Event Details

Monday, February 21st, 2022
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST

Join Cornell Mosaic, University Council and PCCW for this informational panel with the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity (PADE).
This leadership team is chaired by Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Avery August who represents faculty. He is joined by the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students Marla Love representing undergraduate, graduate and professional students and Associate Vice President for the Department of Inclusion and Belonging Sonia Rucker representing staff.

The Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity provide strategic direction, guidance, and recommendations to the President’s senior staff, the Provost’s council and the Dean’s council, and advise President Martha E. Pollack on institutional university-wide goals and activities and metrics.

This panel discussion will be centered around the current state of diversity and equity initiatives at Cornell, new programs and developments, and will be an opportunity to answer questions from our you – our alumni volunteers. Please submit questions in advance when registering.

Katrina James ’96, chair of Cornell Mosaic and Trustee, will moderate the panel discussion.

About the Panel

Avery August
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

As Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Prof. August oversees the Provost’s Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, which provides a wide range of programing for faculty development and diversity, support and training for department chairs and associate deans, and faculty hiring strategies. Also among his responsibilities are Provost’s Bridge programs for faculty diversity and dual career, dean’s searches, Provost’s liaison for the Faculty Committee on Program Review and Tenure and Promotions. Professor August joined the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Cornell in 2010 as Professor of Immunology and Chair of the department and began his appointment as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in 2018.


Marla Love
Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students

Marla Love serves as the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students. Prior to that, Marla served as Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity working directly with the diversity and student empowerment units in the Office of the Dean of Students to create an intersectional programming model that engages our students in new and innovative ways. She worked closely with our partners in Campus and Community Engagement, as well as in the Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives to produce powerful synergies and collaborations that enhance the student experience and deepen our commitment to underserved student communities. She also worked closely with the Senior Associate Dean for Care and Crisis Services to find ways to blend our approach to crisis management with an inclusion model that keeps Cornell on the leading edge of campus-wide crisis management. She also serves as chair of the university’s Bias Assessment and Review Team (BART) for student only related bias incidents.


Sonia Rucker
Associate Vice-President for the Department of Inclusion and Belonging

Sonia Rucker is the Associate Vice-President for the Department of Inclusion and Belonging and staff representative on the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity. Rucker served as the Vice-President for Equity, Access and Behavioral Health, the Dean of Students, and the Title IX Coordinator at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri from 2015-2021. Rucker previously worked at Cornell University from 2003-2012 as a university-wide crisis manager for the dean of student’s office, associate director of diversity and inclusion with the Johnson Graduate School of Management, program manager for the ILR Graduate Programs Office, and associate director of counseling and community outreach with the Office of Minority Educational Affairs. Rucker across worked in various roles at Southeast Missouri State University from 2000-2003, including as the Tutorial Coordinator for TRIO/Student Support Services, Assistant Director and disability services coordinator for the Learning Enrichment Center and as a Crisis Response Coordinator for Counseling and Disability Services.


Katrina James ’96
Chair, Cornell Mosaic

Katrina James ’96 is the Founder and Principal of Sàga Consulting Services, which provides strategic and programmatic support to nonprofit and educational organizations. Prior to this position, she was the Senior Director, College and Career Programs at the Harlem Children’s Zone. She also held the position of a Senior Associate at the corporate law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York. Immediately after gaining her JD in 2007, she worked for the firm of Clifford Chance US, LLP for one year. Ms. James’s early career after graduation from Cornell and NYU was in social work and academic administration, before she made a career change and pursued a law degree. Before entering into law practice, she worked in a multi-service child welfare agency as a social worker and administrator, and in graduate schools of social work and public policy as an administrator. At Cornell, Ms. James served three terms as Chair of the Cornell University Council, led the Committee on Alumni Trustee Nominations, Cornell Black Alumni Association, and the Class of 1996, and has served on the President’s Council of Cornell Women and several other Cornell boards. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.

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