About the S-JEDI Council

THE S-JEDI COUNCIL – In the pursuit of our University Mission and commitment to inclusive excellence, the S-JEDI Council is an action-oriented group that brings together individuals with different skills, perspectives, and day-to-day roles. With strengthening and sustaining the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence at its core, the Council’s purpose is to increase participation, transparency, and accountability as we contribute to shared governance and decision-making processes with S-JEDI at the forefront of our efforts.


Respecting and advancing the rights, access, participation, and equitable treatment of all individuals and groups–now and in the future–including those who are and have been oppressed, marginalized, and/or mistreated, while recognizing, addressing, and overcoming the negative effects of the socio-political history and contexts that have shaped intergroup power, privilege, oppression, and marginalization; institutions and systems; and educational, economic and other opportunities and outcomes.


Social identities such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, and SES do not predict life and educational opportunities and outcomes, and opportunities and outcomes for all groups are improved. Equity at NU requires identifying and removing gaps in access, opportunity, and achievement through reexamination of policies and practices that create these gaps, while paying special attention to those who historically have been or who continue to be marginalized, excluded, and/or mistreated.


Diversity at NU is all the ways that our people, including students (both present and potential), alumni, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders are different, particularly in identities such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability status, religion, economic status, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, or educational level. Everyone in the NU community makes up its diversity, and NU is stronger because of its diversity.


Inclusion means that people at NU across varying identities are and feel valued, welcomed, respected, included, represented, and heard and that they fully belong, can be authentic, can contribute to the collective, and have a voice. Inclusion requires actively, persistently, and systemically engaging diversity and fostering equity and social justice across all aspects of the institution, including actively identifying and removing systemic and other barriers.

Meet the Council

The Council includes delegates from across the University. Delegates serve the important role of being liaisons between their school or business unit and the Council. This model helps break down silos and enhance shared equity leadership and the adoption of the inclusive excellence framework.


Thomas Stewart
EVP, Executive Director, Cause Research Institute

Sandi Best
SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer

Vice Chairs

Annabelle Goodwin
AVP, Inclusive Excellence/Diversity Officer

Emily Esparza
Vice President Cultural and Community Engagement

Support Team

Lauren Oberbauer
Exec Asst & Project Manager, Human Resources

Athena McGhan
Exec Asst & Project Manager, Cause Research Institute


Kenneth Gonzales
Project Director, ACCESS, Dean, School of Arts, Letters, and Science

Gary Walker-Roberts
Professor, Dept of Advanced Grad Studies

Peilin Fu
Professor of SOTE – Engineering, Dept of Engineering

Aaron Brown
Associate Dean of Students, Dean, School of Business & Eco

Erin Hoffer
Professor of COLPS – Professional Studies, School of Public Service

Ritika Bhawal
Associate Professor of SOHP – Healthcare Leadership, Dept of Healthcare Leadership

Suzanne Kopan Sakwa
Market Intelligence, Strategic Intelligence

Javier Serrano
Academic Affairs Project Manager, Academic Services

Carly Colvill
Manager, Accounts Payable, Accounting

Vanessa Oshiro
Sr Manager HR ops, Human Resources

Jamie Franco
Associate Professor of SOPSS- Dept. of Psychology

LaCrisia Gilbert
Ombudsman, Office of the President-NU

Heather Tyrrell
Dir, Inst EQ O, Tl IX Coord, Office of Institutional Equity

Kamilah Antoine
Professional Learning Specialist, Sanford Harmony Program

Jared Loson
Product Marketing Manager, VC Marketing

Kimball Layton
Director, Enrollment, Enrollment

Ashley Forrest
Director Operations, Career Services, Student Support Services

Gayla Napier
Sr Director Change Management, Office of Strategy & Sustainability

David Bridgman
Sr Dir, Infosec, Information Technology

Mariah Kindle, MSOL (she/her/hers)
Academic Operations Manager, CityU

Steven Brownson
Core Adjunct 2 of SCOE – Teacher Education, Dept of Teacher Education

Julie Perron
Core Adjunct 2 of SOBE – Leadership, Management, & Human Capital, Dept of Leadership, Management

Vince Vasquez
Dir. Government Relations, Government Relations

Adia Garrett
Associate Dean of Students

Eric Norman
Enrollment Advisor I

Christian Bradford
PT Faculty

Jasmine Banks
Student Engagement Coordinator

Clara Amador-Lankster

Jason Garcia
Associate Director, School Certifying Officials

David Hicks
Associate Director, Communications

Karla Payne
Manager, Strategic Partnership

Douglas Franklin
Assistant Professor

Marie Bakari
Associate Director, Faculty Support and Development – FEMA

Octavio Osuna Hernandez III
Library Specialist II

Shirlee Baluyot
Administrative Assistant II

Inclusive Excellence Framework

The Inclusive Excellence Framework helps us integrate diversity efforts across the university. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are catalysts for excellence and must be part of everything we do, not isolated initiatives. Aligning the Inclusive Excellence Framework with the strategic plan, the Council will regularly assess the systems, culture, and climate of the University through an S-JEDI lens to develop strategies and recommendations that foster a diverse, more wholly inclusive, and equitable culture.

Assist the University with increasing diversity among faculty, staff, and student bodies. Support efforts to measure and track outcomes for faculty, staff, and students through an S-JEDI lens.

Support the developing capacity for meaningfully integrating S-JEDI in scholarship, curriculum, teaching, professional development, and other activities.

Support the deepening of inclusive and equitable learning and working environments.

Inform policies, procedures, planning, and communication structures that enable sustained and systemic integration of S-JEDI.

Leverage and maximize our capacity to have the greatest social and financial impact on the communities we serve.

Contact Us

For more information about the S-JEDI Council, please get in touch with us at [email protected]