DEI Committee

The CAHNRS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee seeks proposals for its inaugural DEI Mini Grants. Learn more about the proposal criteria.

Meeting Minutes

Luz María Gordillo

Luz María Gordillo (She/Her)

Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence 

Dr. Luz María Gordillo is Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence in the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) and Associate Professor of History at Washington State University. Gordillo joined WSU Vancouver in 2005. Gordillo’s first book Engendering Transnational Ties: Mexican Women and the Other Side of Immigration, garnered the ALLA book award in 2011. In 2013, Dr. Gordillo co-directed and co-produced the film entitled Antonia: A Chicana Story. She is currently working on her monograph entitled Patients, Philanthropists, and Fieldworkers: The Hidden History of Women and Eugenics

Dr. Gordillo is a fan of SciFi and the Speculative Arts, enjoys eating food from different cuisines, and admits having difficulty saying no to chocolate.

Dylan Beal (He/Him)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Entomology

Dylan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Entomology department. Based at the WSU Wenatchee TFREC, he is working to adapt and optimize sustainable integrated pest management practices for Spotted Wing Drosophila in Eastern WA cherry and blueberry with a focus on cultural, behavioral, and biological control. He is interested better serving and supporting the agricultural communities in which he conducts his research. He enjoys spending his free time playing boardgames, participating in trivia nights, and baking. 

Giulia Berzoini (She/Her)

Technical Assistant

Giulia Berzoini graduated in Veterinary Medicine and joined WSU as a masters student in Animal Sciences. Born and raised in Brazil, her focus is to develop research in ruminant nutrition and positively contribute with education accessibility and transmitting what is studied inside the university to the community. 

Bernardita Sallato Carmona

Bernardita Sallato Carmona (She/Her)

Regional Specialist E-2, Prosser R&E Extension

Bernardita Sallato Carmona became a WSU Regional Extension Specialist in 2018, two years after immigrating from Chile, her home country. Her work focusses on helping growers to improve efficiencies and quality in tree fruit production systems, emphasizing sustainable practices on soils and plant nutrition. She works towards broadening education opportunities for underrepresented communities.

Yini Chen (She/Her)

Assistant Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textile

Dr. Yini Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textile. She obtained a Ph.D. in individual interdisciplinary in 2022 and an M.S. in apparel, merchandising, and textiles in 2018 from Washington State University. She also obtained an M.A. in organizational leadership in 2015 from Gonzaga University. Further, she obtained a Bachelor of Business in international business in 2012 from the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research focuses include omnichannel retailing, lifestyle retailing, digital retailing, sustainability, and consumer behavior. Dr. Chen likes traveling and cooking traditional Chinese cuisine in her leisure time. She has been to sixteen different countries.

Molly Darr (She/Her)

Forest Health Extension Specialist

Dr. Molly Darr recently joined WSU’s Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Extension Program Unit as the new Forest Health Extension Specialist within the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Sciences (CAHNRS).  Dr. Darr specializes in forest and tree health, with a concentration in forest entomology and integrated pest management techniques. Dr. Darr previously served as director of the Southern Forest Health and Invasive Species Program at Clemson University, which provided forest and tree health information for landowners and professionals throughout the southeastern U.S. Dr. Darr also served as a tree fruit entomologist in Wenatchee, WA, where she provided expertise in entomology, pathology, and tree health and management in an orchard setting.

Dr. Darr serves Whatcom, Clallam, Kitsapp and Jefferson counties, while maintaining a state-wide program on behalf of WSU-CAHNRS. Her Forestry Extension program uses various forms of communication – including social media, webinars, popular and peer-reviewed publications, in-person visits, and workshops – to help educate stakeholders about forest health, invasive species, and forest management in Washington. Feel free to reach out to and introduce yourself!

