Aaron Pallas

Aaron Pallas is the Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has also taught at Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Northwestern University, and served as a statistician at the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education.

Professor Pallas uses a variety of research tools to inform the public about the relevance and usability of educational research for policy and practice. He educates stakeholders—including representatives of the media—about the complexities and unexpected consequences of accountability and resource distribution policies in public schools. His research, taken up by the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and a variety of media reaching local political leaders, policymakers, parents, and voters, illuminates these dynamics across New York City, New York State and beyond.

Pallas’s efforts to strengthen the capacity of research to enhance educational discourse in the public sphere draw on his studies of the linkages between education policy and inequalities in life chances and the role of schooling in the course of human lives. His research has also addressed the sociology of teaching and teachers’ work and careers, including teacher accountability systems, undergraduate teaching improvement, and the preparation of education researchers. His current research examines patterns of segregation among and within New York City middle schools.

A former editor of the American Sociological Association journal Sociology of Education, he is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and an elected member of the National Academy of Education and of the Sociological Research Association, the preeminent honorary society of sociology scholars. He has also served as Chair of the Sociology of Education and Sociology of Children and Youth sections of the American Sociological Association.


Lilisa J. Williams

Lilisa Williams is the Director of Faculty and Staff Development in the Human Resources Department at Hudson County Community College.

She oversees the planning, organizing, managing, facilitating, and evaluation of an array of professional development training for faculty and staff. Her other roles include coordinating Adjunct Faculty recruitment activities and other related HR functions.

She is the former Co-Chair for the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from eCornellUniversity and is enrolled in the Community College Leadership doctoral program in New Jersey.

Williams holds an Associates in Arts in Business/Public Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and an MBA in Human Resources.

Suzanne Walsh

Suzanne Elise Walsh became the nineteenth president of Bennett College on August 1, 2019. She was most recently deputy director of postsecondary success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading and developing a team and a portfolio of over $70 million in postsecondary investments in institutional transformation in the United States. She previously served in leadership roles with the Lumina Foundation for Education and The Heinz Endowments.

Ms. Walsh has received national recognition for her portfolio of work with organizations at the intersection of innovation, technology and learning. Education leaders with whom she has consulted praise her ability to create and work with cross-functional teams as a key driver in affecting flexible, personalized and affordable approaches to higher education, and other leaders have expressed their appreciation for her work on several viability and sustainability initiatives at HBCUs, analyzing complex situations, developing innovative action plans to address challenges and motivating teams.

Ms. Walsh has been a frequent speaker and workshop leader at conferences such as the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Global Learning Council, of which she is an active member. She has published or edited several books and journal articles on the topic of educational transformation, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and fellowships.

Ms. Walsh earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cornell University, as well as a master’s degree in social work and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. She is a member of the Ohio Bar.

O’Connor, Ken

Ken O’Connor is an independent consultant on grading and reporting. A graduate of the University of Melbourne (B.A. Hon, Dip. Ed) and the University of Toronto (M. Ed), he has been a professional development presenter in 35 countries outside North America, 47 states in the USA, all provinces and two territories in Canada.

His 23 year teaching career included experience as a geography teacher and department head at 6 schools in Toronto and Melbourne (Grades 7-12) starting in 1967. Ken was a Curriculum Coordinator responsible for Student Assessment and Evaluation and Geography for the Scarborough Board of Education (and then the Toronto District School Board) from March 1990 to June 1999.

He is the author of A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for BrokenGrades.Third Edition, FIRST Educational Resources, 2022; How to Grade for Learning: K-12, Fourth Edition, Corwin, 2018; Standards-Based Grading Quick Reference Guide, LSI,2017; The School Leaders Guide to Grading, Solution Tree, 2013:andFifteen Fixes for Broken Grades: A Repair Kit, Pearson, Toronto, 2012.

Anna Neumann

Anna Neumann, Professor of Higher Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, studies teaching in urban colleges and universities, with an eye toward improving first-generation students’ subject-matter learning in first- and second-year courses (in general/liberal education), and in post-graduate work (in law school). In this work, she seeks to illuminate what good teaching means and how it unfolds, how professors learn to teach, and professional development practices and programs for supporting teaching improvement.

Neumann’s research, which also examines professors’ intellectual careers, doctoral students’ learning of research, and academic organization and leadership, has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Journal of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, Review of Higher Education, and others. Her books include Convergent Teaching: Tools to Spark Deeper Learning in College (with Aaron M. Pallas, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), a reconceptualization of undergraduate teaching with implications for improvement; Professing to Learn: Creating Tenured Lives and Careers in the American Research University, an analysis of 40 university professors’ scholarly learning and intellectual identity development in the early post-tenure career (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009); and Learning from Our Lives: Women, Research, and Autobiography in Education (co-edited with Penelope L. Peterson, Teachers College Press, 1997), a study of the personal meaning of research in academic women’s lives in the field of education.

Other volumes address professors’ career-long learning and growth, collegiate cultures, and leadership cognition. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, the U.S. Office of Education, the Lilly Endowment, TIAA-CREF, and others.

A Fellow of the American Education Research Association and an elected member of the National Academy of Education, she also is the recipient of her field’s top two research awards: the Research Achievement Award of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the Exemplary Research Award of the American Educational Research Association, Division J (Higher and Postsecondary Education). Neumann is past president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. For over a decade she directed the Program in Higher and Postsecondary Education at Teachers College where she also served as department chair.

Teresa A. Nance

Dr. Teresa Nance currently serves as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer and as a Professor of Communication. In this role, she is leading the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Dr. Nance’s Villanova career spans more than four decades, during which time she has served as an administrator, teacher, scholar, activist and ‘support system’ for students, faculty, and staff at the University. In 2018, The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education recognized Dr. Nance with the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Distinguished Service Award – an honor given to individuals who have “contributed substantially to diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education.”

Dr. Nance was the first Black tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Communication at Villanova, where she established an African American rhetoric course and created the highly sought-after multicultural leadership course. As a researcher, Dr. Nance has investigated the perceptions and stages of interracial relationship development, diversity and inclusion, and intergroup dialogue. She was the founding Assistant Vice President for the Center for Multicultural Affairs. In 2015—to further elevate the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion—Villanova created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion making Dr. Nance its founding director and naming her named Associate Vice Provost of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer.

Led by Dr. Nance, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) supports Villanova’s continuing efforts to create a welcoming and diverse community at all levels, including students, faculty, administrators, and staff. The office works with academic, administrative, and other units of the University to develop strategies aimed at fostering a Villanova community where individual differences are acknowledged and appreciated.  Most recently Dr. Nance led the Aequitas Task Force on Race at the University.  The Task Force which involved over 100 Villanovans examined all aspects of university life as a means of striving toward assuring equity and justice for all.

Terry Nance received a Bachelor and Master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston and a Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia.   Terry currently lives in Center City Philadelphiawith her husband Kermit Moore, a retired Communication professor.  They have two wonderful grown sons named Christian and Jesse.

Michelle Miller

Dr. Michelle D. Miller is a Professor of Psychological Sciences and President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Northern Arizona University.  She is the author of Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (Harvard University Press, 2014). Her new book is titled Remembering and Forgetting in the Age of Technology: Teaching, Learning, and the Science of Memory in a Wired World (West Virginia University Press, 2022).

Dr. Miller completed her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and behavioral neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include memory, attention, and the impacts of technology on learning and on the mind.

Dr. Miller is passionate about helping instructors create more effective and engaging learning experiences, and helping students become more effective learners, all through the application of principles derived from cognitive psychology and learning sciences.

Sharoni Denise Little

Dr. Sharoni Denise Little, CEO, The Strategist Company, LLC, is a global strategist and expert in workplace inclusion and equity, bias mitigation, educational equity, and executive leadership and strategy, who advises organizations, executives, educators, and community leaders globally, to devise holistic, evidence-based strategies and solutions. Corporately, Dr. Little served as the inaugural Head, Global Inclusion at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a leading global entertainment, and sports company, where she developed and instituted a strategic and sustainable organizational framework to embed vital inclusive business systems and practices throughout the organization. 

Prior to joining CAA, Dr. Little, an Emeritus Professor, served as the Vice Dean and Senior Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. Throughout her long tenure, she developed, implemented, and evaluated disparate curricula across multi-modalities, including virtual, synchronous, asynchronous, in-person, and experiential pedagogical frameworks, developed and/or co-developed several courses, and established core pedagogical frameworks used throughout academia. In addition to the Marshall School of Business, Dr. Little taught graduate and executive courses in the USC, Rossier School of Education, USC, Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and the USC Sol Price School of Planning.

