Lorelle L. Espinosa, Ph.D. is Assistant Vice President for ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy, where she is responsible for the co-development and management of the center’s research agenda which focuses on issues of diversity and equity in 21st century higher education, public finance and higher education systems, and transformational leadership. Espinosa has served the higher education profession for nearly 20 years, beginning in student affairs and undergraduate education at the University of California, Davis; Stanford University; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Espinosa has contributed opinion and scholarly works to peer-reviewed journals, academic volumes and industry magazines on a variety of topics. Her most recent report, Race, Class, and College Access: Achieving Diversity in a Shifting Legal Landscape, examines how legal challenges to race-conscious admissions are influencing contemporary admissions practices at colleges and universities nationwide. Prior to ACE, Espinosa served as a senior analyst at Abt Associates, Inc. and as director of policy and strategic initiatives for the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Espinosa holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change from the University of California, Los Angeles; a B.A. from the University of California, Davis; and an A.A. from Santa Barbara City College.
Lamont Hames, MS is President & CEO of LMH Strategies, Inc., a Washington, DC-based leadership, management, and human systems consulting firm. He leads a team of practitioners that serve as professional advisors to clients by optimizing priorities within their organization's culture while delivering strategy, structure, and measurable outcomes based solutions. Prior to founding LMH Strategies, Hames led business development strategy for small and medium sized organizations within technology and higher education markets. As the former chief of staff for NASA's Office of Small Business Programs, Hames spearheaded policy and programs that emphasized inclusive participation of diverse businesses and higher education institutions in the federal marketplace. Initiatives like its Mentor-Protégé program not only remain in place today but have been emulated by other federal agencies and large commercial companies as a best practice. During his tenure, NASA was consistently recognized for its award-winning supplier diversity program.
Hames entered public service as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked on Capitol Hill with details on the House Small Business Committee and later with former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley- Braun (IL). He worked on legislation that resulted in the establishment of the woman-owned small business designation and advocating for higher education minority serving institutions participation in procurement, research and development at federal agencies. Hames graduated with an MS in Management Information Systems from Bowie State University in 1993.
Wesley L. Harris
Wesley L. Harris, Ph.D. is Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and housemaster of New House Residence Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was previously associate provost (2008–2013) and head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2003–2008). Before coming to MIT he was a NASA associate administrator, responsible for all programs, facilities, and personnel in aeronautics (1993–1995); vice president and chief administrative officer of the University of Tennessee Space Institute (1990–1993); and dean of the School of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Connecticut, Storrs (1985–1990). In 1995, Dr. Harris became an elected member of the National Academies of Engineering. In his early career at MIT (1972–1985) he held several faculty and administrative positions, including professor of aeronautics and astronautics. He earned a bachelor of science degree (with honors) in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia in 1964, and master’s and PhD degrees in aerospace and mechanical sciences from Princeton University in 1966 and 1968 respectively.
Eve J. Higginbotham
Eve J. Higginbotham, S.M., M.D. is the Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, as she continues to roles as clinical researcher and glaucoma specialist. Prior to joining Penn in August 2013, Dr. Higginbotham served as a Visiting Scholar for Health Equity at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, D.C. Previous notable leadership roles include membership in the National Academies of Medicine, Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences at Howard University and Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She was also the first woman to head an ophthalmology department at an academic medical center in the United States, serving as chair of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Higginbotham served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan. Higginbotham studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned undergraduate and master's degrees. She graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1979. After completing an internship in San Francisco and an ophthalmology residency at Louisiana State University, Higginbotham was a glaucoma fellow at Harvard.
Spero M. Manson
Spero M. Manson, Ph.D. (Pembina Chippewa) is Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, directs the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, occupies the Colorado Trust Chair in American Indian Health, and serves as Associate Dean of Research in the CO School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Center. His programs include 10 national centers, totaling $63 million in sponsored research, program development, training, and collaboration with 250 Native communities, spanning rural, reservation, urban, and village settings across the country. Dr. Manson has published 250 articles on the assessment, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of physical, alcohol, drug, as well as mental health problems over the developmental life span of Native people. Dr. Manson is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s leading authorities in regard to Indian and Native health. Dr. Manson earned his BA in Anthropology from the University of Washington and his MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.
James T. Minor
James T. Minor, Ph.D. is Senior Strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence at California State University. He was the Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs in the Office of Postsecondary Education of the Department of Education. Dr. Minor most recently served as a Senior Program Officer and Director of Higher Education Programs for the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. He has held other significant positions which include a tenured associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University, a fellow at the University of Georgia’s Institute for Higher Education, and Research Associate at the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. An author of many scholarly articles, reviews, national reports, and book chapters, James holds a B.A. from Jackson State University, a M.A. from the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Leo S. Morales
Leo S. Morales, MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine, Chief Diversity Officer and Director of the Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the School of Medicine at the University of Washington. Prior to joining UW, he has held faculty appoints at UCSF, UCLA and the Group Health Research Institute. Dr. Morales’s research has focused on measurement of patient reported outcomes in diverse populations, and minority health and health disparities including immigrant and Latino Health. Dr. Morales graduated from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital. He completed a research fellowship in primary care at UCLA and received his Ph.D. in Policy Studies from the RAND Graduate School. He also received a M.P.H. in Health Services from the University of Washington.
