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The NCORE Equity and Social Justice Award is presented in three categories:

SCHOLARSHIP -- An individual who has consistently contributed to NCORE through their presentation and scholarship over the years.

MENTORSHIP -- An individual recognized for their mentorship because they have brought people to NCORE, worked closely with students and/or colleagues, and served as a model for equity and social justice.

CHANGE AGENT -- An individual who would be considered an up-and-coming scholar and/or change agent in the field of diversity/inclusion/equity/social justice.



Dr. Toby S. Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Graduate School at the University of South Carolina.  At UofSC, she also serves as Director of the Museum of Education, a research center located in the College of Education. Her scholarship focuses on cultural inclusion in higher education. She is particularly concerned with the ways that culture serves as a politic of social survival, a tool of social change, and a critical space of institutional transformation. Jenkins has authored five books focused on culture, diversity, and inclusion in education.  "My Culture, My Color, My Self: Heritage, Resilience and Community in the Lives of Young Adults" (Temple University Press, 2013) was named by the Association of American University Press to the list of  "Top 100 Books for Understanding Race Relations in the US".  Her sixth book, “The Hip-Hop Mindset: Air-Walking & Trash-Talking” is due out Fall 2021 by Routledge Press. Dr. Jenkins has over 45 other publications including journal articles, book chapters, books, and magazine articles. She has given over 95 national and international presentations and invited talks.Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Jenkins worked for 10 years as a student affairs administrator in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion, Student Leadership, Student Activities, Fraternity & Sorority Life, and Education Abroad. She has worked professionally at Penn State University, George Mason University, University of Hawaii, and Georgia Southern University. Two of her campus-based programs at the University of Maryland received a White House Award from the President of the United States and the Governor of Maryland. Her research, teaching, and professional studies have taken her to over 35 countries.



Dr. Susan Robb Jones is Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University. Prior to re-joining the faculty at Ohio State in 2010 she was an Associate Professor and Director of the College Student Personnel program at the University of Maryland-College Park (2005-2010). She has published over 25 journal articles, mostly in top-tier journals including the Journal of College Student Developmentand the Journal of Higher Education, over 28 book chapters, and 6 books. Her research addresses such topics as intersectionality and multiple dimensions of identity development, the role of meaning-making capacity in the construction of multiple identities,enduring influences of service-learning on college student’s identity development, and required community service. She is the co-editor (with Drs. Elisa Abes and D-L Stewart) of the book titled Rethinking College Student Development Theory Using Critical Frameworks (Stylus, 2019); co-author (with Dr. Elisa S. Abes) of the book titled Identity Development of College Students (Jossey-Bass, 2013); and co-author (with Drs. Vasti Torres and Jan Arminio) of the book Negotiating the Complexities of Qualitative Research: Fundamental Elements and Issues (Routledge, 2006; 2ndedition, 2014; 3rdedition in press). Jones is one of the co-editors (Schuh, Jones, & Harper) of the 5thedition of Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession (Jossey-Bass, 2011; and the 6thedition (Schuh, Jones & Torres, 2017), arguably the leading text book for graduate programs in higher education and student affairs. She regularly presents her work at such conferences at ACPA, NASPA, ASHE, and NCORE.

Dr. Jones is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Contribution to Knowledge Award from ACPA (2015), the Thomas M. Magoon Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) and the Outstanding Scholar Award (2011), both from the University of Maryland; NASPA’s Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member (2010); The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2002); ACPA’s Emerging Scholar (2001) and Senior Scholar (2009) awards and Diamond Honoree for significant contributions to higher education and student affairs (2005). She has a record of extensive professional service to such associations as NASPA, NAWE, and ACPA. She served ACPA on its Executive Council as Director of the Core Council for the Generation and Dissemination of Knowledge and on the planning committee for the 2014 convention and the 2006 ACPA/NASPA joint meeting.  In student affairs practice, Dr. Jones served as Dean of Students at Trinity College of Vermont from 1989-1992. 