A noted author, Dr. Little has presented and published her research on workplace inclusion and equity, bias mitigation, educational equity and access, culturally informed-responsive pedagogy and curricula, and strategic leadership. In her study, “The Ph.D. as a Contested Intellectual Site: A Critical Race Analysis of the Factors that Influence the Persistence and Retention of Academically Successful Black Doctoral Students,” she examined personal and institutional factors impacting student engagement, motivation, persistence, academic success, and institutional culture. Other publications include book chapters, “Ain’t She A First Lady?” Michelle Obama, Black Women’s Narratives, and the Rhetoric of Identification,” in Michelle Obama and the FLOTUS Effect: Platform, Presence, and Agency (2020), and “’Don’t Lean—Jump In’: The Fierce Urgency to Confront, Dismantle, and (Re)Write the Historical Narrative of Black Boys in Educational Institutions,” in The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys (2018), and she is completing her forthcoming book, The Perpetual Surveillance of Black Men (2024). She has been featured in various media outlets, including her two TEDx talks, Storytime: Confronting and Disrupting Marginalizing Narratives (2020), and The Gift of Corrective Lenses (2016), the Financial Times, The Sports Business Journal, Inclusion Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Marketplace, the Los Angeles Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and PBS.

An educational and social advocate, Dr. Little serves as a Board Trustee at Compton Community College and was selected as an Inaugural Trustee Fellow for strategic thought-leaders developed in partnership with the California Community Colleges and the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program.  She is the Vice Chair of the California Community Colleges’ Women’s Committee, is a member of the California Community Colleges, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility statewide steering committee, and is Parliamentarian for the National Association of Community College Trustees, Black Caucus. Dr. Little also serves a Senior Advisor for the City of Compton, Compton Pledge Guaranteed Income program, the Compton, My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, Fresh Tracks leadership development program for urban, rural, and tribal communities. 

Dr. Little earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University in Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, and Law, an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Organizational Communication from Cal State Los Angeles.

Darvelle Hutchins

Dr. Darvelle Hutchins is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native with contagious enthusiasm and passion for inclusive organizing.

Darvelle serves as the Senior Director of Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion with the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Before arriving at the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Darvelle worked 14 years in corporate America and academic settings, where he acquired leadership, educational and consulting skills. He now serves as the CEO and principal consultant for Jamison Consulting Group, and has been sought by the U.S. Armed Forces where he assesses and develops education and training on diversity topics.

Darvelle holds an impressive academic portfolio, including a bachelor’s degree in communication and studies in leadership, an MBA in human resources, a master’s degree in communication studies, and a doctorate in organizational communication. Darvelle’s research on diversity, power, and stigmatized identities in organizational contexts has been published in multiple books and journal articles, including the Journal of Diversity and Higher Education, Management Communication Quarterly, and the Journal of Family Communication.

Darvelle received the 2021 Outstanding Contributed Chapter award from the National Communication Association for his work on Stigma Communication and Power: Managing Inclusion and Exclusion in the Workplace featured in the book Organizing Inclusion: Moving Diversity from Demographics to Communication Processes (Routledge). Additionally, he has been named the 2020 winner of the Frank and Lila Gilman Memorial Fellowship Award for exemplary scholarship in organizational communication research. And the recipient of the 2021 Graduate Research Award at the University of Missouri for his co-authorship in writing DEI 2.0, released in bookstores in September 2022. DEI 2.0 is a toolkit that serves as a step-by-step guide for diversity practitioners interested in designing effective and transformative virtual diversity education.

When Darvelle is not busy working, he enjoys traveling and serving as a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Jennifer Imazeki

Dr. Jennifer Imazeki is a Senate Distinguished Professor and Professor of Economics at San Diego State University, currently serving as the Associate Vice President for Faculty and Staff Diversity. Her research has focused on the economics of K-12 education, including work on school finance reform, adequacy and teacher labor markets. In her previous role as CTL Director, Dr. Imazeki initiated multiple programs to promote inclusive teaching practices and to engage faculty in scholarly evaluation of their teaching. She is Past-President of the CSU Faculty Development Council, representing faculty developers in the California State University system, and has been an invited keynote speaker at multiple faculty development events. As AVP for Faculty and Staff Diversity, Dr. Imazeki serves as Director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence, the campus hub for professional learning and capacity-building around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. She also leads the Equity and Inclusion Councils, comprised of diversity liaisons from all campus units, and has overseen campus initiatives to diversify the faculty and to develop diversity plans for every division, college and academic school/department. Dr. Imazeki received her bachelor’s degree at Pomona College in Claremont, CA; and her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, all in Economics.