Tasha R. Inniss - (Chair)
Tasha R. Inniss is the associate provost for research at Spelman College, a liberal arts, Historically Black College for women of African descent. In this role, she serves as the Chief Advocate for Research at the College and leads the Office of Research, Innovation, and Collaboration (ORIC). Dr. Inniss provides leadership and strategic direction for all activities related to individual or interdisciplinary research, creative pursuits, collaborative partnerships, and programmatic initiatives for undergraduate research. With the vision to “empower the Spelman community to achieve and share scholarly excellence”, ORIC has four units that support the Spelman College Community: Research Development & Sponsored Programs; Undergraduate Research & Training Programs; Evaluation, Monitoring, & Data; and Environmental Health & Safety Compliance. Dr. Inniss also holds a tenured faculty appointment in the Department of Mathematics. Prior to returning to Spelman, she was the inaugural Director of Education and Industry Outreach at INFORMS, the world’s largest professional society for professionals in the fields of operations research, management science, and analytics. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team at INFORMS, she was responsible for the overall vision and implementation of all education-related and practice (industry) activities and outreach. Dr. Inniss also did a rotation at the National Science Foundation in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources where she served as the Acting Deputy Division Director of the Division of Human Resource Development and before that, as the colead of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program. Originally from New Orleans, Dr. Inniss graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. She earned a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was one of the first three African American women to earn a doctoral degree in the mathematical sciences from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce.
Alfred Bryant, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Lumbee American Indian Tribe. He served as the dean of the School of Education, the director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program and full professor in the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department at University of North Carolina (UNC)–Pembroke.. Dr. Bryant is currently the dean of the School of Education at Campbell University. Dr. Bryant has published numerous articles on American Indian racial identity attitudes and cultural orientation, American Indian suicide ideation, school bullying, parental beliefs about children’s emotions, health differences among Lumbee Indians using different sources of care, impact of acculturation and psychosocial variables on academic performance of American Indians, American Indian student success and psychosocial development. Over the past year he has received almost 3 million dollars in federal grants to increase access to higher education for American Indian high school students and to also increase the number of American Indian licensed teachers. He is a past recipient of the UNC-Pembroke School of Education Distinguished Faculty award. His 29 years of service to the State of North Carolina include 3 years as a high school counselor, 2 years as an academic advisor in UNC-Pembroke’s Freshman Seminar Program, 4 years as an academic advisor in North Carolina State University’s First Year College and the last 19 years as professor, program director, department chair, associate dean, dean and director of the Southeast American Indian Studies Program at the UNC-Pembroke. He also spent a year on the campus of UNC-Charlotte working with Chancellor Phil Dubois as an ACE Fellow. Dr. Bryant is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors (NCBLCMHC). He received his B.A. in English language and literature from UNC-Pembroke and both his Masters and Ph.D. in counselor education from NC State University.
Jim Julius is the faculty director of online education at MiraCosta College. He collaborates locally, regionally, and statewide with faculty, administrators, student services professionals, technologists, and students to help MiraCosta strengthen student equity and success through excellent online learning environments, experiences, and support services. Dr. Julius was the associate director of Instructional Technology Services at San Diego State University from 2005-2011. He worked closely with other faculty support and development units on campus, managed evaluation and adoption processes of emerging technologies, and worked with faculty and departments interested in course redesign for increased online learning. Dr. Julius worked first as a software engineer for five years and then, after obtaining a master's degree in teaching, as a 4th/5th grade teacher for five years. He has taught numerous in-person and online educational technology courses at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. Dr. Julius earned an Ed.D. in educational technology from San Diego State University.
Dr. Hironao Okahana is a higher education researcher, working for the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) as vice president, research and knowledge development. He studies U.S. master’s and doctoral education with particular emphasis on enrollment trends, labor market outcomes, diversity and inclusiveness, and organizational analysis. Dr. Okahana has authored and co-authored a number of technical reports, research briefs, commissioned papers, and peer-reviewed articles. As CGS’s principal researcher, he conceptualizes, designs, and implements research projects, as well as develops and executes various data/policy/research analysis efforts, pertaining to its strategic priorities. Since 2016, Dr. Okahana is serving as the project director and oversees implementation, dissemination, and continuous improvement of the CGS/GRE Survey of Graduate Enrollment and Degrees and CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, as well as other ad-hoc member surveys. Also, he directs and co-directs various funded projects, primarily overseeing social science components, including but not limited to: the Understanding Ph.D. Career Pathways for Program Improvement (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant #31600612 & #21500103 and NSF/DGE grant #1661272 & #2000750) and Supporting Mental Health and Wellness of Graduate Students (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant #1905-06801 and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant #2019-12396) projects. His past projects at CGS include, but not limited to: the Labor Market Outcomes of STEM Master’s Education (NSF/NCSES grant #1538769) and Completion & Attrition in AGEP & non-AGEP Institutions (NSF/HRD grant #1138814) projects. As an expert, he has served on several technical review and advisory panels for various studies of graduate education, as well as, has delivered invited talks on the state and implications of U.S. graduate education at national and regional convenings. In addition to his role at CGS, Dr. Okahana is a Higher Education Program Affiliate at the George Mason University and an adjunct assistant professor of education at the William & Mary School of Education. Also, he was a Dean’s Fellow for the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Okahana earned his Ph.D. in education and M.P.P. in Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his undergraduate degrees from California State University, Long Beach.
Juan S. Ramírez Lugo is an assistant professor in biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (UPRRP). The focus of his current position is as an undergraduate biology education specialist focused on teaching and reforming the undergraduate biology curriculum, particularly at the introductory level. He is devoted to improving student success and engagement in the biological sciences through the use of high-impact teaching and learning practices, such as active learning and course-based research experiences (CUREs). He works tirelessly to create an impact by developing curricular materials and approaches that are tailored to our unique student population and institutional context. Furthermore, he has engaged in multiple local and national level efforts to create more opportunities for students to learn science through research experiences. Key amongst these efforts is the creation of the Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology summer research experience undergraduate (REU), an NSF-funded research site designed to increase the participation of individuals from groups that have been historically underrepresented in science in emerging fields of inquiry at the interface of biology and computer sciences. His current research interests are centered around the development of novel tools and approaches to assess the impact of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) on students’ sense of self-efficacy, scientific identity and career decidedness, all of which are predictors of integration and persistence of students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, into STEM fields. Dr. Ramiriez Lugo has a Ph.D. in biology from the California Institute of Technology.