Meet the Members of Drexel CCI's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council

Photo of Will Ahern in the center holding a young child in a pink shirt on his right and a young child in a blue shirt on his right.  

Will Ahern
Will
he/him/his

I've worked in higher education for almost 10 years and have had the privilege of working with students from a wide variety of backgrounds. This has really expanded my worldview and has strengthened my passion for creating safe spaces and advocating for others. I want every student in CCI to feel like they are important, have something to contribute, and that they belong. I'm excited to work with this group to identify areas for improvement and make changes to meet this end.

 

Kerry Boland
ker-ree bow-lind
she/her/hers

I'm an assistant director serving on CCI's Communications team and have been at Drexel since 2011. I am passionate about accessibility and disability awareness, especially around neurodiversity and invisible disabilities. I hope that my service on the Council can contribute to a safe and supportive CCI that truly embraces and champions the full spectrum of our identities and abilities. Building an inclusive community requires a commitment from each member to examine hidden biases, choose radical empathy, practice anti-racism, hold each other accountable, and end inequitable practices, policies and procedures; I am personally committed to doing this work and am honored to serve on the DEI Council.

Photo of Charlie Stuart and his dog 

Charlie Stuart, Undergraduate Student
char-lee stoo-urt
he/they

As a queer trans man, I've faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I have fought very hard to overcome it. In my time at Drexel and CCI, I've worked informally to provide more resources for LGBTQ+ students so that other students do not have to face the same struggles that I have. I am honored to be able to work in a formal context to be able to continue that work on this committee. I want to continue this work to show that LGBTQ+ students do have a place in STEM and to continue to help CCI in growing to become a safer and more supportive space for all marginalized groups.

Karen DeVose 

Karen DeVose
Karen DeVose
she/her/hers

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I grew up in single parent household with my mom and five siblings. I am also a first-generation college student. As a black woman I have experienced many forms of racism and micro-aggressions in society, school, and work. I am joining this council because it is important to have representation in these types of initiatives. My research is focused on factors and programming that retain and persist historically underrepresented minorities at predominately white institutions (PWIs). I have developed trainings for students’ group, faculty and advisors. Trainings include faculty and advisors recognizing the challenges URM students face at PWIs, micro-aggressions, implicit biases, micro-affirmations and academic advising, and training faculty to create an inclusive learning environment for URM students. I am interested in learning the charge of this committee and how I can use my experience and education in helping with the mission and vision of this committee. Lastly, I want students, specifically historical underrepresented students, to know they are being supported in throughout their student lifecycle in CCI. 

 Photo of Marie Fazio

Marie Fazio
Ma-ree Faa-zio
she/her/hers
 

As a first generation college student in Philadelphia, I had the opportunity to meet people of all different races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. I thought I understood diversity. It was not until I started in my role at Drexel and later received my master's degree that I realized I had so much more to learn about inclusion, diversity, equity and access. The work has been eye opening and rewarding. 
I am honored and privileged to be a part of this inaugural Council. I have learned so much from the Council members, especially the students, already. Their commitment and passion for making CCI a community of belonging will help to propel our College as a leader within Drexel. We look forward to forming meaningful connections with students, faculty and staff across the College. 

 
Photograph of Adelaida Medlock 

Adelaida Medlock
ah-del-eye-ee-dah
she/her/hers

I am Teaching Professor at the Computer Science Department and I am currently serving as the Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs. I have been at Drexel for almost 22 years. There have been periods when I have been the only female faculty at our department and also times when I have been the only female and Latina in the classroom. So I am very excited to be part of this Council and the opportunity to work towards a more inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment.

 Photo of Kudzai, a Black woman smiling at the camera. She is wearing graduation regalia including a kente cloth.

Kudzai Mushonga-Hande, Graduate Student

K00dz-eye 

she/her/hers


I am Kudzai, a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience program. I became involved in community organizing at my undergrad institution and have been involved in DEI work since then and as a Black woman I sit in the middle of a complex Venn diagram of identities and intersectionality is truly at the root of all the work that I do. In my previous role at a tech company, I worked in the Employee Experience department advocating for and creating programs to support the URM employees in the organization. I am so excited to be continuing DEI work with like-minded people on the Council that are committed to a more diverse and inclusive environment at Drexel.

