Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity

Mission and Values

The role of the Crown Family School Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Committee (IED) is to develop, guide, and advance initiatives that build and strengthen the educational, organizational, and institutional climate of the School with respect to inclusion, equity, and diversity. By inclusion, we mean, cultivating a culture where all belong and are connected and valued; engaging multiple segments of our community in decision making in which all voices are valued. In order to do this, we focus on diversity, which is an active process of not only recognizing the identities of those in our community, but also supporting those who come into our community by creating infrastructure so that people feel safe and included. All of our efforts are driven by equity - treating everyone fairly with dignity and respect. It also means challenging discrimination, reflecting on power and privilege, and ensuring full access to the benefits of the community.  

The IED committee’s mission and values involve a commitment to:

  • Transparency and open communication
  • Inclusivity with representation in decision-making and governance
  • Accountability through feedback loops and systems of checks and balances
  • Community building as a model for governance
  • Engagement and interconnectedness
  • Accessibility


The IED Committee is guided by the following goals:

  1. Identify opportunities around school programming and activities to promote and provide advising and guidance on recommendations related to:
    1. Creating an inclusive climate at the Crown Family School
    2. Developing diversity and inclusion content in the Crown Family School curriculum
    3. The development of pedagogical skill development and supports pertaining to diversity and inclusion in the educational program at the Crown Family School
    4. Recruitment, admission, and enrollment of a diverse student body at the Crown Family School
    5. Recruitment and retention of a diverse cadre of tenure-track and non-tenure-track instructors at the Crown Family School
    6. Recruitment and retention of a diverse professional and support staff at the Crown Family School
    7. Crown Family School alumni engagement;
  2. Engage in opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration with other schools of study across the University engaged in initiatives related to inclusion, equity, and diversity;
  3. Support training of faculty, staff, and students that facilitates a welcoming climate for all at the Crown Family School. 


The IED Committee is comprised of students, staff and faculty. Staff and faculty are appointed to one-year terms by the Dean of the Crown Family School. Student representatives apply to serve a one-year term; student applications are reviewed by all committee members, who collectively vote on student representatives.

2022-2023 Members

Emily Ellis Headshot
Emily Ellis, Co-Chair, PhD Student Representative

Emily Ellis (she/her). I am a PhD student and the 2022-2023 student co-chair of the IE&D committee. In my time at CFS, I have taken on various leadership roles in the doctoral program to advocate for greater transparency, supports, and programming for doctoral students. I identify as a queer, cis, white woman. I come to this work knowing that people of color have carried the burden of inclusion, equity, and diversity work for far too long, and believe that white students, faculty, and staff need to take an active role in addressing structural inequity and interpersonal racism. I also believe that fun opportunities to make connections within and across identity groups are essential to building community and belonging.

Kristen Reid Solomon Headshot
Kristen Reid Salomon, Co-Chair, Dean of Students, Diversity, and Inclusion

Kristen currently serves as the Dean of Students, Diversity, and Inclusion and has been at Crown for 6 years. In this role, Kristen (or KRS) leads the team that oversees: admissions and financial aid; course registration and academic progress; orientation and graduation; student leadership and community engagement initiatives; and career development and advancement activities. In this role, KRS also helps provide leadership, consultation, and programming in matters of inclusion, equity, and diversity at Crown.

Kristen attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for undergrad, Loyola University Chicago for graduate school, and has almost 20 years of experience working in Higher Education & Student Affairs. She is a Cancer sun/Virgo moon/Libra rising, and is a lover of astrology, trivia, and of course the queen, Beyoncé. KRS was born and raised on the South Side (shout out to Roseland) and currently lives in Homewood, where she and her husband are proudly raising three amazing kids.

S Headshot
S Simmons, Co-Chair, Assistant Instructional Professor

S Simmons (he/him/his) is an Assistant Instructional Professor who is interested and invested in engaged teaching and learning, dismantling systemic and interpersonal power over, and implementing creative approaches. S identifies as a Black, queer, trans*, first-generation, upwardly mobile community focused educator. As one of the co-chairs of the Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity committee, S is committed to values-driven and collaborative leadership.

Kira Edwards Headshot
Kira Edwards, Advanced Standing Student Representative

Kira Edwards (she/her/hers). I am an Advanced Standing student at the Crown Family School and one of the  2022-2023 Advanced Standing student representatives of the IE&D committee.  When I started at Crown, I instantly noticed the lack of community and spaces for Black students in the program and often felt “out of place”. This feeling brought me to the IE&D committee because I hope to center the experiences of students who look like me as Crown continues to grow.  As a first-generation college student and  HBCU Alumna, I believe in the value that community,  lived experiences, and the intentional inclusion of different cultures brings to learning spaces, especially in the social work field.  As I continue to grow on a personal and professional level, I hope to continue doing work that creates equitable learning environments for students, especially black girls.

Angela Garcia, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera in a library.
Angela García, Assistant Professor

Angela S. García is a sociologist and Assistant Professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.  Her research interests include international migration, law and society, race and ethnicity, urban sociology, social policy, and mixed and comparative methods.