Clifton A. Poodry
Clifton Poodry, Ph.D. is a Senior Science Education Fellow. Prior to joining HHMI as a Senior Fellow, Clifton A. Poodry was the Director of the Training, Workforce Development and Diversity Division at the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), NIH. He was responsible for developing and implementing NIGMS's policies and plans for research training programs and capacity building programs that reflect NIGMS' long-standing commitment to research training and the development of a highly capable, diverse biomedical and behavioral research workforce. Dr. Poodry was a Professor of Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he also served in several administrative capacities. As a professor, Dr. Poodry was involved with NIH sponsored Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) and Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Programs and as a director of an HHMI Undergraduate Biological Sciences program. As a Program Director for Developmental Biology at the National Science Foundation, Poodry developed the minority supplement initiative that was copied widely at NSF and later at NIH. Dr. Poodry is a native of Tonawanda Seneca Indian Reservation in Western New York. He earned both a BA and an MA in Biology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and received a PhD in Biology from Case Western Reserve University.
William F. Spriggs
William Spriggs, Ph.D. serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO, and is a professor in, and former Chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University. Bill assumed these roles in August 2012 after leaving the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. Bill was appointed by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, in 2009 to serve as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the United States Department of Labor, taking a leave of absence from Howard University to do so. Bill’s previous work experience includes roles leading economic policy development and research as a Senior Fellow and Economist at the Economic Policy Institute; as Executive Director for the Institute for Opportunity and Equality of the National Urban League; as a Senior Advisor for the Office of Government Contracting and Minority Business Development for the U.S. Small Business Administration; as a Senior Advisor and Economist for the Economics and Statistics Administration for the U.S. Department of Commerce; as an Economist for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress; and, as staff director for the independent, federal National Commission for Employment Policy. Spriggs graduated with a B.A. from Williams College in 1977. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984.
Victor K. Tam, Ph.D. is currently the Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), a two-year community college in Northern California. Victor’s professional career has primarily been focused in community college education. Victor started as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in 2007 at Foothill College, teaching both sophomore organic chemistry and allied health organic and biochemistry. As a faculty member, Victor oversaw a STEM internship program, which placed community college students into research experiences at Stanford University and San Jose State University. Victor also served as chemistry department coordinator/chair and was co-PI of a NSF S-STEM grant to address STEM retention and success rates. In 2014, Victor transitioned to the position of Dean of Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering. He served as administrative tri-chair for the Basic Skills Workgroup, focusing on equity issues for academically under-prepared students. Victor also coordinated college courses at local high schools, and facilitated a STEM Summer Camp for 7th through 10th grade students to increase interest in STEM fields. He has worked with the City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development’s Work2Future Program to pilot computer skills training courses for non-traditional students. Victor assumed his current position at SRJC in July 2016, and has been involved with the construction of a bond-funded STEM Building. Victor is the child of immigrant parents and a first-generation college graduate who grew up in California’s Central Valley. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.
Maria Cristina Villalobos, Ph.D is Professor and interim director for University of the Texas Rio Grande Valley's School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and held the position of President’s Endowed Professorship (2014-2016). She is the Founding Director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education. The eldest of three children born and raised in McAllen, TX, to immigrant parents from Mexico, she was taught to always "take the initiative." This example would serve her well as she began early on to search for opportunities to excel and to strengthen her path towards a college degree. Dr. Villalobos is a passionate individual with a self-imposed life-long mission of providing the environment and opportunities needed for US underrepresented students to succeed. The "motto" access, excellence and impact define the mission, goals and objectives of Cristina as an incredible mentor and a STEM national leader. Cristina graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a B.S. in Mathematics and pursued her graduate studies at Rice University earning her doctorate degree in 2000. She is a 1994-1997 Predoctoral Ford Foundation Fellow, and is currently serving a 3-year appointment in the Board of Directors for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
Dorothy C. Yancy
Dorothy Cowser Yancy, Ph.D. is President Emerita of Shaw University and Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). During her tenure at JCSU, Dr. Yancy marshaled phenomenal growth and progress. She was heralded as one of the best fundraisers nationally for raising more than $145 million and growing the endowment from $14 million to $53 million. Due to her efforts, JCSU was the first HBCU to receive the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant in 1996 and become an IBM “Thinkpad” University. At Shaw University, she was able to stabilize the financial state of the University by securing a $31 million federal loan. She restructured and refinanced the University’s debt, balanced the budget and recruited one of the largest freshmen classes in the history of the University.
Dr. Yancy has published more than 40 articles and labor arbitration cases in academic journals. Currently, she serves as a member of the Board for Morehouse College and Atlanta Communities in Schools. She is an Individual Member of the United Negro College Fund. She is inducted in the most prestigious honor society in the nation, the Delta of Georgia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and a recipient of the Dr. Dorothy I. Height Leadership Award from the International Salute to the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Yancy has buildings named in her honor at Shaw University and JCSU.
Dr. Yancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Social Science from Johnson C. Smith University, a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Atlanta University. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Virginia State University, Shaw University, and JCSU.
Lance S. Young
Lance Shipman Young, Ph.D. is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry of Morehouse College. His areas of expertise include structural biology, protein x-ray crystallography, protein chemistry, and biochemistry. Prior to holding his current position he served as the Co-Director of Morehouse College’s MARC U*STAR Program (the National Institute of General Medical Sciences- Minority Access to Research Careers/Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research Program), an honors research training program that provides college juniors and seniors with advanced research training opportunities. The program is Young earned his BS. in Chemistry from Morehouse College and his Ph.D in Biological Chemistry from Texas A&M University.