Evan Domsic (He/Him)

Research Assistant, Crop and Soil Sciences

Over the last ten years, Evan has deeply immersed himself in the organic agricultural movement. He’s held various roles within the farming world, from farm laborer to farm manager, in addition to agricultural educator at UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Evan holds a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a concentration in Agroecology. Evan’s interests lie at the crossroads of plant breeding, soil health, seed sovereignty, and the broader impact of agriculture on our changing climate. With a vision of supporting small-scale farmers, he dreams of becoming a plant breeder specializing in organic grains, specialty crops, or ornamental flowers. In addition, he is passionate about baking, preserving, and brewing just about anything he can get his hands on. His favorite way to spend a day is harvesting produce from the fields to cook a meal for loved ones.

His Ph.D. research with the Soil Health Lab and Sustainable Seed Systems Lab —co-advised by Dr. Deirdre Griffin LaHue and Dr. Kevin Murphy— explores the relationships between soil health and quinoa nutritional quality.

Clara Hill

Clara Hill (She/Her)

Research Coordinator, IMPACT Lab

Clara is a research coordinator in the IMPACT lab in the Department of Human Development, on the Pullman campus. She coordinates multiple research and evaluation grants and contracts projects relating to substance use prevention and health promotion, and has additional research interests in early childhood development and wellbeing. Her undergraduate degrees are in English Literature and Psychology, and she has a Master’s degree in Public Health. Her passions include travel, spending time with her family, playing outside, and reading.

Miguel Inzunza (He/Him)

Director of Recruitment and Retention

Miguel is the director of Recruitment and Retention for CAHNRS. With a 20-year professional career in higher education and student service, he was previously the recruiter for the Carson College of Business and the recruiter for the College of Veterinary Medicine. In both roles, he directed all recruitment efforts, student ambassador programs, and spearheaded creative retention initiatives. His diverse experiences range from working in remote Alaska as a high school teacher to working in financial aid in a community college setting. During his time at his alma-mater, Lewis-Clark State College, he worked in all areas of student services including the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), Native-American/Minority Student Services, and New Student Recruitment.

He is passionate about making college education accessible to students from all walks of life. With the proper support and guidance, he believes that all things are attainable through education. When out of the office, you will find him with his family outdoors or riding horses, boating, or actively engaged in the community with 4H, youth hockey, and working with charities.

Anand (Ani) Jayakaran

Anand (Ani) Jayakaran (He/Him)

Professor, WSU Extension

Ani Jayakaran (he/him) is a Professor with Washington State University Extension. He works on disseminating strategies to manage water resources using Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) and improving current engineering designs using ecological engineering principles. Ani holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and a doctoral degree in Agricultural & Biological Engineering. He grew up in India and Africa, loves to spend time with family and pets, to play and listen to music, and to travel.

Gagandeep Kaur (She/Her)

Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student

Gagandeep Kaur is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. She was born and raised in Northern India and completed her bachelor’s in agriculture from Punjab Agricultural University, India. She did her Master’s in Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences from Auburn University, Alabama, and joined WSU Pullman in August 2022. She is currently a part of the Soil to Society project and the objective of her Ph.D. research is to determine the impact of soil and cropping system management on soil health and crop quality. Her research interest revolves around soil fertility management, soil health, and sustainable agriculture. Gagandeep is serving as the Vice President of the Graduate Student Association of Crop and Soil Sciences department. She loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.

Harpreet Kaur (She/Her)

Plant Pathology PhD Student

Harpreet received her undergraduate degree from Punjab Agricultural University in Punjab, India. Agricultural sciences was her major. During her undergrad, she became really interested in studying plant diseases. Later, she was given the option to pursue a master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences (with an emphasis in Biotechnology) at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. Her master’s thesis focused on identifying pathogenicity factors in Erwinia tracheiphila. Her primary interests are in studying the host-pathogen interactions and bacterial genetics, therefore she contacted Dr. Youfu Frank Zhao at Washington State University for a Ph.D. Her research will primarily focus on understanding the genetics of the apple fire blight disease. She also wants to work on volunteer services, which will allow her to focus on doing something for others outside of academics.

