current role as CTL Director, Dr. Imazeki has initiated multiple programs to promote inclusive teaching practices and to engage faculty in scholarly evaluation of their teaching. She is Past-President of the Faculty Development Council, representing faculty developers in the California State University system, and is a passionate advocate for the faculty role in student success.

Rebecca Lewison

Rebecca Lewison

Professor, Department of Biology
Chair, Inclusion and Equity Councils

Dr. Lewison has been a participant and leader in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at SDSU for the past 5 years. She serves on the PI team on the NSF ADVANCE project CREDITS: Strengthening Capacity for Diverse Scientific Teams in California and currently chairs the Inclusion and Equity Councils at SDSU. She has worked closely with the Office of Faculty Advancement and Office of Graduate Affairs and Research on collecting and analyzing campus climate data to develop initiatives on diversity and inclusion.

Jessica Nare

Jessica Nare

Identity Centers Lead

Jessica Nare (she/her/hers) promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts to support student success by providing strategic leadership to the campus’s dynamic identity-based centers and responding to critical student concerns.

For the last decade, Jessica has worked as an educator, advocate, and organizer dedicated to advancing gender justice. A proud SDSU alumna, Jessica was responsible for opening and managing the Women's Resource Center and has taught in the Department of Women's Studies since 2009. Previously, Jessica worked at Jewish Family Service as the Director of Leadership Programs, where she developed and managed nationally-recognized youth leadership and service learning initiatives.

In 2014, Jessica was appointed to, and served two terms on, the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission. She currently serves on the board of the Bread and Roses Center for Feminist Research and Activism, is a member of Run Women Run, and a former fellow of the San Diego Leadership Alliance.

Ramona Perez

Ramona Perez

Professor of Anthropology
Director of the Center for Latin American Studies

Ramona Pérez is Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, and Chair of Aztec Culture and Education at San Diego State University. She also is the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (2012 to present) and is graduate faculty in Global Health and Women’s Studies. Dr. Pérez has worked for more than 25 years on issues of migration, the formation of community among Oaxacan migrants in the US and Baja California, gender and empowerment, structural violence and health, and identity among indigenous Mexicans and Latinxs on both sides of the US/Mexico border. Dr. Pérez received her B.A. from SDSU in 1992, her M.A. (1995) and her Ph.D. (1997) from the University of California, Riverside.

Her current work focuses on binational youth identity, migration and the transmission of identity between mothers and children, and shifts in culinary food practices and nutrition among Latinxs and East African refugee populations. Her publications are in English and Spanish and can be found in journals and manuscripts in the fields of anthropology, geography, public health, social work, criminal justice, and medicine. Dr. Pérez has held fellowships and research grants from the US Department of Agriculture, Tinker Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Department of Education. Dr. Perez is the new Chair of Aztec Culture and Education at SDSU where she works alongside her colleagues to produce programs and events that extend our knowledge on the indigenous people of Mesoamerica and local Native people in the San Diego region.

Emilio Ulloa

Emilio Ulloa

Employee Resource Groups Coordinator
Director of Advising & Associate Professor of Psychology

Originally from Imperial Valley, CA, Dr. Ulloa earned his BA in Psychology from San Diego State University in 1997 and a Ph.D. degree in Social Psychology from Arizona State University in 2003. He joined SDSU as faculty in the Department of Psychology in 2003. His research focuses on understanding the etiology and effects of physical, sexual, and emotional violence among adolescents, young adults, and college students. Dr. Ulloa is the lead researcher for the SDSU Sexual Violence Campus Climate Survey.

Dr. Ulloa has a commitment to issues of diversity in higher education, which includes his time as a member of the advisory board for the Minority Access to Research Careers Program (MARC), serving as Director and PI of the SDSU NIH/NIGMS funded Minority Biomedical Research Support program, membership in the University Diversity Equity and Outreach Committee, and the committee for the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty. He served as the Director of the Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs office. He has served as the coordinator of the Diversifying Clinical Psychology Recruitment program for the Council for University Directors of Clinical Psychology, and on the editorial board of the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Dr. Ulloa has been recognized nationally by NACADA, and locally by SDSU for his exemplary advising. He began serving as the Director for Advising in the College of Sciences in 2016 and has earned the Provost's Award for Innovative Excellence for his work with the College of Science Student Success Center.

Luke Wood

J. Luke Wood

Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity & Inclusion

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D. is the Associate Vice President of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion and Distinguished Professor of Education at San Diego State University. Wood’s research and practice agenda focuses on advancing diversification and equity initiatives at schools, colleges, and universities. He has delivered over 750-scholarly and conference presentations and has authored over 140 publications, including 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 books. His most recent books include Black Minds Matter: Realizing the Brilliance, Dignity, and Morality of Black Males in Education, Teaching Boys and Young Men of Color (with Frank Harris III) and Advancing Black Male Success from Preschool to Ph.D. (with Shaun Harper).

Dr. Wood has been regularly sought out for his expertise by media outlets such as the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, and C-SPAN. During the Obama administration, his research was featured through the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Wood received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University (ASU). He also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership in Student Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Black History and Politics from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS).