Academic Affairs has established an Inclusion Council to support the strategic implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the colleges. The council will accomplish this goal through information-sharing, data mining, collective sense-making, and through strategic interventions. The Equity Council will be comprised of a diversity representative from each college. The appointment of diversity representatives and the establishment of this Council will bring our institution into closer alignment with the Senate Policy File, section 7.0 on Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity that requires Diversity Liaisons from colleges.
Dr. Anne Donadey, Departments of European Studies and of Women’s Studies: Donadey’s research focuses on intersections of race, gender, and colonialism in literature and film, with a focus on Francophone North African voices. She is deeply committed to advancing campus diversity and equity, mentoring, and shared governance. Among other activities, she chaired the Senate Committee on Diversity, Equity and Outreach (DEO) for many years.
Dr. Arion T. Mayes, Department of Anthropology: Arion T. Mayes is a professor of biological anthropology at San Diego State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2001. She is a Research Associate with the New York African Burial Ground and the San Diego Museum of Man. Her work entails both national and international fieldwork in Oklahoma, California, and Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as the revitalization of unstudied museum collections. Her research in bioarchaeology and dental anthropology focuses on the effect of subsistence strategies on population health with an emphasis on transitional dietary regimes, and population variation as evidenced through morphological change, occupational stress, and disease processes. As one of the earliest regions of independent domestication of plants in the world, Oaxaca allows for temporally extensive studies of biocultural adaptations and the biological history of a region. She has authored several articles and one book chapter regarding the early people of the lower Rio Verde of Oaxaca, as well several articles on population and dental variation in New World populations. Dr. Mayes has received and participated in research grants and awards including the National Geographic Society, SDSU University Grants Program, NSF, and the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Roy Whitaker, Department of Religious Studies: Dr. Roy Whitaker is an Associate Professor of Religion in the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University. He is affiliated faculty in Africana Studies, Weber Honors College, and the Master in Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate program, as well as Director of the Metropolitan Area Pluralism Study. He earned his first Master’s degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and second at Harvard University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. His research interests include Africana philosophy of religion, African American religious pluralism, and religious diversity in hip hop culture. Dr. Whitaker writes on Black religions, aesthetics, and humanist philosophies through various scholarly lens, including anti-colonial studies, liberationist epistemologies, and critical race theories. His most recent publications include, “‘Our Loyalties Must Become Ecumenical’: Martin Luther King Jr. as a Pluralist Theologian” (Journal of Ecumenical Studies), “Martin Luther King Jr. and Mormonism: Dialogue, Race, and Pluralism” (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought), and “Black Utopian and Dystopian Technological Simulation: Tupac Shakur’s Holographic Persona at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival” (Świat i Słowo). His forthcoming articles on Greydon Square and Afrika Bambaataa will be appearing respectively in the Journal of Hip Hop Studies and the Journal of Contemporary Religion. Dr. Whitaker is currently completing research on Martin Luther King Jr. and the age of religious pluralism and hip hop religious pluralism.
Dr. Paula C. Peter, Department of Marketing, Fowler College of Business: Peter is a professor of marketing whose research interests relate to emotional intelligence and transformative consumer research. She is an advocate for marketing and humanity and works with for profit and non-profit organizations interested in consumer insights and integrated marketing communications in order to benefit their organization and society. As a woman in business, she is a strong supporter of inclusion and diversity policies in order to promote the advancement of minorities in business and education.
Dr. Cristian Aquino-Sterling: Aquino-Sterling serves as Associate Professor in the School of Teacher Education and as Associate Dean for Diversity and International Affairs in the College of Education. A version of his academic-professional profile can be found via the following link:
Theresa M. Garcia, College of Engineering: Since Jan. 2014, Garcia has been the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Prior to that she directed the undergraduate level SDSU MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Program from 1997 to 2014 assisting students with career and personal growth along with academic success in preparing them for STEM industry and/or for graduate school via a structured ‘Culture of Success’. She launched the Center for Student Success in Engineering (CSSE) in October 2018. Her work has focused on underrepresented students in STEM.
Dr. Sweta Sarkar is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering: She joined SDSU as a tenure-track faculty in August 2006. Her research interest lies in the area of wireless data networks. She has over 80 published research articles in technical journals, conference proceedings and book chapters. She is the Director of the NSF funded Wireless Networks Research Group at SDSU where she leads a team of Ph.D and Masters students along with Post-doctoral Fellows and visiting faculty and PhD students from various countries. She is the recipient of the President’s Leadership award at SDSU in 2010 for her excellence in research and the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2014 for her excellence in teaching. In her role as the Co-Director of Education in the NSF funded Engineering Research Center (Center for Neurotechnology), she conducts extensive outreach programs to the next generation of budding women scientists and those from underrepresented communities.
Dr. Harsimran Baweja: Harsimran Baweja PT PhD, is a physical therapist by clinical trade, a neurophysiologist by research training, and a mad scientist by choice. The main effect of this unusual combination is pushing the boundaries of norms for academic curiosity. Dr. Baweja is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at San Diego State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Since AY 2018, in collaboration with the CSU Chancellor’s Office – Academic Technology Services, he has facilitated a California State University Systemwide endeavor (Common Interest Group) on Immersive learning that meets once a month. This initiative aims to support a community of faculty, technologists and student enthusiasts in order to help provide students with experiences and activities beyond the current scope of the physical classroom. Through immersive exploration, discovery, context, focus, and access to leading-edge technologies, faculty and their students connect learning objectives to real-world problems. With an emphasis on eliminating achievement gaps, opportunities are presented to enhance and expand the academic repertoire of CSU students in all spheres – communication, mathematics, arts, technology and science (SDSU Strategic Plan – We Rise, We Defy; CSU Graduation Initiative 2025). Fun Fact: Baweja is an avid motorcyclist. He has completed several solo motorcycle expeditions to the Arctic Ocean, Route 66, India, Europe and Central America. The primary purpose of these expeditions is to provide freshwater supplies and medications (Motorrad Angels), meet the people, and learn about different cultures and lifestyles in the heart of each country. He recently led a group of riders to Sach Pass, one of the highest motorable passes in the Himalayas at 14500 ft.
Dr. Alana Dillette, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Management: Alana Dillette is an Assistant Professor in the Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management where she advises the National Society for Minorities in Hospitality and serves as the Co-Director for Tourism RESET, an initiative focused on race, ethnicity and social equity in tourism. Originally from the islands of The Bahamas, Dr. Dillette conducts research that explores the intersection between tourism, race, gender & ethnicity. More specifically, she is working on research to gain a better understanding of the Black travel experience in addition to the challenges faced by Black hospitality and tourism professionals. As an educator, Dr. Dillette is equity-minded and dedicated to guiding her students to critically think and problem solve. Known to her students as "Dr. D", she strives to create an inclusive learning environment for all students through awareness and empathic teaching.
Dr. Nathian Shae Rodriguez, School of Journalism and Media Studies: Dr. Nathian Shae Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University and core faculty in the Area of Excellence: Digital Humanities and Global Diversity. He specializes in critical-cultural and digital media studies. His research focuses on minority representation in media, specifically LGBTQ and Latinx portrayals and identity negotiation, as well as pop culture, identity, radio broadcasting, and issues of masculinity/mascing. Dr. Rodriguez also has 10 years of professional radio experience in on-air talent, sales, promotions, and social media marketing.
Dr. Allison Vaughn, Department of Psychology: Dr. Vaughn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology where her research examines social relationships, stigma, and health. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning where she is helping graduate students develop their teaching skills and practices. Dr. Vaughn teaches the undergraduate and graduate courses and serves as the faculty advisor for the Psychology Club and Psi Chi (the international honor society in psychology).
Dr. Elizabeth Cordero, Department of Psychology, SDSU - Imperial Valley: Cordero's research focuses on eating disorders and body image, including cultural and familial contributions to these issues; resilience and promotion of mental and physical wellbeing in college students; quality of life and relationship with the body among cancer patients and survivors; and mental-health issues pertaining to Latinos, women, and individuals from lower socioeconomic statuses.
Gloria Rhodes, SDSU’s Outreach Librarian: Since 2002 Gloria Rhodes (M.L.S., North Carolina Central University) has been SDSU’s Outreach Librarian charged with realizing the library’s mission of informing and bringing into its facilities current and prospective students and faculty who need to know about services which impact, student athletes, student affairs and academic support staff, and chronically underserved socio-cultural, ethnic minority, and economically disadvantaged groups. She has made presentations at professional conferences held in Baton Rouge, Orlando, San Francisco, Houston, Denver, and Atlanta. Gloria chaired the Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). She spent a sabbatical year researching and interviewing many prominent individuals in the city’s African American community laying the groundwork for future exploration.
Patty Rea, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Associate Executive Director and Human Resources Director for Associated Students of SDSU: Patty has over 20 years of comprehensive human resources experience including recruitment and retention, conflict resolution, change management, labor relations, workers’ compensation and benefit administration. Patty is committed to fostering and cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusion within Associated Students. Patty also represents Associated Students as a board member of the Auxiliary Organization Association’s Executive Committee, as well as previously serving as the chair of the Benefits Committee. Patty holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Jenny Bramer, Executive Associate Athletic Director: Oversees seven sports teams and three departments in athletics. During her time at SDSU she has supervised 15 of the 19 sports.
Bramer represents SDSU as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and is designated as the Senior Woman Administrator. She leads the Gender, Diversity, and Wellness (GAME) subcommittee of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council.
She is a founding member of the Sexual Violence Task Force. She coordinated opportunities for every student-athlete, coach and staff to receive sexual violence prevention training, created an assault policy, and developed a culture to report incidents. Additionally her commitment to wellness have led to the creation of the women's wellness clinic in the athletic department, the Aztecs' health educator position, and the SDSU Wellness initiative. Her true passion is guiding people toward success. She has mentored 30 aspiring Athletics Administrators through her internship program, created a professional development program for coaches called “Coaches Action and Advancement,” and conducts the “Aztec Baseball Pro Day: Career Fair for Plan A.”
Jennifer Lakin, SPHR, Director of Management Services, Aztec Shops, SDSU: Jennifer has extensive experience managing large human resources departments for mid to large-sized employers in both education and commercial settings. She has a passion for employee success demonstrated through her work with underserved communities and disabled internship programs. She serves as Human Resources Chair of CSU’s Auxiliary Organization Association (AOA). Jennifer, a native of San Diego, has a desire to not only create an inclusive environment within the San Diego State Community, but in her hometown. Jennifer holds her Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) designation from HRCI, her HR Certification from San Diego State Extended Studies, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.
Jessica Rentto: As the Associate Vice President of Administration, Jessica Rentto develops, recommends and implements university policies and strategies to manage safety, risk, legal and human resource issues facing San Diego State University. Rentto oversees University Police, Risk Management, the Center for Human Resources, Employee Relations and Compliance, and Environmental Health and Safety. In this role, Rentto oversees investigations of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation and works with the campus community to address issues relating to SDSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy. Rentto also acts as SDSU’s Title IX Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating the university’s efforts to comply with its obligations under Title IX and the Title IX regulations. These responsibilities include co-chairing the SDSU Sexual Violence Task Force, as well as coordinating investigations of complaints of sexual assault and sexual violence. She regularly provides trainings, consultation and technical assistance to students, faculty and staff on various subjects including risk management, employment and labor issues, Title IX and legal issues. Prior to coming to SDSU in 2006, Rentto was a practicing attorney, specializing in discrimination and harassment law. Rentto graduated from Duke University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies and she obtained her Juris Doctorate from University of San Diego School of Law.