Jen Moss

Jen Moss (She/Her)

Coordinator Specialist, Snap-Ed Extension

Jen is dedicated to reducing health inequities through nutrition education and support of policies and practices that promote healthy lifestyles and well-being for under-resourced individuals and families.

Through her work as an Implementing Agency Lead for the WSU Extension SNAP-Ed Program Manager, Jen coordinates activities that increase access to healthy foods, improve knowledge and skills to prepare those foods, and encourage physical activity. This work includes collaboration with a network of community partners to maximize impact and improve the health of the community overall. Jen also serves as  Co-chair of the City of Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board, assisting with making recommendations that ensure revenue from this ordinance is invested in the communities most impacted by health and economic inequities.  Jen studied nutrition at Bastyr University and is a Registered Dietitian.

Nafise Noroozi (She/Her)

PhD Student, Animal Sciences

In 2022, Nafise joined Washington State University as PhD student in the Department of Animal Sciences on Pullman campus. She is on the leadership committee for the Animal Science Graduate Students Association. She works at Marcondes’ lab and her research mainly focuses on dairy cattle nutrition and management.

Before joining WSU, she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from KIAU in Iran. She loves working with animals, especially dairy cows. She enjoys hiking in nature and playing boardgames.

Kat Odell

Kat Odell (She/Her)

Manager, CAHNRS Operations

Kat Odell has worked for WSU since the fall of 1990. She moved to CAHNRS in 2017. Kat’s word of the moment is arbejdsglæde  – a Danish word meaning happiness at work – which she experiences in her current role with CAHNRS Operations. Kat’s primary area of focus is handling the Real Property process for the college, including the Land Legacy Endowment Farms. She also assists with the CAHNRS Safety program and is the CAHNRS Risk Management liaison. When not at work, Kat enjoys reading, traveling, and sharing time with her family and friends.

Jonathan Puglisi (He/Him)

Graduate AY Assistantship, Wenatchee R&E Center

Jon is a graduate student at Washington State University working toward a Ph.D. in plant pathology. He moved to Wenatchee from Pennsylvania in 2021 where he studied biology and music performance at Pennsylvania State University. Outside of the lab, you can find him playing trumpet or rock climbing.

Christina Sanders

Christina Sanders (She/Her)

Director, Division of Governmental Studies and Services 

Christina Sanders is the Director of the WSU’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) and the Office of Emergency Management. She has been with DGSS since 2004 and her office is currently co-located with the offices of the Washington State Patrol in Olympia. Christina has a BS in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Idaho, her areas of expertise include working collaboratively with state and local government entities, interpreting policies, codes and data for report publication and working with agency representatives to initiate and negotiate contracts. 

Christina also has experience in facilitation and has worked extensively with public safety entities on a variety of projects. Christina is passionate about social justice, DEI issues, and her family. When she isn’t working Christina enjoys gardening and kayaking.

Bethany Shepler (She/Her)

Principal Assistant, Prosser R&E Center

Bethany works at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Her educational journey began with an undergraduate degree in Oceanography, laying the foundation for her graduate studies in interdisciplinary environmental studies, emphasizing collaboration across diverse perspectives.

Between 2017 and 2022, she worked within Washington prisons assisting in the delivery of educational opportunities for a historically underserved population, fueling her passion for the right of equitable access to education for all.

Outside of work, Bethany enjoys baking, diving into podcasts and audiobooks, cherishing quality time with family and friends, and exploring for rocks with her niece and nephew.

Tarah Sullivan

Tarah Sullivan (She/Her)

Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Dr. Sullivan is currently an Associate Professor of Soil Microbiology in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the Pullman campus, where she teaches and conducts research into soil biogeochemistry, soil-plant-microbe interactions, and soil health. She is a member of CEREO and the Center for Native American Research and Collaborations and is working to establish a Committee for DEI in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, as well.