At the University of Chicago, García is Associate Faculty Member in the Department of Sociology (by courtesy). She is an Associate at the Population Research Center; Fellow at the Center for Health Administration Studies; and Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture; the Katz Center for Mexican Studies; and the Center for Latin American Studies.  At the University of California San Diego, she is an External Research Associate with the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.  She is also a Scholar Affiliate with the Scholars Strategy Network.

García holds a PhD in Sociology from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego and a MA in Latin American Studies, also from UCSD.

Aaron Gottlieb, a male-presenting person, smiles towards the camera against a grey and orange background.
Aaron Gottlieb, Assistant Professor

Aaron Gottlieb is an Assistant Professor in the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. In addition to being published in a wide range of academic journals, Aaron’s research has been cited in a number of media outlets, including the New York Times and the Atlantic. Outside the classroom, Aaron has worked to promote criminal legal change: He was appointed by the Mayor’s office to Chicago’s Police Use of Force Work Group and worked with community groups across Chicago to help pass the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance.

Colleen Grogan, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera in a library.
Colleen M. Grogan, Deputy Dean of Curriculum

Colleen M. Grogan, PhD is the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor in the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She is also the Deputy Dean for Curriculum for the Crown Family School.
She is Associate Editor of Health Policy for the American Journal of Public Health and was the Editor of the Journal of Health PoliticsPolicy & Law from 2010-2016. Grogan is the Academic Director of the interdisciplinary Graduate Program on Health Administration & Policy (GPHAP) at the University of Chicago. 

Emilie Gutierrez headshot
Emilie Gutierrez, First Year Student Representative 

Emilie Gutierrez (She/Her) is a student representative for the IE&D committee and a first year, full time student at Crown. Emilie identifies as Latinx, queer, disabled, and first generation. Her experiences navigating higher education has led her to become involved in the IE&D committee to represent the voices for other underrepresented students. She is passionate about creating safe spaces to foster ideas, share feelings, and vocalize concerns while recognizing the power structures that are present across the many identities that people encompass. As a student representative, she is dedicated to ensuring collective transformation through collaboration with faculty, staff, and students.

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Carrie Humphrey

Front Desk Manager

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Natalie Jones

SSL Representative

Mel Lamagna in a gray suit jacket and black turtleneck
Mel Lamagna, Director, Field Education

Mel Lamagna, A.M., LCSW (he/him/his) is the Director of Field Education at Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice where he also received his A.M. in 2003. In his role, Mel provides support to students in the matching and selection process of field placements,  develops key partnerships and prospects for new agencies and institutions within the community, and provides staff support and supervision for field coordinators and field consultants on the team. Mel is interested in expanding the field education model to provide Crown students with opportunities outside the traditional scope to impact other industries and expand the social work reach. Mel works with community partners to increase capacity for field placements particularly on the Southside of Chicago. Mel is also an avid tennis player, musician, and lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood with his wife and 2 children.

Susan Lambert, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera against a light-gray background.
Susan Lambert, Professor

Susan Lambert (she/hers) has been a member of the Crown School faculty (formerly SSA) for the past 35 years.  She studies how conditions of low-wage work affect workers, families, and communities and teaches classes on the changing nature of working class jobs. As a first-generation college graduate, she has some insight into how inequality creates barriers in everyday life and welcomes this opportunity to learn and contribute. She comes to the I E & D Committee with the purpose of supporting initiatives to create more equitable opportunities and outcomes for students, staff, and faculty at the Crown School.

Zhiying Ma
Zhiying Ma, Assistant Professor

Zhiying Ma is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, as well as a faculty affiliate of the University's Center for East Asian Studies and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. She is a cultural and medical anthropologist and a scholar of disability studies. Her work in general examines how cultural, politico-economic, and technological factors shape the design and implementation of social policies, and how national policies and global development initiatives in turn impact health in/equity, vulnerability, and rights, with a focus on contemporary China.

Lisa Moore, a female-presenting person, smiles towards the camera.
Lisa Moore, Director of Social Work Program and Senior Lecturer

Lisa Lynelle Moore, PhD, LICSW is a Senior Lecturer and the Director of the Master of Arts in Social Work and Social Welfare Program at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.

She has extensive teaching and administrative experience. Moore comes to Crown Family School from St. Olaf College, Department of Social Work and Family Studies where she was an Associate Professor and Director of Family Studies. She has also been faculty at the Boston University School of Social Work and an adjunct at the Smith College School for Social Work. Her administrative positions have included serving as Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs at Reed College, Assistant Director for the Women's Community Center at Stanford University, and as the Director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Multicultural Center at Clark University.

Julia Riordan Headshot
Julia Riordan, First Year Student Representative

Julia Riordan (she/her/hers). I am an Advanced Standing master’s student here at Crown, but it is also my first year in my program. As a new student here at Crown, I am especially interested in helping to create a sense of belonging and community for students. At my undergraduate institution, I became involved in diversity, equity and inclusion work, and became incredibly passionate about creating equity within higher education. As a white, cisgender woman, I recognize my privilege in academic spaces, and am eager to facilitate conversations about the role of privilege and power with other students, staff and faculty. I am excited and honored to be a member of the committee this year.

