Texas Tech University

Texas Tech RAISE Committee

President Schovanec's charge to the RAISE Committee is to: (1) focus on providing support to all students of color and first-generation students so that they can achieve their goal of receiving a quality education, (2) identify current and future grants for which Texas Tech will be eligible for or entitled to, and (3) ensure members of the Texas Tech community fully understand the research, funding, and other opportunities that HSI designation brings.

RAISE Committee:

Carol SumnerDr. Carol A. Sumner

Chair, RAISE Committee
Vice President Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Carol A. Sumner was appointed Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion on June 18, 2018.
Before her appointment, Sumner served as the senior associate dean of students at Arizona State University. She arrived at the Phoenix campus of ASU in 2006 and served in several positions with the university, including working as a member of the TRIO Student Support Services program and as director of the University Academic Success Programs (UASP) at the West campus and founding director of the same programs at the Downtown Phoenix campus.
Sumner also served as an associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students at the Tempe campus of ASU and was the university lead for Culture@ASU, which identifies and celebrates a diverse and multifaceted university culture through art, food, music, lectures and the celebration of traditions, among other things. She led the University International Student Service Committee and served as university chair for the Committee for Campus Inclusion, as a member of the ASU Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and as a member of the ASU Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee.
Her career in higher education prior to ASU includes positions at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri; Illinois State University; and Wilberforce University.
Sumner earned her bachelor's degree in public relations with a minor in Spanish, and her master's degree in higher and postsecondary education at Illinois State University. She earned her doctorate in higher and postsecondary education from ASU.

BallouDr. Michael Ballou

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Associate Dean for Research

Dr. Michael Ballou serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. Dr. Ballou provides primary leadership for CASNR's graduate and research program development including graduate student recruiting initiatives, responses to request for proposals, and research team building.

JaclynDr. Jaclyn Cañas-Carrell

College of Arts & Sciences, Environmental Toxicology
Analytical Toxicology and Environmental Chemistry

Associate Professor Dr. Cañas-Carrell teaches courses in Analytical Toxicology and Chemical Sources and Fate. She is also involved in STEM Education. She is an Associate Director of the Texas Tech University STEM Center for Outreach, Research, and Education. She is the Director of the Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program (funded by the National Institutes of Health), which supports underrepresented minority community college students who are interested in science.

CasadonteDr. Dominick Casadonte

College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Minnie Stevens Piper Professor

Dr. Dominick Casadonte's research interests focus on the dynamics of unusual excited state processes, as well as the fabrication of novel nanomaterial and molecular systems with potential applications as molecular photodevices, energy storage systems, catalysts, and environmental remediants. Professor Casadonte has an active interest in several areas of chemical education. A current research focus in the area of chemical education in the Casadonte group focuses on the exploration of the integration of mathematics and science into the K-12 curriculum.

ChapmanSofia Chapman, Ph.D.

Office of Student Conduct

Dr. Sofia Chapman has over 18 years of educational experience in various roles in both the elementary education arena as well as in the higher education arena. Currently, Dr. Chapman is the Managing Director of the Office of Student Conduct at Texas Tech University in which she oversees campus discipline. Dr. Chapman has served in various administrative roles dealing with issues related to admissions and recruitment, judicial/conduct affairs, Greek life, leadership programs, volunteer programming, financial aid, new student orientation, alcohol education, managing distressed students, multicultural affairs, as well as oversight of auxiliary areas such Student Union facilities. Dr. Chapman graduated in 2012 with her Ph.D. in Higher Education from Texas Tech University in which her research consisted of assessing the success of Latinas who completed the terminal degree process. Dr. Chapman also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education program.

DeleonEsther De León

University Libraries

Esther Medina De León is an assistant librarian for electronic resources at University Libraries. She earned her master's in Library Science from the University of North Texas in Denton and her undergraduate degree in Humanities with a minor in Spanish from Lubbock Christian University.
De León is an active member in TTU's Latino Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association (LFHSA) and Hispanic Association of Women (HAW), and serves as the current adviser of Unidos por un Mismo Idioma (UMI).

ElolaDr. Idoia Elola

Associate Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences; Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

Dr. Elola's research focuses on second language writing and digital literacies among second and Spanish heritage language learners. She investigates areas such as students' writing processes, collaborative work using social tools, and instructional practices that enhance students' second and heritage language learning. She also works on the area of "linguistic landscapes" which creates linguistic mapping of monolingual and bilingual English-Spanish signage in the U.S. Dr. Elola is the Academic Director for the Spanish study abroad program at the Texas Tech University Center in Seville, Spain.

FriasDr. Kelli M. Frias

Rawls College of Business Administration
Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Assistant Professor Dr. Kellilynn M. Frias is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University. Her research agenda focuses on understanding the factors that impact a firm's decision on "where to participate in the value chain" or "what to sell". She studies these fundamental strategic options – called product-form choice – and the impact of key technology, firm-level and environmental factors on this decision. Her work has been published in Organization Science. Her teaching interests include marketing strategy, business-to-business marketing, marketing of innovations and new product development, and marketing and law.

AHDr. Annette Hernandez Uddameri

Whitacre College of Engineering
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor Dr. Annette Hernandez Uddameri serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Engineering. Her research interests include sustainable watershed management through the development of scientifically rigorous consensus-driven decision making tools.