Mary Taylor, M.A., Director, Compact for Success & Collaborative Programs: Mary Taylor Serves as Director of SDSU Compact for Success and Collaborative Programs within Student Affairs. Compact For Success collaborates with local schools, districts, and community organizations to ensure local students are on the pathway to college admission. Programs currently overseen by her department include the Compact for Success, the Price Scholars Program, and Students With Academic Goals (SWAG). Mary received her Bachelor’s degree from UCSD in Sociology, her Master’s degree from SDSU in Student Affairs, Her certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UCLA and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership through the Joint Doctoral Program between UCSD and CSU San Marcos. Her research interests include educational equity and access for underrepresented students, college access, success, and completion, and non-profit collaboration with educational institutions.
Kristine Catano, Registrar & Director of Student Enrollment: Kristine Catano is an enthusiastic administrator dedicated to working with students to ensure success. Kristine has over 13 years experience in higher education administration and has been in her role at SDSU Global Campus for over a year. Kristine's current position in the Global Campus Student Center oversees Global Campus Registration, Records and Admission Application processes. Kristine believes in creating equitable opportunities for underrepresented minority populations and is dedicated to finding innovative approaches to eliminating barriers to equity and inclusion. A proud Alumni, Kristine earned her B.A. in Sociology from San Diego State University. Kristine holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Change and Leadership from University of Southern California. Her doctoral dissertation examined LGTBQ student resource centers and their impact on student success and retention.
Thom Harpole: Thom Harpole is SDSU’s Human Resources Director and manages workforce administration, payroll, and benefits for all employees, and talent acquisition, classification, compensation, and training for staff and management. A member of SDSU’s staff for over ten years, Thom previously served the campus community as the Director of Employee Relations and Compliance, where he administered SDSU’s equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies and served as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Thom is an SDSU alumnus and serves on the School of Public Affairs Task Force. He is a member of the SDSU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and also serves on the Disability Access and Compliance Committee. Thom is active in the professional and business community. He is the Vice President for the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association, a graduate of the San Diego LEAD Impact program, and recently served on the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation’s Steering Committee for Inclusive Ecomonic Growth.
Antionette Marbray, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs: Ms. Antionette Marbray serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. Ms. Marbray has more than 20 years of experience in Higher Education primarily in Student Affairs and higher education law and risk management.
Ms. Marbray’s current position at SDSU includes direct oversight of the following departments: Career Services, Center for Student Rights & Responsibilities, Compact for Success & Collaborative Programs, International Student Center, Student Ombudsman, and Testing Services. She also has a dotted line to overseeing the Assistant Deans for Student Affairs, Student Affairs at Imperial Valley Campus, and Student Athlete Academic Support Group.
She currently co-chairs the “Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Students” working group. She is also a member of the Diversity Equity and Outreach Committee (DEO), Undergraduate Council, and Student Success committee.
Ms. Marbray holds a Juris Doctorate from Duke University, a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Florida.
Deb Naylon, Director of Human Resources, San Diego State University Research Foundation: As the chief human resources officer, Naylon provides leadership and management of the human resources department as well as counsel and advice to employees, senior management and supervisors regarding the full range of human resource issues. Naylon has in-depth knowledge of federal/state/local/CSU/SDSU laws, regulations and policies and is responsible for the oversight of SDSU Research Foundation’s Affirmative Action Plans. Naylon received her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and her Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification.
Raquel Herriott, Community & Media Relations Specialist / Special Advisor to the Chief, University Police Department: Raquel Herriott serves as the Community & Media Relations Specialist / Special Advisor to the Chief for the San Diego State University Police Department. She leads communication efforts, identifies opportunities for community development, coordinates special projects on behalf of the Chief of Police, and manages all social media accounts.
Raquel holds a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in political science from San Diego State University. Her passion for public service stems from her core values: community, respect, and integrity. She believes in cross-cultural leadership and fostering inclusivity within SDSU’s diverse climate.