The Dean’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellows Pilot Program

The College of Social Science Dean’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellows Pilot Program attracts SSC faculty to build leadership skills around DEI and prepare the fellows to lead internally and externally. Additionally, the Dean’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fellows Program offers opportunities for professional development around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.

Fellows are expected to participate in weekly meetings with other members of the Dean’s DEI Fellows Program, and collaborate with the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion during their fellowship year. Pilot year Fellows will be appointed for a one-year term that may be extended to a second-year dependent upon resources and agreement of all parties.


2020-2021 Dean’s DEI Fellows

Dr. Carole Gibbs

Dr. Carole Gibbs is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice. She received her PhD from University of Maryland in 2006. Her research focuses on white-collar and corporate crime and using interdisciplinary approaches to develop a more nuanced understanding of street crime. She has published in Criminology and Public Policy and the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Dr. Gibbs served as the inaugural co-chair of the School of Criminal Justice’s Committee on Equity, Inclusion and Justice, helping lead the school through a climate assessment process. She was also Vice-Chair of the Division on White-Collar and Corporate Crime and is a recent graduate of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy.

Dr. Brian Johnson

Dr. Brian Johnson is an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. He holds a B.S. and M.T. from Hampton University in Early Childhood/Psychology, a J.D. from Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School with a concentration in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Human Development and Family Studies. His scholarly interests focus on examining the constitutionality of laws and policies that affect youth and college-age underrepresented populations. He also has a particular interest in exploring and increasing sense of belonging among underrepresented groups at the college level. In addition to currently teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, he has over ten years of experience directing pipeline, recruitment, and retention programs. Also a certified elementary teacher, his pipeline programs focus on preparing students for college during the K-12 years, and ensuring they receive resources for success throughout their college experience. His advising, recruitment and retention initiatives have been recognized at the university and state levels.

Daniel Velez-Ortiz

Dr. Vélez Ortiz is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University. His areas of research are in Latino older adults, cultural factors in mental health services, mental health literacy, technological approaches to cultural gaps, and structural factors relating to service delivery. His long-term work aims to integrate community mental health literacy and services into community spaces where older adults, particularly Latino groups, naturally gather. He would like to develop a link between disconnected systems of care using technology and other available resources. Dr. Vélez Ortiz has deep commitment to an applied focus in his research, where he has advanced knowledge with an emphasis on improving the lives of Latinos and other minorities across different age groups. He is also active in outreach and leadership.