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Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Staff Profiles

Frank Tuitt

Frank Tuitt, EdD

Sr. Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Diversity and Inclusion
303-871-2591 | Email

Dr. Frank Tuitt is Sr. Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Diversity and Inclusion.  Dr. Tuitt is also Professor of Higher Education at the University's Morgridge College of Education. Dr. Tuitt is a scholar devoted to the examination and exploration of topics related to access and equity in higher education; teaching and learning in racially diverse college classrooms; and diversity and organizational transformation. His research critically examines issues of race, Inclusive Excellence and diversity in and outside the classroom from the purview of faculty and students.

Tom Romero

Tom I Romero, II, JD, PhD

Assistant Provost for IE Research & Curriculum Initiatives
303-871-7784 | Email

Dr. Tom Romero is an Associate Professor at the DU Sturm College of Law and an Affiliate Faculty of the Department of History, who joins us for the 2013-14 academic year to oversee the implementation of the IRISE initiative. In his role as Assistant Provost, Tom will be working to make the University of Denver one of the premier institutions in the country for the rigorous study of social and institutional inequality. 

Debbie Mixon Mitchell

Debra Mixon Mitchell, PhD

Director of Diversity Recruiting
303-871-2502 | Email

Dr. Debbie Mixon Mitchell, Director for Diversity Recruiting at the University of Denver, is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Her strength lies in her expertise in culturally proficient leadership, leveraging diversity and inclusion to improve organizational outcomes, and her ability to move ideas to action. As an educator and scholar, Dr. Mixon Mitchell serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver where she teaches courses in the Graduate School of Social Work and the University College. Her areas of expertise include intercultural communication, culturally responsive leadership, and implicit bias. Dr. Mixon Mitchell co-authored Race Matters: Child protection and the communication process (2017); Beyond the question of color: Diversity issues in child welfare supervision (2009); and was a contributing author to Colorado's child welfare practice handbook (1998).

Dr. Mixon Mitchell has a commitment to service within the professional community. In 2010, she was awarded Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.'s Service & Leadership Award as an intercultural communication specialist during the Haitian Orphan Operation following the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Dr. Mixon Mitchell was the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Service Award, the highest honor presented each year in recognition of a person who exemplifies the mission of the University of Denver. She was the recipient of the GSSW (Graduate School of Social Work) 2015 – 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award, for Adjunct Faculty and was nominated in 2017 by a student as a faculty Career Champion who helped make a difference in the student's career development journey.

Melanie Harris

Melanie Harris, PhD

ACE Fellow
303-871-2585 | Email

Dr. Melanie L. Harris is Founding Director of African American and Africana Studies and Full Professor of Religion and Ethics at Texas Christian University (TCU). She also serves as the American Council of Education Fellow at the University of Denver. A graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program, her research also focuses on Inclusive Excellence, access and equity in higher education and ethical leadership. Her scholarship critically examines intersections between race, religion, gender and environmental ethics. She is the author of many scholarly articles and books including Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave), Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis) and co-editor with Kate M. Ott of Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave).

Dr. Harris is a former broadcast journalist who worked as a news producer for ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. A community leader whose passion for education is linked to a commitment to social justice, she has also served as an educational consultant with the Ford Foundation, the Forum for Theological Exploration, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Lilly Endowment Inc. She is on the executive board of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and has served on the Board of Directors of KERA-TV/Radio, the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics. Dr. Harris has been awarded several prestigious awards and academic fellowships including the AddRan College of Liberal Arts Administration Fellowship and GreenFaith Fellowship. Dr. Harris earned her PhD and M.A. degrees from Union Theological Seminary in The City of New York, an M. Div. from Iliff School of Theology and a B.A. from Spelman College. 

Kristin Deal, PhD

Coordinator of Special Projects

Dr. Kristin Deal is the Coordinator of Special Projects for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as an adjunct professor of Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education. 

Carolyn Coles

Carolyn Taylor, MA

Program Manager
303-871-2891 | Email

Carolyn MC Taylor moved to Denver from Philadelphia to pursue a graduate degree that married her two loves, people and people. She earned her BA in marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University and immediately joined the Peace Corps, she served in El Salvador as a community engagement and economic development volunteer. After a stint in China and meaningful education reform work in Philadelphia, the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship brought her to DU, where, in addition to her studies, she joined the staff of the living and learning communities. After finishing her MA in International and Intercultural Communication, she joined the ODI team. On campus, she helps the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to run like a well-oiled machine; overseeing budgets, planning events, scheduling meetings, monitoring grant awards, contributing to intellectual conversations and any gap in-between. She devotes her time and talent to various inclusive excellence task forces and serves as an adjunct professor for the Office of Internationalization. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Denver Police Academy, leading statistical analysis of bias, ethics and de-escalation curriculum. When Carolyn is not traveling the world or visiting friends, you can find her adventuring with her husband Brandon and their miniature pincher, Ladybug.



Kamal Ararso

ODI Graduate Assistant

Kamal Ararso is a graduate student of Higher Education at the University of Denver. He earned my master's degree in Higher Education from Arizona State University and Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics minor from the University of Oregon. In the last five years he has worked within higher education institutions in various capacities including project management, teaching, academic coaching, mentoring, coordinating events and fundraising for not for profit organizations. His academic research interest at DU include public policy, higher education policy, politics and economics of higher education, law and finance in higher education, and diversity and inclusive excellence. His interests in these areas come from his desire to understand the complex policies and the impacts those policies have on historically underrepresented communities of color.

Michelle Garcia-Olp

ODI Graduate Assistant

Michelle is [email protected], [email protected] and of Genizaro descent. She received her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Masters in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. Michelle worked in the public education system as an elementary teacher Teaching Students of Other Languages (TESOL) for six years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Michelle is working towards her Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Denver (DU). Currently, Michelle develops curriculum for the Native American Community Relations and Programs Department and serves as a Research Assistant for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at DU. Her current research interests include race and identity in education and research. This includes, more specifically, focusing on decolonizing the curriculum and instruction evident in K-20 institutions when working with Indigenous populations.

Delma Ramos

IRISE Graduate Assistant

Delma Ramos is a PhD Candidate in Higher Education at the University of Denver. Her work focuses on asset based approaches to college access and completion with an emphasis on underserved populations. Delma is also interested in the influence of public policy on issues related to college success, which has led her to collaborate with policy organizations and think tanks including the RAND corporation, the American Council on Education, and the College Board. Delma's dissertation research embodies her focus on asset based perspectives through an exploration of Funds of Knowledge and the college success of first-generation, low-income, and students of color. Delma currently serves as graduate assistant for the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)equality (IRISE) in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

Brenda Sifuentez

ODI Graduate Assistant

Brenda Sifuentez is currently a PhD Candidate in the Higher Education department at the University of Denver. Her current research interests include Hispanic-Serving Institutions, student activism, and equity in higher education. Her overall research is grounded in social justice and equity for historically underrepresented students, faculty, and staff. She earned her MA in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from California State University, Fresno. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Amanda Thomas

ODI Graduate Assistant

Amanda Thomas is a doctoral student in Research Methods and Statistics and Graduate Assistant at the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Denver (DU). She received her MSc. in Sociology with distinction from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus. She taught courses in research methods and development studies as junior faculty at the University of the Southern Caribbean and University of the West Indies. Amanda has recently completed and is currently working on collaborative research on post- colonial research paradigms, culturally responsive and transformatory educational praxis and mixed methods research. She also volunteers as a Research Assistant at the Center for Effective Interventions at the Graduate School of Social Work at DU.