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Who We Are

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

One mission, one team. The EDI team is comprised of several units. Collectively, these units are responsible for realizing EDI’s mission to uphold dignity for all.

UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Office of the Interim Vice Provost

The Office of the Interim Vice Provost team works directly with the Interim Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to implement his strategic plan and advance the Office’s mission through engagement with our campus partners, who each contribute to this goal through education, research, investigations, and advocacy. Together, we aim to lead the University and larger community by providing tools and resources to build a community which promotes our shared value of upholding dignity for all.

Email: welisten@equity.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 825-3935

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  • ryan adserias
    Ryan Adserias
    Chief of Staff

    Mr. Adserias joined UCLA in February 2021 as Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to Vice Chancellor Spain Bradley. Prior to joining the EDI team, Ryan served as the Diversity and Inclusion Outreach Specialist in the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Ryan is currently completing a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his Master’s degree in higher education leadership, and a Bachelor’s in history and gender and women’s studies.

  • shimeka bruton
    Shimeka Bruton
    Faculty Forward Initiative Program Director

    Dr. Shimeka Bruton is the Director of the Faculty Forward Initiative Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Global Leadership and Change from Pepperdine University and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Prior to joining EDI, she provided DEI leadership in the higher education and nonprofit sectors. In addition to her administration background, Dr. Bruton has faculty experience where she has taught courses that include Leadership, Research Methods, and Organizational Behavior.

  • rusty klibaner
    Rusty Klibaner
    Executive Communications & Events Manager

    Mr. Klibaner graduated from UCLA with a degree in Communication Studies, along with minors in English and Russian Language. He also received an M.A. from UCLA’s Cinema and Media Studies program in the School of Theater, Film and Television. He is thrilled to stay in the UCLA family and join Vice Chancellor Spain Bradley’s team, assisting with programming, external affairs, and special projects for all branches of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

  • dustin newhouse
    Dustin Newhouse
    Digital Design and Creative Lead

    Mr. Newhouse studied Philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. While pursing his degree, he also spent time studying Hungarian history and aesthetics at Corvinus University, Budapest. Subsequently, Mr. Newhouse attained a Master’s degree in Documentary Photography from the European Center for Documentary Research at the University of South Wales. He is thrilled to bring his passion for human rights and aesthetics to EDI at UCLA.

  • Kristine O'Daly
    Kristine O'Daly
    Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

    Ms. O’Daly joined UCLA in February 2022 as Executive Assistant to Vice Chancellor Spain Bradley. Prior to joining the EDI team she served as Special Assistant to California State Controller Betty T. Yee and Communications Manager for the Controller’s administration division. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from San Diego State University and a teaching credential in English, Speech and Theatre from California State University, Long Beach.

  • margaret shih
    Margaret Shih
    Special Advisor for Executive Search Education

    Margaret Shih is the Special Advisor the UCLA Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Neil H. Jacoby Chair in Management, and professor of Management and Organizations at UCLA Anderson. As the former Associate Vice Chancellor for Research & Bruin Engagement, Professor Shih focused on supporting the Research & Bruin Engagement Office in creating tools and developing new initiatives to aid campus efforts towards making UCLA into a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution. For instance, some of the projects included developing tools that UCLA leaders can use for their EDI work such as the UCLA EDI data hub, creating resources related to EDI issues such as the guidance for handling EDI-related issues and crises in the classroom, and revamping the Faculty Search Briefings.  Prior to this, she served as senior associate dean of FEMBA and full-time MBA programs at Anderson from 2014 to 2018. Her research focuses on the effects of diversity in organizations. In particular, she focuses on social identity and the psychological effects of stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination and stigma in organizations. Prior to joining the faculty at Anderson, Shih served on the faculty at the University of Michigan for eight years, and also worked at the RAND Corporation. She serves on the executive committee for the International Society for Self and Identity and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. She was also an editor for the special issue of the Journal of Social Issues. She has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, John Templeton Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Professor Shih has been involved in EDI work all her life – from tutoring at-risk elementary school students in college to teaching in the UCLA Riordan program as a Professor. During her term as the Senior Associate Dean in the UCLA Anderson School’s Fully Employed and Full Time MBA programs, she focused on increasing the diversity in the student population and creating a more inclusive climate within the school.

Civil Rights Office Unit

Research & Bruin Engagement Office

The Research & Bruin Engagement Office’s mission is to help UCLA become a more equitable, diverse and inclusive (EDI) community through the use of empirically validated methods to inform and affect change within UCLA. We are the central hub where those working on EDI issues in our UCLA community can gather to access tools, guidance and resources.

Email: bruinx@equity.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 206-7411

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  • linda clowers
    Linda Clowers
    Director, Research & Bruin Engagement Office

    Prior to joining UCLA in April 2022, Dr. Linda Clowers provided leadership in the areas of EDI as a faculty member and administrator within multiple sectors of higher education. Her work in EDI builds upon nearly a decade as a full-time faculty member publishing and teaching courses at the intersection of clinical psychology, counseling, education, and cultural diversity. Having also served as an academic administrator for over 15 years, she has extensive experience related to strategic initiatives designed to promote student equity, faculty diversity, and institutional inclusivity. Her recent work in EDI has included equity-based curriculum development, instructional design, and policy revision.

  • brandie kirkpatrick
    Brandie Kirkpatrick
    Deputy Director, Research & Bruin Engagement Office

    Ms. Kirkpatrick joined UCLA in 2004. During her tenure, she has worked in the Academic Senate and the Diversity and Faculty Development Office. Prior to her role as Deputy Director in the EDI Research and Bruin Engagement Office (R&BE), she served as the Director of The Faculty Search Process & Diversity Programs in R&BE. Ms. Kirkpatrick’s experience includes shared governance, campus climate, faculty welfare, childcare, social belonging, academic personnel, faculty recruitment and retention, grievances and academic affirmative action. She also served as the 2011-2012 President of the UCLA Staff Assembly. Ms. Kirkpatrick earned her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara, and Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education from California State University, Northridge.

  • anyssa llerena
    Anyssa Llerena-Tobin
    Program Manager for EDI Student Engagement and Initiatives

    As the Program Manager for EDI Student Engagement and Initiatives, Ms. Llerena-Tobin assists in the development, implementation, and analysis of campus programs and projects related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Anyssa’s research interests include the effects of diversity-related initiatives on student success metrics and the intersections of race, gender, and campus sexual assault. Ms. Llerena-Tobin received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in 2015, and Master of Arts in Psychology from California Baptist University in 2017.

  • johnathan perkins
    Johnathan Perkins
    Director, Race and Equity

    Mr. Perkins joined UCLA in the Fall of 2019 as Special Assistant to Vice Chancellor Kang and member of the BruinX Team. Before joining UCLA, Johnathan served within the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard University. During the first several years of his legal practice, he worked as an associate in the higher education division of a premier, Philadelphia-based law firm. In addition to these positions, Johnathan has also regularly served as a consultant, writer, and speaker on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Johnathan received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and his B.A magna cum laude from Temple University.

  • carli straight
    Carli Straight
    Director of Institutional Research

    Dr. Straight is the Director of Institutional Research in the BruinX office. Carli began her career at UCLA as a Principal Statistician in the Academic Personnel Office. In this capacity, Carli played a significant role in the UCOP-mandated faculty salary equity study and evaluation of the Negotiated Salary Trial Program. In 2016, she joined BruinX as a data scientist. Having joined the team shortly after the office was established, Carli has been a key player in the conception and implementation of major office initiatives and projects, including the BruinX Dashboards, Faculty Hiring Process Assessment, BruinXperience app, Academic Affirmative Action Plan, Diversity Scorecard, and Faculty Hiring Portfolios. Carli has worked in the field of institutional research for over 10 years. She holds a B.A. in psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Claremont Graduate University.

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    Jessenia Zelaya
    Program Coordinator
Civil Rights Office Unit

Civil Rights Office

In 2020, UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion unified existing civil rights investigatory units under the new Civil Rights Office (“CRO”), which serves UCLA’s campus and the UCLA Health System, and is led by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights. CRO ensures that UCLA remains in compliance with federal and state law and applicable UC policy concerning protections under Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and equal employment opportunity and affirmative action obligations. CRO is comprised of the following units:

Phone: (310) 825-3935

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Civil Rights Office Unit

Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights

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    J. Nicolas (“Nico”) Anwandter
    Civil Rights Office Health Investigator

    J. Nicolas (“Nico”) Anwandter joined UCLA’s Civil Rights Office as a Health Investigator in 2022 with an extensive employee relations and civil rights background.  As a California-licensed attorney with over six years of litigation experience, Mr. Anwandter represented both employees and employers in a wide variety of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, accommodation, and assault claims.  More recently, he served as an HR consultant to dozens of employers, developing policies and providing essential guidance to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local employment and labor laws.  In these roles, he also conducted, coordinated, assisted, and carefully reviewed the quality of workplace investigations.  Mr. Anwandter graduated from the University of California, Irvine School of Law, where he interned with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and defended prisoner rights before the Ninth Circuit.  While earning his bachelor’s degree in public policy analysis at Pomona College, he volunteered with the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles, developing more efficient methods to bring legal services to the greater community.

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    Sarah Attar
    Civil Rights Office Health Investigator

    Ms. Attar joined UCLA’s Civil Rights Office in 2022. Ms. Attar is a California-licensed attorney with experience in healthcare law. She earned her Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law.