Dr. Jones earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in College Student Personnel Administration from the Counseling and Personnel Services Department at the University of Maryland; her Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration at the University of Vermont; and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Lawrence University.  


Dr. Alta MauroDr. Alta Mauro oversees the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) portfolio within the Dean of Students Office. In this capacity, she works with a community of experts to embed the principles of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the co-curricular and residential experience of all Harvard College students guiding strategy and crafting vision with an understanding of today’s student and what the future may require of them. This means being attuned and responsive to the changing demographics and needs of the Harvard College student body. 

Previously, she served as the assistant dean and founding director of Spiritual Life & Intercultural Education at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). There, she led institutional efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the intercultural competence of students, staff, and faculty. Spending six years at what may be the most diverse university in the world stretched her ability to adapt across sociopolitical contexts, balance authenticity with flexibility, and practice empathy. 

Dr. Mauro earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her doctoral work focused on the intersections of race, class, gender, and upward mobility. Professional areas of focus include: strategic planning around EDI, sustained intercultural dialogue to engage and elevate community, embedding culturally-relevant pedagogy across academic disciplines, and EDI capacity-building across student affairs functions. 






Yadira HernandezCHANGE AGENT


Yadira is an Indigenous immigrant from the Mexihcah community in Puebla, Mexico. She currently serves as the Assistant Director of the UCI DREAM Center, where she seamlessly and unapologetically continues her advocacy for equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. Yadira earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with two concentrations in Philosophy and Labor & Workplace Studies from UCLA, and she is pursuing her Juris Doctorate at CUNY Law in New York. Her pedagogy centers on critical race theory and social cultural wealth. Her portfolio includes first-year experiences, professional development, residential learning communities, mental health and wellness, scholarship programs, research and evaluations, retention programs, undergraduate and graduate pipeline programs, graduate student’s wellness and legal services. She recognizes the systemic barriers in higher education and works to improve multiple areas of the university to ensure underrepresented students are not only included, but have resources and opportunities to be full members at UC Irvine. 

Since she immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 15, she has advocated for undocumented immigrant rights in higher education and the broader community in Nevada and California. She has managed and organized anti-deportation campaigns supporting families impacted by incarceration and deportation. To extend the support to undocumented individuals after graduation, she founded the first of its kind, Undocumented Alumni Association (UAA) of UCLA, where she advocates and provides professional and career opportunities to undocumented alumni. Committed to transforming the legal profession, which often excludes Black, Indigenous, disabled, and other communities of color, Yadira - as an incoming law student at CUNY School of Law, seeks to transform legal epistemologies and advance justice for communities who have experienced injustice and help combat racial and economic injustices. Yadira has not only advocated alongside communities of color but has empowered them to also understand the nuanced ways injustice manifest itself in our daily lives. She has been working on the ground to disseminate resources and foster knowledge production for, and by, communities who have been excluded to lead, mobilize, and catalyze social movements.  

In recognition of her leadership and advocacy, she was appointed to serve on the UCLA Alumni Board Nominations Committee and the UCLA Alumni Diversity Advisory Committee, where she specifically sought to ensure the incoming board actively reflects the diversity of the UCLA community and to address campus climate issues that impact communities of color. 

Yadira aspires to become a social justice lawyer to continue advocating relief from deportation and incarceration, transforming the legal scholarship and academia that has and continues to oppress communities of color, and create tools for our collective liberation and healing. 