Kat Tsatsomeros (She/Her)

Administrative Assistant, CAHNRS Dean’s Office

Kat is a Canadian immigrant to Pullman and a Coug since five years old. With a bachelor’s in Apparel Design at and minor in Music at WSU, she was a member of WSU Concert Choir, Madrigal Chamber Singers, WSU Symphony, designed for the Mom’s Weekend Fashion shows, and taught as a fitness instructor at the WSU UREC. She lived in Korea for six years, where she graduated Korean language school and did her master’s degree in marketing at Korea University in Seoul. Her master’s thesis focused on Crisis Management, particularly brand apology statements following a controversy related to marginalized groups.

As an Administrative Assistant in the CAHNRS Dean’s Office, she is honored to be able to assist in different facets of academia, including furthering her passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, doing nail art, designing costumes, and taking long walks.

Michael Wallace (He/Him)

Watcom County Extension Director, 4-H

Michael Wallace is A Regional Specialist with the 4-H Youth Program and a nationally recognized and published curriculum designer. He has been committed to diversifying the audiences of Extension since the time he was hired 20 years ago. Using a Digital Divide grant in 2006 and donations from local corporations, he established a community computer lab in Skagit County where he created the “Families Accessing Community Technology” program. This program utilized 4-H teens to teach migrant parents how to understand the internet and their children’s use of it. He went on to use this experience in creating the 2006 4-H CCS curriculum “Computer Power Unlimited” which was one of 4-H’s first national curricula to center young people of different races collaborating on shared goals. This was one of 4-H’s most innovative projects to date and it generated sales for at least a decade following its release.  While working with Nooksack tribal members creating afterschool STEM opportunities through a National 4-H Mentoring grant, from 2016 -2019 Michael also served as a member of the Extension Youth and Family Program Healthy Living / DEI “Think Tank” and he helped to write and publish Creating Safe Spaces Through Mutual Affirmation, WSU Extension Pub. FS290E.  IN 2018 he also collaborated with extension colleagues to host and co-teach Positive Indian Parenting in partnership Northwest Indian College.  In 2018, Michael was selected to become a member of a WSU Extension training team implementing the nationally recognized “Coming Together for Racial Understanding” dialogue series. Michael was intentional in using state funds to hire a Latinx Outreach Coordinator in Whatcom County and supported his colleague Alex Martinez in establishing the public facing Latnix 4-H Program “Para las Familias.”   Michael is also a co-PI of the USDA-NIFA Children, Youth, Families At-Risk (CYFAR) Dive4TECH – Juntos 4-H program at Washington State University.

Alison White (She/Her)

Associate Professor, 4-H Youth Development Regional Specialist

Alison’s program and research areas include (1) youth empowerment, (2) diversity, equity, and inclusion, (3) arts-integrated STEM, and (4) organizational change. As WSU Extension faculty, Alison prioritizes community-based programming tailored to local needs, primarily focusing on Yakima and Kittitas counties. She enjoys creating and facilitating programming that explores art, design, ecology, and leadership through an equity lens aimed at real-world issues to empower youth in learning about themselves and the world around them. Alison serves as co-chair of the National 4-H LGBTQ+ Youth & Community Champion Group, co-lead of the National Extension LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group, chair of the WA State 4-H Equity & Inclusion Committee, and faculty advisor to the WA State 4-H Teen Equity & Inclusion Task Force.

Georgine Yorgey

Georgine Yorgey (She/Her)

Associate Director, CSANR

Georgine Yorgey is the Associate Director of WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, where she has worked since 2009. She leads the Center’s efforts around recovery of organic wastes, including work on dairy-derived nutrients, biochar, and compost. She also co-leads efforts relating to climate change, water, and agriculture. Georgine grew up in Oregon, where early exposure to vegetable and small fruit breeding convinced her that she wanted to work on issues related to agriculture and sustainability.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors from Swarthmore College in 1999 (major in Biology, minor in Sociology & Anthropology), and a Master of Public Administration from University of Washington in 2008.