Meet Our Three Finalists
Dr. Sonia DeLuca Fernández
Sonia DeLuca Fernández is the Associate Vice Provost for Educational Equity at the Pennsylvania State University. In her role, DeLuca Fernández coordinates the Office of Educational Equity’s strategic planning process; oversees assessment efforts and bias reporting; works collaboratively with the Commonwealth Campuses, and manages the educational opportunity programming budget. A certified change management professional, she works with the President’s Commissions for Equity, as well as the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research, and the Office of Human Resources, to help the University operationalize the goals outlined in the strategic plan. Before joining Penn State, DeLuca Fernández held various appointments, working in assessment, multicultural affairs, commuter student services, and student activities. She earned a B.A. in African American studies and an M.A. in social foundations of education, both from the University of Iowa; and has a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Raechele L. Pope
Raechele L. Pope is the Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs and the Chief Diversity Officer for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Buffalo. She is also an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs and the Co-Director for the Center for the Study of First-Generation College Student Experiences. Dr. Pope is a nationally recognized scholar and higher education consultant on diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.
Dr. Pope’s groundbreaking scholarship on multicultural competence and multicultural planned change on campus has challenged and transformed (a) how the field defines professional competence and efficacious practice, (b) the nature of traditional planned change strategies in student affairs, and (c) the relevance of student development theories and practices for minoritized students. She is the lead author for two central texts in college student affairs: Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs: Advancing Social Justice and Inclusion and Creating Multicultural Change on Campus and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Before her work at the University at Buffalo, Dr. Pope was a faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program. Dr. Pope has won numerous awards for academic excellence, including the ACPA Contribution to Knowledge Award and the NASPA Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member. She was also named an ACPA Senior Scholar and a NASPA Faculty Fellow. She received her doctorate in Organizational Development, with a concentration in Multicultural Organization Development and Higher Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Dr. Michelle Manno
Dr. Michelle Manno (she/they) has spent the last seven years advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within university and science museum contexts. She is currently the Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where she is responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating programs and policies related to DEI on campus. Dr. Manno leads two key initiatives at UIC—the Equity Dashboard Project and the Inclusive Classroom Initiative—and serves as Co-Investigator on UIC’s “Building Inclusive Excellence in STEM” Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) grant. She creates and facilitates workshops on a variety of DEI topics including implicit bias, microaggressions, inclusive teaching strategies, managing difficult dialogues in the classroom, and identity and intersectionality. Dr. Manno is a faculty affiliate in the Department of Sociology where she regularly teaches courses in sociology as well as intergroup dialogue for UIC’s Dialogue Initiative. She is also a certified mediator and supports UIC’s dispute resolution services program.
Dr. Manno received her PhD in Sociology from Emory University. Her scholarship focuses on social inequalities, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality and how systems of oppression influence individuals’ everyday lives. She has presented at both international and national conferences, most recently highlighting innovative initiatives at the intersection of DEI and well-being. Her book Full Court Pressure: Female Athletes and the Policing of Identity is under contract with NYU Press.
The candidates have been asked to record an informal presentation responding to the following prompt, and we hope you're able to watch these to gain a sense of each candidate's vision and experience: “Please record a 10- 15 minute informal presentation that highlights your background and experience as it will equip you to deal with the most important issues connected to diversity, equity, and inclusion that universities – including CU Boulder – are facing at this time. What is your vision for the role of the Senior Vice Chancellor For Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CU Boulder that would allow you to address these issues?”