Texas Tech Committee on Achieving HSI Status

President Schovanec's charge to the HSI 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.

HSI Committee Members:


Dr. Elizabeth A. Sharp

Chair, HSI Committee
Interim Vice President Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dr. Elizabeth Sharp is the Interim Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Professor of Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS). She is the past-chair of TTU's Gender Equity Council and co-founder of the Women's Faculty Writing Program. Dr. Sharp's research focuses on ideologies of romance and families and how these cultural ideologies interface with individual's social identities (e.g., gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic class). Her work has been published in HDFS, sociology, psychology, and family therapy journals and cited by media worldwide, including the New York Times, the Toronto Star and Women@Forbes, and was featured on the London School of Economics and Political Science website.


Dr. 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.


Dr. 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.

DeleonEsther Deleon

University Libraries

Esther Medina De Leon 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 Leon 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).


Dr. 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.


David 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.


Dr. 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.

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.


Dr. 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.

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.


Dr. 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.


Dr. Ashley Gonzales

Senior Director
Office of First Generation Transition & Mentoring Programs and Office of Academic Enrichment

Dr. Ashley Gonzales is responsible for the oversight of academic and social program implementation, the recruitment and retention of First Generation College students, and continued community partnerships for the advancement of AVID in Higher Education through the Office of Academic Enrichment.


Paul Ruiz, J.D.

Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Senior Administrator

Paul's primary responsibility for the Division is faculty diversity training and compliance, as well as operation of The National Registry of Diverse & Strategic Faculty, an online database of candidates seeking teaching positions in higher education. Paul also handles special projects assigned by the Vice President of The Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.