Members named to President's Commissions for Equity

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — New members have been appointed by Penn State President Eric Barron to the President’s Commissions for Equity, in a realignment of several existing advisory groups.

The three groups — the Commission for Women (CFW); Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Equity (CLGBTQE); and Commission for Racial/Ethnic Diversity (CORED) — serve in an advisory capacity to Penn State’s President, providing recommendations germane to issues of women-identified; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer; and/or racially or ethnically diverse people at Penn State. The commissions are charged with the identification of barriers that inhibit the full inclusion and advancement of persons from underrepresented and/or underserved populations to forward innovative, evidence-informed recommendations that support the creation of an inclusive and welcoming campus climate.

The President's Commissions for Equity refocused their work as advisory bodies and accepted nominations for appointment during June and July of 2018.

“Our goal is to create a diverse and welcoming community at Penn State,” noted Barron. “We need to make certain that we are always actively searching out diverse opinions and experiences. This work, in particular, depends on a wide-range of perspectives being brought to each and every issue. Being fully informed is critical to decisions and policy making in all areas and I’m grateful for the participation of so many across the University.”

The new members, whose appointments begin this year, are listed below.

The Commission for Women (CFW)

  • Ashley Adams, CFW co-chair; director, Student Affairs, Penn State World Campus
  • Theresa Bonk, director of Student Affairs, Student Programs and Services, Penn State New Kensington
  • Jo Dumas, associate teaching professor, media studies
  • Tai-Yin Huang, professor, physics, Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Ashley Jackson, equity consultant, Office of Educational Equity
  • Claire Kelling, graduate student, statistics and social data analytics
  • Peggy Lorah, assistant vice president, Student Affairs
  • Laura McKinney, undergraduate, communications
  • Azniv Nalbandian, undergraduate, Russian, women’s gender, and sexuality studies
  • Susan Russell, CFW co-chair; associate professor, School of Theatre
  • Elizabeth Seymour, associate teaching professor, anthropology, Penn State Altoona
  • Charissa Strode, undergraduate, psychology, Penn State York
  • Tina Thomas, director, diversity and inclusion initiatives, College of Health and Human Development
  • Melissa Wright, department head and professor, women’s gender, and sexuality studies

The Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Equity (CLGBTQE)

  • Tyler Akers, undergraduate, Smeal College of Business
  • Uju Anya, assistant professor, second language learning
  • Alicia Dowd, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education
  • Karen Feldbaum, interim director, Office of Student Conduct
  • Matt Kremke, manager, compensation and classification, Office of Human Resources
  • Megan MacGregor, acting head librarian, Penn State Wilkes-Barre
  • Hilary Malatino, assistant professor, women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and philosophy
  • Roderick McCladdie-Mcleod, undergraduate, School of Theatre
  • Cheryl Nicholas, CLGBTQE co-chair; associate professor, communication arts and sciences, Penn State Berks
  • Brian Patchcoski, CLGBTQE co-chair; director, LGBTQA Student Resource Center
  • Sue Patterson, assistant coordinator, Student Diversity and Inclusion Programming, Penn State Altoona
  • Lars Stoltzfus-Brown, graduate student, communications
  • Ashley Sullivan, assistant professor, early childhood education, Penn State Behrend
  • Barbara Welshofer, senior equity consultant, Office of Educational Equity

The Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity (CORED)

  • Beryl Bannerman, undergraduate, Health and Human Development
  • Sheila Barlock, equity consultant, Office of Educational Equity
  • Jaice Bright, undergraduate, biobehavioral health, Penn State New Kensington
  • William Calo, assistant professor of public health sciences, College of Medicine, Hershey
  • Azaria Cunningham, graduate student, Education
  • Carrie Freie, associate professor, Education, Penn State Altoona
  • Andres Herrera, director of educational equity and diversity programs, Student Special Programs, Penn State Behrend
  • Derek James, CORED co-chair; coordinator of multicultural programs, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Charleon Jeffries, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Division of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Tomas Sanchez, undergraduate, Liberal Arts
  • Andrew Sandoval-Strausz, CORED co-chair; director of Latinx Studies and associate professor of History, Liberal Arts
  • Amy Shedra Snipes, associate professor, Health and Human Development
  • Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, clinical professor, law director, Center for Immigrants’ Rights director, Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, Penn State Law
  • Terry Watson, assistant director, Academic Advising and Student Disability Services, Penn State World Campus

Questions related to the commissions should be directed to Sonia DeLuca Fernández, associate vice provost in the Office of Educational Equity, at

Last Updated April 24, 2019