The Diversity Strategic Plan Committee was charged with informing the development of UMB’s first Diversity Strategic Plan, which will serve as a road map and framework to activate and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at UMB.

The committee adopted a data-driven, evidence-based approach to identify university equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) priorities and needs. It extensively reviewed surveys, climate studies, our UMB Strategic Plan, University-wide strategic goals and outcomes, and best practices at UMB and throughout higher education and industry to inform the plan's development. During spring 2023, the committee hosted listening sessions to learn more from our UMB community about future directions in EDI.

Further movement on the DSP developed through the engagement and collective action of the DSP Committee, a broadly representative body inclusive of students, staff, faculty, and administrators from various ranks and from across UMB. The DSP discussed diversity, equity, and inclusion at UMB until four clear themes emerged, which became the basis for the four Theme Working Groups, listed below with their full titles and the names of their leads.

Recruitment and Retention: Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, NNP, FNAP, FAAN, the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing and Sheila Blackshear, MS, CAAP, Diversity, ADA and Affirmative Action Administrato

Climate/Experience (later Experience and Climate): Courtney Resnik, EdD, Director, Academic Administration

Professional Development and Career Advancement: C. Daniel Mullins (see above) and Wei Ming Dariotis, PhD, Assistant Vice President for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Education, Scholarship, and Service (later Scholarship, Service, and Education): Franck Dumetz, PhD, Research Associate, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Amy Ramirez, MA, Director of the Office of International Services

These four Theme Working Groups evolved into the core themes of the REPS framework: Recruitment & Retention, Experience & Climate, Professional Development & Career Advancement, and Scholarship, Service, & Education. The recommendations of these working groups, as expressed in the executive summary of their final reports, form the basis of the key goals of this plan, and were also reviewed by the Diversity Advisory Council.


Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD
Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer and Vice President
Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Graduate School

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD
Professor, Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research
Executive Director, PATIENTS Program
School of Pharmacy

Committee Members

Patricia Alvarez

Patty Alvarez, PhD
Chief Student Affairs Officer and Associate Vice President of Student Affairs
UMB Division of Student Affairs

Danielle Brown, MBA    
Acting Vice President    
Sponsored Programs Administration

Sheila Greenwood BlackshearSheila Blackshear, MS, CAAP   
Diversity, ADA and Affirmative Action Administrator
Human Resources

Deborah P. Levi, MA, LCSW-C    
Director of Educational Support    
Office of Educational Support and Disability Services

Susan Buskirk, DM, MS    
Vice President, Chief Accountability Officer, and Institutional Official for Human Subjects Research    
Office of Accountability and Compliance

Neijma Celestine-Donnor - ThumbnailNeijma Celestine-Donnor, MSW    
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Clinical Assistant Professor    
School of Social Work

Christina Cestone, PhD    
Assistant Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs    
Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Sarasijhaa Desikan, MD    
Assistant Professor    
School of Medicine

Aloysius Essien, MS    
Acting Director, Corporate and Foundations Relations
Office of Philanthropy

Eleanor Fleming ThumbnailEleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD    
Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion    
School of Dentistry

Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPH, PA-CShani Fleming, MSHS, MPS, PA-C    
Associate Professor and Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer    
Graduate School

David Gray, JD, PhD    
Jacob A. France Professor of Law    
School of Law

Kennedy Hagens    
School of Law

Katie Hughes, BA    
Executive Assistant    
Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Courtney Jones Carney, DPA, MBA    
Executive Director, Intercultural Leadership and Engagement
Director, Intercultural Center
Instructor and Program Director, Intercultural Leadership Graduate Certificate
Instructor and Program Director, MS in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership
Graduate School

Jon Kucskar, JD    
Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Vice President    
Enterprise Risk Management

Thomas Leone, MSL   
Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Chief    
UMB Police Department

Kyla LiggetKyla Liggett-Creel, PHD, MSW    
Clinical Associate Professor    
School of Social Work

Flavius Lilly, PhD, MA, MPH    
Vice Provost and Vice Dean    
Academic and Student Affairs
Graduate School

Karen D Matthews Karen Matthews, DM, MPA    
Director of Strategic Planning and Assessment    
Institutional Effectiveness, Strategic Planning, and Assessment

Russell McClain, JD    
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Director, Academic Achievement Program
School of Law

Hope McGovern, BA    
Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications  
Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Malika Monger, MPA, PHR    
Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer    
Human Resources

Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, CRNP-Neonatal, FNAP, FAAN
Chair, Partnerships, Professional Education, and Practice/Chair and Co-Director, Center for Health Equity and Outcomes Research, Associate Professor    
School of Nursing

Nicole Palmore, MSW
Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Administration and Finance

Donna Parker, MD, FACP    
Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
School of Medicine

Amy Ramirez, MA    
Director of International Services    
Global Engagement

Sandra M. QuezadaSandra Quezada, MD, MS    
Associate Professor of Medicine in the
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology    
School of Medicine

Courtney Resnick, EdD  
Academic Administration Director    
Academic Affairs

Tyrone Roper, MSW - ThumbTyrone Roper, MSW    
Community Engagement Center

ReavisKristin Reavis, MD, MBS    
Clinical Assistant Professor, Program Director, Director
School of Medicine

Mishawn Smith, MPA    
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Coordinator    
School of Nursing

Chanel Whittaker, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, FASCP
Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Director    
School of Pharmacy