DJIDavid J. Isern

Director of Communications & Outreach
Visiting Assistant Professor

Visiting Assistant Professor Mr. David J. Isern serves asthe Director of Communications and Outreach and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, College of Architecture (TTU CoA). As Director of Communications and Outreach, David oversees the communications, branding, social networking, and all printed and digital media for the CoA. From 2014-2016, David was part of the administration team and Coordinator for the 2016 CoA NAAB Digital Accreditation. This accreditation was the first all-in-house digital process in the state of Texas and one of the first of its kind nationwide. The results of this accreditation granted the CoA an eight-year accreditation.

LavarioDr. Miguel Levario

College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of History,
U.S. History, Borderlands History, Race, Immigration, Chicana/Mexican American History

Associate Professor Dr. Miguel A. Levario specializes in U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, with emphasis on the twentieth century. His research focuses on the transnational context of immigration, militarization, and race in the U.S. West and Northern Mexico.

CasadonteAvery Martinez

SGA External Vice President

Avery Martinez is a Political Science major here at Texas Tech University. As SGA's External Vice President, Avery represents the students of Texas Tech to the city of Lubbock, the Texas Tech Alumni Association, the State of Texas, the U.S. Government, and other state and national institutions. Her main goal is to ensure that every Texas Tech student is safe and adequately represented on and off campus.

EMElizabeth Massengale, Ph.D.

Managing Director & Assistant Dean of Students
Parent Relations

Dr. Elizabeth Massengale serves as the Managing Director, Parent and Family Relations and an Assistant Dean of Students. She provides support and guidance for students and families in various capacities throughout their time at Texas Tech University. She has experience with Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Involvement, Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching, and various other Student Affairs projects and programs.

RamirezJorge Ramirez J.D.

School of Law, Associate Dean for International Programs
Walter and Anne Huffman Professor of Law

Professor Jorge Ramirez was admitted to practice in Texas, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas. He also administers the international study abroad programs in Mexico, France, Lithuania, Denmark and Australia. His responsibilities include teaching international law courses at the TTU Summer Law Institute in Guanajuato, Mexico.

SalazarDr. Lauryn Salazar

J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual &Performing Arts
School of Music
Assistant Professor, Musicology
Director, Mariachi Los Matadores de TTU 

Dr. Lauryn Salazar is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on mariachi music in Mexico and the United States and its institutionalization vis-à-vis American academic programs at the primary, secondary, and collegiate levels. Utilizing the frameworks of postcolonial and practice theories, her research explores the ramifications of mariachi's formalization in terms of pedagogy, performance practice, and meaning. She also directs Mariachi Los Matadores a student ensemble of the Vernacular Music Center. When not teaching, she performs regularly as the harpist for the all-female Two-Time Grammy Awarding Winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea based out of Los Angeles. 

SoloskiDr. Kristy Soloski

College of Human Sciences, Dept. of Marriage & Family Therapy

Assistant Professor Dr. Kristy Soloski's research focuses on family processes related to substance use trajectories and culturally sensitive clinical and research practices. Among other courses, she teaches Diversity in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Senior Seminar in Grant Writing.

TappSuzanne Tapp 

Executive Director
Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center

Suzanne Tapp is the Executive Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). Her research interests include organizational development as related to centers for teaching and learning, the Transparency in Learning and Teaching Project (TILT), STEM teaching reform in undergraduate education, and inclusive teaching practices. Suzanne served on the Core Committee (the Board of Directors) for the Professional and Organizational Development Network for Higher Education (POD), and is the past chair and a founding member of the Texas Faculty Development Network. Her most recent publications include a chapter in Adjunct Faculty Voices and articles in journals such as To Improve the Academy, The Journal on Centers of Teaching and Learning, Studies in Graduate and Professional Student Development and the Journal for the Advancement of Marketing Education. 

TindleDr. Kay Tindle  

Office of the Vice President for Research
Managing Director, Research Development Team

Dr. Kay Tindle currently serves as the Managing Director for the Research Development Team (RDT) in the Office of the Vice President for Research. The RDT manages limited submissions competitions, provides editorial services for grant proposals, develops strategies for resubmissions, and offers early-stage proposal development assistance for large-scale, center-like proposals and for new faculty or first time submissions. 

ValleDr. Fernando Valle

College of Education, Dept. of Educational Psychology and Leadership


Associate Professor Dr. Fernando Valle leads $12 million in U.S. Department of Education federal grants including the i3 Innovation and Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) TAP Connect National Pilot and the LIFT Program which seek to improve classroom practice, instructional coaching and instructional leadership. Dr. Valle collaborates with scholars nationally to mentor and develop Latina/o Leaders and research Latina/os across the Educational Leadership pipeline.

WilkinsonDr. Kent Wilkinson

College of Media & Communication; Dept. of Journalism & Electronic Media
Director, Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication

Dr. Kent Wilkinson's research focuses on international communication, Hispanic-oriented media in the U.S., and Hispanic health communication. He studies how language, culture and economics interact in national, regional and global media markets.

WongDr. Aliza Wong

Honors College, Associate Dean
Director of European Studies

Dr. Wong is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of European Studies. She is also the co-director and co-founder of the Open Teaching Concept: Teaching Diversity Across the Curriculum Program at Texas Tech. Dr. Wong is a specialist in modern Italian history with a concentration on southern question discourse, race, nationalism, and identity.

AGDr. Ashley Gonzales

Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Dr. Ashley Gonzales is responsible for contributing to the development of diversity engagement and learning experiences for students, faculty, and staff from multiple colleges and departments and to provide inter-professional practice and educational leadership that will enhance inclusion and diversity for the greater Texas Tech University community and beyond. In addition, the Director represents the unit, division and university partnerships and initiatives related to the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.