Introducing AOII’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Education Work Group

in Education, General News

On June 3, AOII volunteers and staff implemented a diversity, equity, and inclusion action plan beginning with our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education (DEIE) Work Group. The Fraternity is pleased to announce the appointment of 13 volunteers to this work group who will be supported by three staff/volunteer liaisons.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education Work Group has been charged with identifying areas for improvement, creating educational resources, and recommending initiatives and Fraternity policy changes to the Executive Board. This work group represents a cross-section of experiences and backgrounds, and the members will be charged with gathering perspectives and insight from across our AOII sisterhood.

Jennifer Bowers, Kappa Omega (U of Kentucky)

Jennifer Bowers, Chair

Jennifer Bowers is a 2010 initiate of Kappa Omega (U of Kentucky) where she received her B.S. in integrated strategic communications with a minor in business. She has worked in the multicultural space helping brands authentically connect with consumers and curate innovate out of the box ideas. Passionate about helping aspiring young students, Jennifer volunteers with a local non-profit, Next Generation Atlanta, which focus on exposing students from low-income communities to different career opportunities. Jennifer loves traveling, baking and reading African American literature, and now resides in Atlanta, GA.

Emily Axsom

Emily Axsom, Beta Phi (Indiana U)

Emily Axsom, a 2018 initiate of Beta Phi (Indiana U), is a senior working toward a B.A. in fashion design, with minors in Spanish and global media. Emily currently serves as a Co-Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Panhellenic Association at IU. From 2019-2020, Emily served as the President of Pageantry, an organization that works to promote volunteerism and provide scholarship opportunities for the women on IU Bloomington’s campus. Emily is a current titleholder in the Miss America Organization, “Miss Heart of Indiana 2020,” where she promotes her social impact initiative, “Love Goes Beyond The Quiet (L.G.B.T.Q.)”. As a queer woman, Emily promotes her platform of diversity education, and represents the LGBTQ+ community in schools and in her local community. Born and raised in Bloomington, IN, Emily looks forward to graduating in 2021 and finding work or furthering her education outside of Indiana.

Radha Chaddah, Phi Chi (U of Chicago)

Radha Chaddah

Radha Chaddah is an initiate of Phi Chi (U of Chicago) where she received her B.S. in biology. She went on to receive M.D. and J.D. degrees from the University of Illinois and an M.P.H. from Harvard University. Radha practiced internal medicine in both Boston and New York City before moving with her husband, Avery, and two daughters, Yani and Ayo, to Asia where she resided in Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing for nine years. While in Asia, Radha worked with the China CDC and practiced at an international hospital. Radha is a biracial Indian-Chinese American and she currently resides in Princeton, NJ with her family and her Beijing-born poodle, Teddy.  

Elizabeth Dworkin

Elizabeth Dworkin, Omega Sigma (Oklahoma State U)

Elizabeth “Elle” Dworkin is a 2018 initiate of Omega Sigma (Oklahoma State U) where she is currently working on a B.S. in plant and soil sciences and a B.S. in agribusiness with conservation and pre-law focuses. Elle is a Jewish Australian-American who was raised primarily in Dallas, TX and identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She has previously served as the VP of Academic Development for her chapter and now serves her community through other campus organizations. After college Elle plans to attend law school and use her career as an opportunity to address the issues of diversity and education within agriculture.

Ruth Frias

Ruth Frias, Sigma Chi (Hartwick College)

Ruth Frias is a 2013 initiate of Sigma Chi (Hartwick College) where she received her B.A. in psychology. As a collegiate, she served the Fraternity as VP of Membership Recruitment from fall 2014-spring 2016. After college, Ruth was accepted into Teach For America and taught middle school science during her commitment while also pursuing her first M.A. in teaching. This was when her zealousness for DEI work was born. As a self-described lifelong learner, Ruth was eager to explore more about organizational structure and leadership with a focus on DEI, which inspired her to pursue another M.A. in industrial organizational psychology. Ruth Frias is a first-generation Dominican American born and raised in the vibrant South Bronx, New York City. Currently, she is a Client Success Coordinator, for Kinvolved, and resides in West Bronx, New York City.

Christina Ganotakis, Gamma Chi (Carleton U)

Christina Ganotakis

Christina Ganotakis is a 2017 initiate of Gamma Chi (Carleton U) in Ottawa, Canada where she received her Honours Bachelor of public affairs and policy management with a specialization in international studies. As a collegiate, she served as the chapter’s Philanthropy Chairman and currently serves a dual role as Vice President and VP Membership for the Ottawa Alumnae Chapter. Professionally, Christina works for the Canadian Federal Government at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as a policy analyst. When she’s not working, she serves on the Advisory Board for Climate Action Carleton, a working group dedicated to climate action and climate justice based in Ottawa, Canada. Christina is an Ethiopian-Eritrean-Greek Canadian who grew up in Toronto, Ontario and now resides in Ottawa.