  • Yonit Kovnator
    Yonit Kovnator
    ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer

    Yonit Kovnator joined UCLA in 2022, bringing over a decade of knowledge as an attorney with intersectional expertise on education and disability.  Prior to her role as ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer, Ms. Kovnator dedicated her legal skills to helping serve California’s public schools and county offices of education, counseling clients at both the school site and administrative levels.  She regularly advised her clients on numerous topics including issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as related state and federal law.  Ms. Kovnator earned her JD, with distinction, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and her BA from the University of California, San Diego.

  • olga lavinthal
    Olga Lavinthal
    AA Statistical/Compliance Analyst

    Ms. Lavinthal is an expert in statistical analysis, labor/employment issues, affirmative action, compliance, equity, and diversity. Ms. Lavinthal studied econometrics, political science, social movements, political organizations, government, and quantitative research methods. She has a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree from Columbia University. Ms. Lavinthal joined UCLA in 2000 and has worked on issues related to affirmative action, equity, organizational climate, and disparate impact. Between 2010 and 2013, she served on the Board of the Greater Los Angeles Industry Liaison Group (LAILG).

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    Brianne Schuck
    Civil Rights Office Health Investigator

    Prior to joining UCLA as a Health Investigator in 2023, Ms. Schuck’s legal practice focused on civil rights in employment and educational settings, including litigating and advising clients as to issues arising under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.  Ms. Schuck has also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, handling civil rights cases filed by inmates.  Prior to obtaining her Juris Doctorate in 2010, Ms. Schuck was a law clerk in the Orange County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Unit and completed an externship under the Honorable David O. Carter, in the United States District Court, Central District of California.

  • carmen toscano
    Carmen Toscano
    Administrative Assistant for Assistant Vice Chancellor Chandra Bhatnagar

    Ms. Toscano graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. Prior to joining the team, she was a National Finance Assistant for the Biden-Harris Campaign. During her time at UCLA, she interned at the California Department of Education and was an Elementary Education Director for Amigos de UCLA, a student-run service organization. She is delighted to return to UCLA and support EDI’s mission!

Civil Rights Office Unit

Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO)

The Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO) is responsible for assessing and investigating reports of discrimination or harassment based on race, ancestry, national origin, disability, religion, age, and other categories protected by law and University policy brought against academic personnel.

Email: dpo@equity.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 794-1232

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  • lillie hsu
    Lillie Hsu
    DPO Director

    Lillie Hsu was one of two inaugural co-directors appointed to open the Discrimination Prevention Office in 2014 following the Moreno Report. After serving as DPO co-director for six years, Ms. Hsu served as Director of Educational Initiatives for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion before returning to DPO in her current role.

    Ms. Hsu received her undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard University and her J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she focused on race and gender issues. After serving as a law clerk in federal trial and appellate courts in California, she practiced civil litigation and appellate law for many years at major law firms in Los Angeles. She has represented public entities and handled cases in areas ranging from employment and civil rights to contract, medical malpractice and antitrust, including in the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. She also taught as a full-time lecturer in the Lawyering Skills Clinical Program at UCLA School of Law.

    Ms. Hsu is an Association of Workplace Investigators member and Certificate Holder, and an active member of the State Bar of California.

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    Brynn Cai
    Intake Specialist
  • Linda Cardenas
    Linda Cardenas

    Linda Cardenas graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, earned her Juris Doctorate at UC Berkeley, and has supplemented those degrees with a Senior Human Resources Management certification (SPHR).  Ms. Cardenas has practiced employment law in the private sector and has worked closely with, and within, human resource departments. Her work has included conducting investigations, responding to complaints and conducting training at all levels of public and private organizations. In 2023 she (re-) joined her alma mater, UCLA, as an investigator in the Discrimination Prevention Office. Ms. Cardenas is an active member of the State Bar of California.

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    Scott Clark
  • john fuentes
    John Fuentes
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    Nicole Lewis
    Case Manager
  • genevieve mayer
    Genevieve Mayer
    Administrative Specialist

    Ms. Mayer earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, summa cum laude, from UCLA, and JD/MBA from NYU.  While attending law school, Ms. Mayer was an active member of the Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA) and the Review of Law and Social Change. Genevieve represented undocumented workers in wage claims to obtain back wages at Bet Tzedek Legal Services.  At Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, Ms. Mayer collaborated with the Fair Housing team where she provided legal and factual analyses of proposed strategies and approaches used in addressing endemic patterns of racial/religious discrimination in public housing in local neighborhoods. Genevieve began her career at UCLA in the Technology Development Group where she was a Patent Prosecution and Compliance Analyst. At TDG, Ms. Mayer provided analytical and administrative support to the Chief IP Officer, attorneys, and inventors. She coordinated actions relating to the patent process internally and externally with UCLA inventors, campus departments, outside patent counsel, sponsors, business partners, and the UC Office of the President. Ms. Mayer joined the EDI team in 2021. Ms. Mayer is the Administrative Specialist in the DPO office. In her current role, Genevieve provides support to the Director for the Discrimination Prevention Office (DPO) and to DPO staff.  Ms. Mayer manages the day-to-day operations for DPO and the DPO Director’s calendar, while maintaining highly sensitive, confidential information. Ms. Mayer is fluent in Spanish. She is delighted to continue at UCLA and support EDI’s mission!