Dr. Cris CullinanMENTORSHIP

Dr. Cris Clifford Cullinan has been a teacher, curriculum designer and organizational consultant since 1972.  Her work for federal, state and local government and educational institutions has taken her to more than 35 states as well as other countries, and given her the opportunity to lead seminars and teach classes for faculty, administrators, students and other professionals at many colleges and universities, including Princeton University, Michigan State University, Central Michigan University, the University of Hawaii, Seattle University, the University of California at Davis, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Miami University of Ohio, City College of San Francisco, Hobart and William Smith Colleges,  Sonoma State University,  the Oregon Health Sciences University, Connecticut College, Purdue University, University of Georgia, Willamette University, Buchnell University, the University of Utah, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IIUPUI), Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Harper College, Hamline University, Mountain View Community College, Elgin Community College, Pasadena City College, the College of Wooster, St. Catherine’s University, the University of Delaware, SUNY Binghamton University Watson School of Engineering, SUNY at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, The City Univerisity of New York (CUNY), the University of British Columbia, and Oxford and Durham universities in Britain.  She also works as a consultant to the National Association of Independent Schools and their 1600+ member schools.  

In all of these educational institutions. Dr. Cullinan assists in the development of  practical strategies for increasing equity, and recognizing and eliminating structures, policies and practices that support institutionalized privilege.  In general, Dr. Cullinan focuses her academic and professional work on helping institutions, agencies and other organizations build culturally competent leadership within the pool of existing administrators, staff and faculty, as well as build cultural competence as a recognized and required knowledge and skill set into hiring and retention processes. Her work includes delivering keynote addresses and workshops, designing and delivering training programs, and presenting workshops at regional and national conferences, such as NAFSA:  Association of International Educators; the Race and Pedagogy Conference at the University of Puget Sound; the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference; NSF-grant funded Minority Faculty Development Workshops; and, NCORE, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education.  Since 1996, she has been an invited speaker at theannual NCORE conference, which brings together more than 4500 administrators, faculty and students from all 50 states in the US as well as colleagues from other countries, to grapple with questions of equity and inclusion, respect and discrimination in higher education.  Her topics have included curriculum and training design for equity issues; methods and strategies for adding socio-economic class issues to work on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, and social justice; practical methods and strategies for hiring for culturally competent faculty and staff; working with equity and privilege issues in international education; effective curriculum design to increase cultural competence in student learning; and, recognizing institutionalized privilege and building culturally competent leadership and supervision.   For the last decade, Dr. Cullinan has led, with other US and Canadian colleagues, the NCORE Institute on the issues, contradictions, and possibilities involved in working with internationalization and multiculturalism in higher education.

In 2004, Dr. Cullinan was appointed as a founding member of the NCORE National Advisory Committee (now Council) (NAC) to serve a four year term, and was reappointed in 2009 and again in 2013.  In addition, she chaired the subcommittee on creating institutional change for the NCORE 2006 conference, served as the co-chair for the NAC Program Planning Committee for NCORE 2012 in New York City, and was appointed co-chair for the NAC Faculty Interests and Needs Committee in 2013.  In February, 2014, she was appointed Co-chair of the entire NCORE National Advisory Council, in which position she served until becoming a founding member of the NAC Transnational, Multicultural, International Committee in June, 2018, where she serves at present.

During her 23 year tenure at the University of Oregon, as assistant professor and professional development director for faculty and administrators,  Dr. Cullinan addressed a wide array of institutional and department level issues through the design and delivery of focused knowledge and skill development programs.  Among other responsibilities,  she was primarily responsible for coordinating, designing, and implementing training programs focusing on equity, supervision, preventing and dealing with harassment and discrimination, creating respectful and inclusive work environments, curriculum design, project management, and organizational and team development.  Dr. Cullinan was the principle curriculum designer and educator at the University in areas of supervision, with particular emphasis the responsibilities of supervisors and other leaders to identify and eliminate the policies, organizational structures and practices that support, allow and/or encourage institutionally based discrimination.   From 2002 through 2005, she was a member of the Executive Board of CoDaC, UO's Center on Diversity and Community.  During her tenure at the university, Dr. Cullinan received both the university's Martin Luther King Award and its award for excellence as a member of the faculty and Officer of Administration.

Cris Cullinan holds a Ph.D. (2001) from the University of Oregon in educational policy and management, with a focus in higher education.  Her dissertation was titled “Experience, Education, Culture and Context: A Case Study of the Forces that Shape Department Chair Behavior.”  Dr. Cullinan also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University.