 Photo of Ledornubari Nwilene Ledornubari Nwilene, Undergraduate Student
lay-dawn-noo-barry
she/her

I am Ledo, a junior studying Computing and Security Technology. As an international student, I soon realized the many struggles (moving to a different country, dealing with immigration, finding jobs with restrictions, finding “home”, etc.) others like me have had to go through. This council is important to me because it helps me shed more light on international student experiences within the college. I hope to serve my fellow international students and students within CCI. I aspire to be a voice/spokesperson for them. I want international students to know that the college is intentional about fostering a community that caters to them too. I am excited to be a part of this council and look forward to the growth that will emerge!

  Palash Pandey, Undergraduate Student
Palash
he/him/his

I am Palash. I am a senior undergraduate student studying data science, computer science and math. Being an international student from India, I have often had very different perspectives from the vocal majority on campus. I got involved with the DEI Council because I have observed a lack of diversity of thought on campus even as demographic diversity has increased. I have found a silent minority perspective in almost all of my classes, students who are afraid to speak freely because they don't want to be perceived as different or heterodox. I strongly believe that university is the place to grow by being challenged and this is only possible if we have diverse voices in the classroom. I hope to empower all students to express themselves freely and think critically at CCI and across campus.

Photo of Tammy Pirmann 

Tammy Pirmann
Ta-mee Peer-man
she/her/hers

I am an Assistant Teaching Professor in Computer Science. I am a first-generation college graduate and took the long and wandering path of attending college part time while working full time. I finally got my doctorate in 2018, a full 34 years after taking my first college course! I care deeply about equity in education, particularly in CS due to the impact a CS degree can have on poverty. I look forward to working on this committee to support Drexel CCI students to a degree and a successful career in the field.

 Photo of Gaby Salib

Gabrielle Salib, PhD Student
gab-ee SAH-leeb
she/her/hers

I'm a fourth year PhD candidate studying Human-centered Computing and I'm hopeful and excited about the future of CCI because of the initiative the College administration has taken in establishing this Council. I'm excited to be on this team of people who are all seeking to build a more inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff in CCI. I plan to focus my efforts on the Council towards supporting groups that are already doing the work to support underrepresented populations in the College and in the University and towards designing workshops for faculty, students, and staff to continue building a more inclusive culture of mentorship in the College.

 
Photo of Dario Salvucci

Dario Salvucci
Da-ree-oh Sal-voo-chee
he/him/his

I am a Professor in the Computer Science department (with a courtesy appointment in Psychology) and I've been at Drexel since 2001. As computing and informatics broadens in its impact on every aspect of our lives, this is an exciting time to explore new ways to create a more diverse and inclusive community in our College, and I very much look forward to being a part of this Council to work on these efforts.

Photo of Sukhi Sandu 

Sukhi Sandhu, Graduate Student
Sue-Key
she/her/hers

I am a graduate student in the Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience program. I grew up in a westernized area, where inclusivity wasn’t very prevalent and I found myself changing to accommodate others. It wasn’t until my undergrad where I was able to understand the value of my cultural background, and appreciate what I brought to the table. In my last position, I was working in the HR department, assisting with communications, which opened my eyes towards DEI in the workplace. As a council member, I look forward to advocating for the needs of under-represented groups. Specifically, through empowering the community and opening the door for enhanced opportunities for DEI at CCI, I hope to further honor the dynamic differences that bring us all together and foster a welcoming community.

 
 

Riley Wilkins
Riley
she/her/hers

I am an academic advisor in CCI and seek to advocate for all students. I have not walked all the paths of identity, but through empathic support, like that found in this Council, I work to ensure students are afforded space to live, develop and succeed as they deserve. In my time in higher education I’ve worked at community colleges and a small women’s college allowing me to help many students where many identities intersect, creating unique and celebrated narratives. I look forward to supporting our CCI community through the collaborative mission set forth by fellow staff, faculty, and students on this Council.

Photo of Erjia Yan

Erjia Yan
R-G-ah
he/him/his

I am a faculty member in the Department of Information Science since 2013. I was born and raised in Xi'an, China and went to college in Nanjing, China. I came to the States in 2008 to pursue a Ph.D. in Information Science at Indiana University. My husband and I live in the western suburbs of Philadelphia with our three-year old daughter who was born in New Jersey and joined our family through adoption in 2017. I became a member in the Council because I intend to make our LGBT students feel welcomed and appreciated at CCI.