Civil Rights Office Unit

Staff, Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office (SD&C)

The Staff Diversity & Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office (SD&C) is responsible for assessing and investigating reports of all forms of discrimination or harassment protected by law and University policy brought against staff.

Email: staffdiversity@equity.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 794-0691

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  • adriana ovalle-stevenson
    Adriana Ovalle Stevenson
    SD&C Director

    Ms. Ovalle Stevenson joined SD&C in 2018. Prior to joining SD&C, Adriana had worked for two large public universities conducting investigations into civil rights complaints. Adriana earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and her law degree from Arizona State University.

Civil Rights Office Unit

Title IX Office (T9)

The Title IX Office (T9) is responsible for assessing and investigating reports of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence brought against any member of the campus community.

Email: titleix@equity.ucla.edu

Phone: (310) 206-3417

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  • Mohammed Cato
    Mohammed Cato
    Title IX Director

    Raised in southern California, Mr. Cato received his bachelor’s degree from U.C. Irvine before obtaining a J.D. and Master’s in Urban Planning here at UCLA. From 2014-2017, Mr. Cato served as the Assistant Director of the Equal Opportunity Office and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Western Washington University. Prior to this post, Mr. Cato spent multiple years working directly with students in Western Washington University’s Department of Residence Life.

  • candi smiley
    Candi Smiley
    Deputy Title IX Director

    Ms. Smiley joined UCLA’s EDI Office in 2019 with extensive Title IX experience. Prior to joining the team, Ms. Smiley served as the Title IX Coordinator for Howard University. During her tenure there, Ms. Smiley conducted and oversaw countless investigations, created the curriculum for and facilitated hundreds of trainings, and worked with numerous campus partners to develop strategic plans and create programming with the ultimate goal of achieving an educational environment free of harassment and discrimination. Ms. Smiley earned her Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

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    Mary Bellomy
    Office Manager
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    Jessica Corona
    Special Assistant

    Ms. Corona is the Title IX Office’s Special Assistant. Ms. Corona graduated from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) where she majored in Sociology and double minored in English and Business Management. Upon graduation, Ms. Corona interned with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County’s Fund Development department, and shortly thereafter, attended and graduated from Notre Dame Law School, receiving her JD. Upon graduation, Ms. Corona had a fellowship with the California Charter School Association, researching education law matters and the growing demographic of charter schools and their role in education. Ms. Corona has worked with different nonprofits throughout Southern California, always aspiring to find a way to make a difference and contribute to those in need. In her last role as the Program Assistant with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Ms. Corona managed data, conducted client intakes, ran the intern program, assisted with office management, and served as the first contact for families looking for immigration assistance.

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    Agustin Corral
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    Dennis DePalma

    Mr. DePalma joined the Title IX Office in 2017 as a Special Assistant. Prior to joining the Title IX Office, Mr. DePalma spent seventeen years as an employment law specialist at a variety of firms, including the firms of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Ogletree Deakins LLP. As an employment litigator, he conducted investigations into discrimination and harassment matters, trained supervisors and other personnel about anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws and policies, developed anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and practices, and mediated and resolved discrimination and harassment disputes, in addition to other matters. Mr. DePalma earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science from Bradley University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California.

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    Vanessa Himeles

    Ms. Himeles joined the Title IX Office in 2020. Prior to joining the Title IX Office, she worked as a neutral Investigator at Public Interest Investigations, Inc. conducting third-party Title IX and workplace investigations. She is also an Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder (SWI-CH). An attorney licensed to practice in California, Himeles has represented employees in workplace claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, including cases based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and retaliation. Her legal practice also involved the area of consumer protection. Previously, she served as a fellow for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Legal Clinic, working with clients of the Anti-Violence Project. While attending Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Himeles spent two years working to exonerate those wrongfully convicted as part of Loyola’s Project for the Innocent. She earned her bachelor’s degree from University of California, San Diego, and her law degree from Loyola.

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    Sharon Marcushamer
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    Taylor Marvulli
    Intake Specialist
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    Ramona Villagra
    Response Team Coordinator