Vanderbilt announces University Diversity Council members for 2020–21

Vanderbilt University has announced the University Diversity Council members for 2020–21. Formed last year, the University Diversity Council advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion across all areas of Vanderbilt and provides strategic recommendations to Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente.

Dr. André L. Churchwell (Vanderbilt University)

The University Diversity Council is co-chaired by Dr. André L. Churchwell, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, and William H. Robinson, vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence. The council includes several returning members from across the Vanderbilt community—faculty, staff, students and postdoctoral fellows—as well as new members this year from the ’Dores of Distinction Alumni Advisory Board and the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni.

“Last year the council made several recommendations that advanced our goal to make Vanderbilt a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming place,” Churchwell said. “While we have already made great progress, there is significant work to be done. We will continue to work collaboratively to advance Vanderbilt’s relationship with the Nashville community and drive lasting change on campus and beyond.”

This year’s council will be informed by the recently released 2019–20 Report for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt, and subcommittees are working to provide recommendations that drive change in the areas included in the university’s July 1 announcement reaffirming its commitment:

  • expanding and deepening dialogue with Black community members;
  • increasing investment in programming and infrastructure supporting equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • deepening Vanderbilt’s commitment to enhance diversity;
  • enhancing scholarship and education;
  • confronting racism in Vanderbilt’s own past; and
  • partnering with the city of Nashville to address racial inequities.

“The council is comprised of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,” Robinson said. “Yet, they are all united in their commitment to inclusive excellence and fostering meaningful change to ensure everyone at Vanderbilt has opportunities to thrive, belong and succeed.”

Vice Provost for Academic Advancement and Executive Director of the Provost's Office for Inclusive Excellence William H. Robinson (Vanderbilt University)
William H. Robinson (Vanderbilt University)

2020–21 University Diversity Council

Committee co-chairs:

  • André L. Churchwell, vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer;
  • William H. Robinson, vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence;


  • Xiu Cravens, associate professor of the practice of educational policy, associate dean for international affairs, Peabody College;
  • Stephanie Devane-Johnson, associate professor of nursing, School of Nursing;
  • Forrest E. Harris Sr., professor of the practice of ministry, director of the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies, Divinity School;
  • William Luis, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish, College of Arts and Science; co-chair, Faculty Senate Standing Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion;
  • Kimberly Pace, professor of the practice of communication, Owen Graduate School of Management;
  • Jennifer Shinall, professor of law, Law School;
  • Jose Sibaja, associate professor of trumpet, Blair School of Music;


  • Marsha Carter, administrative support professional, Division of Administration;
  • David Caudel, associate director, Frist Center for Autism and Innovation;
  • Dawnyell Fletcher, associate director of academic support, Athletics;
  • Christina Fly, Facilities Department;
  • Neha Khetan, strategic projects manager, Division of Communications;
  • Yasmine Mukahal, manager, diversity recruitment and outreach, Human Resources;
  • Antonio Robinson, co-chair, University Staff Advisory Council Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Ad Hoc Committee;
  • Joanne Wang, director of professional and master’s programs, School of Engineering;

Undergraduate, graduate and professional students:

  • Carcia Carson, vice president, Vanderbilt Graduate Student Council;
  • Olivia Dominguez, president, Multicultural Leadership Council;
  • Loveis Jackson, president, Black Student Association;
  • Logan Northcutt, president, Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students;
  • Rachel Roche, president, Vanderbilt Interfaith Council;
  • Veer Shah, president, Vanderbilt Student Government;
  • Iriza Baranyanka, representative, International Student Council;

Postdoctoral fellows:

  • Marva Goodson, postdoctoral fellow at-large
  • ReAnna Roby, senior co-chair, Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association


  • Charleson Bell, BE’07 & MS’09, School of Engineering; Graduate School; chair, Dores of Distinction; and
  • Valerie Williams, BE’95, School of Engineering; president, Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni.

The Vanderbilt community is encouraged to contact the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the University Diversity Council.

Visit the Inclusion at Vanderbilt web portal for more information.