A Trio of Women Who Have Been Appointed to Diversity Positions in Higher Education

Gauri A. Pitale was appointed vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, effective February 29. She has been serving as associate dean of students for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Previously, she served as an assistant professor in the department of life sciences for Ivy Tech Community College, teaching biology and physiology courses.

Dr. Pitale earned a bachelor’s degree in ancient Indian culture at St. Xavier’s College of the University of Mumbai in India. She holds a master’s degree in ancient Indian culture, history, and archaeology from Deccan College in Pune, India, as well as a master’s degree in biological anthropology and a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Elizabeth Olson is the first associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She was an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Her research focuses on gender and sexual minority populations, contextual understanding of historically marginalized individuals and families, and social and health disparities for vulnerable populations.

Dr. Olson is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, where she double-majored in sociology and psychology. She earned a master of social work degree, a master’s degree in human and community development, and a doctorate in human development and family studies, all from the University of Illinois.

Jennifer Carrera has been selected as the Dean’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellow in the College of Science at Michigan State University. Dr. Carrera has a joint appointment between the department of sociology and the environmental science and policy program. Her research uses an environmental justice perspective to examine the differential impacts of access to environmental resources on distributions of power in marginalized communities.

Dr. Carrera is a graduate of Boston University, where she majored in biology. She earned a master’s degrees in biostatistcs from Emory University in Atlanta and a master’s degree in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois.

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