Danie Rogers headshot pictured outside with yellow flowers in the background
Danie Rogers, First Year Student Representative

Danie Rogers (they/them) is a first-year clinical social work student in the full time AM program at the Crown Family School. As a student representative on the IE&D Committee, they hope to help create a welcoming space for all that will in turn strengthen the relationships between faculty, staff, and students. Danie identifies as a first generation Irish, queer, nonbinary person and also lives with multiple mental health disorders. As a result of their own lived experiences, Danie is passionate about ensuring that folks with similar identities have access to the resources they need and feel safe and heard while at the University of Chicago. They care deeply about cultivating a culture that prioritizes transparency, accountability, community building, and accessibility and look forward to a year of progress.

Cat Sanders Headshot
Catherine Sanders, Chief of Staff

Catherine (Cat) Sanders is Chief of Staff in the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.  In this role she leads projects and initiatives including planning and implementing long-range and strategic plans; working with faculty and staff in managing key priorities and operations; facilitating collaborations; and developing systems and efficiencies to support overall School effectiveness. Cat earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees and worked at the University of Illinois Chicago, one of the most diverse universities in the US. Her experiences learning from and working with people from a variety of backgrounds helped her recognize her own privilege and develop a desire and dedication to bring awareness to and combat all forms of oppression. Cat is a single mom of 2 children and a caregiver of her elderly parents.  Her multigenerational family lives in the Logan Square neighborhood.

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W. David Stevens

Director of Research Operations, Consortium on School Research

Past Committees

2021 – 2022 Members

S Simmons, Co-Chair, Assistant Instructional Professor
Susan Lambert, Co-Chair, Professor
Emily Ellis, PhD Student
Matt Epperson, Associate Professor
Maranda Gorr-Diaz, First year full time student
Carrie Humphrey, Receptionist
Natalie Jones, SSL student
Mel Lamagna, Director, Field Education
Zhiying Ma, Assistant Professor
Lisa Moore, Director of Social Work Program and Senior Lecturer
Eugene Robinson, Jr., Alumni Board Representative
Cat Sanders, Chief of Staff
W. David Stevens, Director of Research Operations, Consortium on School Research

2019 – 2020 Members

Esther Franco-Payne, AM ’99, Alumni Representative
Armando Garcia, Part-Time Day Student Representative
Jess Jankowski, Second Year, Full Time Student Representative
Mel Lamagna, AM ’03, LCSW, Director of Field Education, Staff Representative
Frania Mendoza Lua, PhD Student Representative
Zhiying Ma, Assistant Professor, Faculty Representative
Curtis McMillen, David and Mary Winton Green Professor, Ex Officio, Faculty and Deputy Dean of Curriculum
Aisha Naseem, Student Chair
Kristen Reid Salomon, Dean of Students, Diversity and Inclusion, Staff Representative
S Simmons, Assistant Instructional Professor, Faculty Chair
Prisca Tuyishime, First Year, Full Time Student Representative
SaCora Williams, Advanced Standing Student Representative

2018 – 2019 Members

Alida Bouris, Co-Chair, Associate Professor
Marci Ybarra, Co-Chair, Assistant Professor 
Yoonsun Choi, Faculty, Associate Professor
Eve L. Ewing, Faculty, Assistant Professor
Angela García, Faculty, Assistant Professor 
Deborah Gorman-Smith, Ex Officio, Dean, Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor
Curtis McMillen, Ex Officio, David and Mary Winton Green Professor and Deputy Dean of Curriculum
Sarah Morgan, Ex Officio, Extended Evening Program Coordinator
Kristen Reid-Salomon, Ex Officio, Assistant Dean of Students
Ashley Jackson, AM '11, Alumni Representative
Ximena Escalante, EEP student representative
Armando García, Part-time day student representative
Mina Lee, PhD student representative
Bex Leon, Advanced Standing student representative
Aisha Naseem, 1st year day student representative
Alicia Ozier, 2nd year day student representative

2017 – 2018 Members

Cindy Agustín Peña, Second Year AM Program Student Representative
Jennifer Bealer, Extended Evening Program AM Student Representative
Alida Bouris, Co-Chair, Associate Professor
Asia Bowman, Extended Evening Program AM Student Representative
Gina Fedock, Assistant Professor
Angela Garcia, Assistant Professor
Ashley Jackson, Alumni Representative
Bharathi Jayaram, Ex Officio, Associate Director of Field Education
Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Associate Professor
Marion Malcome, PhD Student Representative
Curtis McMillen, Ex Officio, David and Mary Winton Green Professor and Deputy Dean of Curriculum
Alejandro Monroy Velez, Dean of Students Office
Nerissa Osby, Dean of Students Office
Deborah Ragbir, Second Year AM Student Representative
Kristen Reid-Salomon, Ex Officio, Assistant Dean of Students
Kirstin Williams, First Year AM Program Student Representative
Marci Ybarra, Co-Chair, Assistant Professor