Shannon Keeny, Epsilon Chi (Elon U)

Shannon Keeny

Shannon Keeny is a 2001 graduate of Elon University (Epsilon Chi) with a B.A. in education and a proud Alpha Omicron Pi alumna. She has been involved in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion for over a decade and is dedicated to facilitating groups in order to move to a place of cultural competences both personally and organizationally. Currently she works in Howard County Public School System in Maryland. She has presented at several international conferences to include Learning Forward and the Corwin Cultural Proficiency Institute. She also co-authored an article for ASCD, Questioning Our Beliefs and Biases. Most recently she co-authored a book for ASCD, Culture, Class, and Race: Constructive Conversations That Unite and Energize Your School and Community. She is an instructor for the McDaniel College Excellence and Equity in Education Master’s program. She also has a Master’s Degree from Loyola College, and a Master’s Certificate from McDaniel College in administration and supervision.

Ileana Lopez-Martinez, Phi Chi (U of Chicago)

Ileana López-Martínez

Ileana López-Martínez (she/her) was initiated into Phi Chi (U of Chicago) where she is currently pursuing her B.A. in sociology, concentration in gender and sexuality studies. She served her chapter as Assistant Vice President of Membership Recruitment and New Member Educator on the 2018-2019 Leader’s Council. During summers, Ileana has interned at sexual and reproductive health organizations in Chicago and Los Angeles, focusing on STD prevention and LGBT+ advocacy. She co-authored a paper on Black Trans women and the school-to-prison pipeline, which is awaiting publication in the Sexuality and Social Research Journal. Ileana is a bisexual Brown Latina who grew up in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago, IL and still lives there today.

Gabby Rivera, Upsilon (U of Washington)

Gabrielle Rivera

Gabrielle “Gabby” Rivera is a 2015 initiate of the Upsilon Chapter at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She received her B.A. in medical anthropology & global health and is returning to the University of Washington to pursue her M.P.A. at the Evans School of Public Policy. Gabby has served the Fraternity as an Educational Leadership Consultant (2019-2020), as a Recruitment Coach, and as an AAC member. Throughout her undergraduate career, Gabby was heavily involved in student leadership in the UW Panhellenic Community and in Student Government. Gabby is a Filipino-American and currently resides in Seattle with her family.

Jessica Scott, Kappa Chi (Northwestern State U)

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott is an alumnae initiate of the Kappa Chi chapter at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in history. She has served as an advisor for various offices within her chapter of initiation. Currently she is the Alumnae Chapter President for the Central Louisiana Alumnae Chapter. Jessica works as an Human Resources Associate for an industrial insulation plant. Jessica is a Black American who was born in Baton Rouge, LA and now resides in Ruston, LA.

Heather E. Stanton

Heather Stanton, Pi Alpha (U of Louisville)

Heather Stanton initiated into Pi Alpha Chapter at the University of Louisville in 1996. She earned a B.A. in communications in 2002 and a B.A. in organizational leadership and learning in 2018. She has previously served on the AAC of three different chapters in the capacities of Chapter Adviser, Recruitment Adviser, and Ritual Adviser, among others. She is also an active member of the Columbus Alumnae Chapter where she has served as the Alumnae Panhellenic Delegate. Professionally, Heather is a Senior Business Analyst for The Wendy’s Company in Dublin, OH. Upon joining Wendy’s she was a founding member of their equality employee resource group supporting LGBTQIA employees and allies. When she has free time she enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, cooking, and playing kickball. Originally hailing from West Islip, NY, Heather now calls Columbus, OH home with her wife Melissa, sons Roland and Charlie, a pitbull mix named Stanley, and tuxedo cat named Rolph.

Summer Steib, Delta Beta (U of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Summer Steib

Summer Steib (she, her, hers) is an initiate of Delta Beta at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She holds degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Alabama, where she earned a Master of Arts in women studies. Summer served the Fraternity as a Chapter Adviser for Alpha Delta (U of Alabama) from 2000-2005 and is an active member of the Baton Rouge Alumnae Chapter. In 2020, Summer was recognized by AOII with the Alumnae Women of Leadership award. As an aspiring white ally, Summer has nearly 20 years of experience in social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Since 2012, Summer has served as the Director of the Women’s Center at Louisiana State University. In addition to her role as the Director of the Women’s Center, Summer is a co-chair of LSU’s National Coalition Building Institute team, chair of LSU’s Bias Incident Response Team, and an adjunct professor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Shaill Vasavada, Pi Delta (U of Maryland)

Shaill Vasavada

Shaill Vasavada (she/hers) is a 2013 initiate of Pi Delta, University of Maryland College Park, where she completed her B.S. in neurobiology and physiology. After graduating, Shaill found a passion for student affairs working at American University in the University Center. She continued her education at Colorado State University, graduating in May 2020 with her M.S. in student affairs in higher education. While at CSU, Shaill worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and began her volunteer role on the AAC for Epsilon Gamma (U of Northern Colorado). She is a South Asian daughter of immigrants who grew up in Maryland where she currently resides with her family. 

Leah Horton, Education Committee Liaison
Jessica Li, Headquarters Staff Liaison
Koren Phillips, Executive Board Liaison

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