banner mural

HSI Implementation Task Force

In response to a charge letter UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May issued on November 30, 2020, the following HSI Implementation Task Force and subcommittees were constituted under the leadership of Interim Associate Vice Chancellor Lorena Oropeza and Chief of Staff Mark A. López to carry into action the vision and recommendations of the 2019 Task Force Report. 


An asset-oriented view that overtly acknowledges the experiences, firsthand knowledge, talents and contributions of all students who bring a keen sensitivity and insight to issues of social justice, the challenges faced by the majority of people and who are motivated by a sense of interdependence. The Rising Scholars framework replaces the reliance by institutions of higher education on deficit labels–“low income,” “first generation,” “person of color”– deemed to be, first and foremost, indicators of potential failure. Acknowledging the gifts and talents Rising Scholars bring to a university creates the opportunity for them to be fully actualized. (Our adoption and the definition above of “Rising Scholars” derives from Byron P. White, “Beyond a Deficit View,” Inside Higher Ed, 19 April 2016.)

As Chancellor May notes, that report, Investing in Rising Scholars and Serving the State of California: What It Means to be a Hispanic Serving Institution, produced under the leadership of Raquel Aldana and Rahim Reed emerged from many conversations with students, faculty, staff, community leaders, and public officials. It adopted an asset-oriented view of Rising Scholars and presented a vision of UC Davis as “a culturally responsive learning community that fulfills the mission of a Research 1 and land grant university, closing the equity gap in higher education; enabling all of its community members, including Rising Scholars, to thrive and reach their full potential; and elevating our excellence in public service and scholarship.”

Oropeza and López and all the members of the Implementation Task Force embrace the promises and challenges of this report as we move UC Davis into the future.


  • Neptaly "Taty" Aguilera, Board of Directors, Davis-Cal Aggie Alumni Association and UC Chicano Latino Alumni Association
  • Lilly Cruz-Orengo, Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Marcela Cuellar, Associate Professor, School of Education
  • Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Associate Professor, Chicano/a Studies
  • Rosa Deniz, Analyst, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Joe Martinez, Student Expression and Campus Activities Coordinator, Center for Student Involvement
  • Melisa PriceCommunity Engaged Research Specialist, Clinical and Translational Science Center

Retention and Persistence

  • Sheri Atkinson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, Campus Community and Retention Services
  • Vincent Cardenas, Residential Academic Specialist, Student Housing
  • Efren Diaz, Alumni, Chicana/o Studies, Gender and Sexuality and Women’s Studies
  • Nancy Galindo, Undergraduate Initiatives Program Coordinator, Office of Student and Resident Diversity, School of Medicine
  • Alicia Garcia, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Education
  • Jorge A. Garcia, Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor
  • Laura Bohórquez García, Director, AB540 and Undocumented Student Center
  • Maria-Cecilia Gomez, Education Specialist, Center for Educational Effectiveness
  • Kristin Lagattuta, Faculty Advisor to the Provost on Closing Student Achievement Gaps; Professor, Psychology
  • Mayra Llamas, Executive Director of the Community Resource and Retention Centers, Student Affairs
  • Sergio Maravilla, Undergraduate, Community and Regional Development; President, Chicanx Latinx Collegiate Association
  • Alma Martinez, Student Affairs Officer, Chicano and Latino Studies Department
  • Lina Mendez, Associate Director, Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success; Vice-Chair for the Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee
  • Daniel Potter, Chair, Undergraduate Council of the Academic Senate
  • Timo Rico, Executive Director, Student Affairs Assessment, Budget and Institutional Analysis
  • Susan Rivera, Professor and Chair, Psychology
  • Katheryn Russ, Associate Professor, Economics
  • Rogelio Villagrana, Director, Early Academic Outreach Program

Grant Writing

  • Ignacio Alarcón, Assistant Director, AB540 and Undocumented Student Center
  • Jose M. Ballesteros, Director, UC Davis McNair Scholars Program
  • Sophie J. Barbu, Assistant Director, UC Davis ADVANCE, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Lilly Cruz-Orengo, Assistant Professor, Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Josephine Moreno, Graduate Diversity Officer, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and Education, Graduate Studies
  • Lorena Oropeza, Association Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity; Professor, History
  • Pablo Reguerin, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs


  • Molly Bechtel, Assistant Director of Communications and Culture, College of Engineering; Chair, Staff Assembly
  • Caroline Cabias, Chicano Latino Alumni Association
  • Rosa Deniz, Executive Analyst, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Christopher Macias, Speechwriter, Strategic Communications
  • Vanessa Madrigal Lauchland, Ph.D. Candidate, History
  • Lina Mendez, HSI Director
  • Tom O'Donnell, Analyst, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Lorena Oropeza, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity; Professor, History
  • Jeanette B. RuizAssistant Professor of Teaching, Communication