Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Angie Tissi-Gassoway

Angie Tissi-Gassoway

Interim Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer

Converse 106

Pronouns: she/they

Angie Tissi-Gassoway serves as the Interim Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer. Reporting to the President, Angie is responsible for ensuring the implementation and assessment of the strategic and critical work of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College. Angie leads a team of DEI scholars and practitioners that work collaboratively across the College to examine and address barriers and inequities faced by our collective community. She is responsible for providing strategic leadership and supporting initiatives that cultivate community and foster a culture of inclusive excellence for students, staff and faculty. Additionally, Angie works directly with the President and senior staff to ensure the goals and actions of the College's Anti-Racism Plan are being met.

Prior to Angie’s interim appointment, they served as the Associate Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion and has been an integral part of the College's implementation of various DEI policies and initiatives. Angie earned a Master of Education in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health degrees from Oregon State University. She has worked in higher education, focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion, for almost 20 years. 

Dina R. Levi

Dina R. Levi

Director of Workforce Equity and Inclusive Leadership

Converse Hall

Pronouns: she/her

Dina Levi serves as the Director of Inclusive Leadership. Dina brings a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice, and for helping organizations create a culture shift towards one of intentional inclusion. Dina works collaboratively to bring strategic alignment that supports Amherst’s overall D&I mission and vision through development of personal cultural competency, inclusive leadership, and community engagement. Dina provides overall leadership and management of the Amherst Fellows Program and general assistant and support of diversity and inclusion training and development. Dina works to create infrastructure around diversity and inclusive leadership development across all segments of the employee community.

Rosemary Effiom

Rosemary Effiom

Director, MMUF Program and Academic Engagement & Student Success

Pronouns: she/her  

Ms. Effiom has extensive experience working with college programs that cross academic disciplines and continues to serve as a resource for students and alumni contemplating graduate school.

At Bowdoin College, Ms. Effiom managed and coordinated all aspects of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, designed and administered an MMUF summer residential research training program, and established a distinguished MMUF Faculty Advisory Committee. In her role as pre-graduate school advisor,  she created an advising network that paired students applying to graduate school with alumni in PhD programs. Ms. Effiom also coordinated the Faculty and Chamberlain Scholarships. 

At Stony Brook University, Ms. Effiom managed and coordinated university-wide nomination process for major award applications, and assisted undergraduate students with obtaining competitive international fellowships, scholarships, and awards. She Co-chaired the Undergraduate Recognition Awards in Academic Excellence or Outstanding Achievement, Coordinated the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence, coordinated university and departmental honors, and the valedictorian selection process, and coordinated faculty participation in several admissions events, including Admissions Open House, Parents Day, and Admitted Student Seminars.

She is the recipient of several awards including the Sister Margaret Ann Landry RSHM Life Time Achievement Advisor Award (Campus Life Awards); Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Outstanding service to the University as Director of Fellowships; Student Choice Award; Best Academic/Pre-Professional Advisor and Mentor; British Marshall Recognition Award given by the British Marshall Scholarship Foundation; Honorary Membership Award, Golden Key International Honor Society; Admissions Office Staff Appreciation Award; and Certificate of Parent Appreciation-Stony Brook University Child Care Services.

Suzanne Belleci

Suzanne Belleci

Director of the Center for Restorative Practices

Suzanne Belleci has been teaching conflict transformation, social justice, cross-cultural communication, and leadership courses at SIT for 18 years. She served as SIT’s first ombudsperson, bringing groups together, facilitating restorative circles for conflict resolution, and mediating one-on-one disputes. She has also taught global peacebuilding, conflict analysis, conflict Interventions, and restorative justice practices to international students in an SIT graduate certificate program.

For more than 20 years, Susie has led workshops and trainings for peacebuilders in conflict and post-conflict zones in Iraq, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Israel, and Palestine. She has also led trainings for youth from Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, and the United States. She served in the office of Senator Nick Petris, in Oakland, California, as an aide and advocate in the most economically depressed city in the wealthiest state in the union. In this role, she worked on legislation to create universal healthcare and represented the senator in the district for the 10 months each year that he was in the Capitol. Continuing her work in advocacy, Susie was the developer and director of Jardin de Maestros, a program to create pathways for students of color to become teachers in the very districts in which they were raised and have their roots. She was a teacher and trainer for years in Madrid, Spain; Dijon France; Florence, Italy; Porto and Lisbon, Portugal; Jenin, Palestine; and Pohnpei Island in the Federated States of Micronesia and was the associate director of world studies at Marlboro College. Currently, she is the director of the Greater Falls Community Justice Center in Southern Vermont and teaches Restorative Practices at Vermont Law School.

Married to a Dane, Susie spends her summers in Denmark with her husband and young son. When not working and mothering, Susie enjoys vegetarian cooking, reading with her son, picking fresh tomatoes from her garden, swimming in the summer, and Nordic skiing in the winter.

Fabio A. Ayala

Fabio A. Ayala

Assistant Director of the Center for Restorative Practices

Pronouns: he/him

Fabio Arnaldo Ayala is the Assistant Director for the Center for Restorative Practices at Amherst College. He joins our community with rich experience in school and college-based restorative practices, conflict transformation, group facilitation, and training. With two undergraduate degrees in Spanish Studies and Religious Education from Andrews University, and a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Peacebuilding & Conflict Transformation from SIT Graduate Institute Fabio has committed himself to being a life learner and reflective practitioner.

Prior to joining Amherst College, Fabio served neurodivergent learners at Landmark College as their Assistant Director for Student Conduct & Community Standards and Residential Dean. During this time Fabio was able to put into practice his training in circle facilitation, program development, and community building with the goal of creating more inclusive and restorative spaces on campus. 

Fabio’s professional journey also brought him to work with the Greater Falls Community Justice Center in Bellows Falls, Vermont where he served as a restorative practices’ trainer, community conflict mediator, youth advocate, and circle facilitator. Through his work at the GFCJC Fabio was able to complete his master’s thesis which centered around understanding how circles can be used as a tool for male-identifying teens to reflect on, and engage with, their masculinity with the hopes of cultivating a more nuanced view of masculinity and its expression. In May 2019 Fabio was able to co-present his restorative practices work on cultivating empathy at the International Institute of Restorative Practices’ European Conference on Community Well-Being & Resilience. 

Fabio grew up in Windsor, Connecticut with deep cultural and familial roots in Puerto Rico. He is a lover of music and nature, avid swimmer, and adventure seeker. He also enjoys tending to his houseplants and spending time with his cat Pippen. His next adventure will be taking on community gardening.

Athri Ranganathan has a great passion for peace building practices and self rejuvenation. Athri's professional journey has taken him from grassroots housing advocacy programs, to English teaching in international schools, to public school teaching in Eastern North Carolina. As a professional individual, he has been trained in open and intentional communication. He has lived in Wilson, NC for most of his life, with stints in Amherst, Atlanta, the Moravian region of the Czech Republic. Athri has traveled to India several times growing up, and has family members in Allahabad and Chennai.
 
He values family and faith and finds truth in different ways of living. He loves music and grew up playing classical music on the violin, taking lessons for twenty years. Athri enjoys reading social, spiritual, and political history, and writing reflections on what he reads. He believes philosophical lessons for life are found in deep and subtle writing and equally in folk tales. Athri enjoys eating home cooking and sweets of all kinds. Athri graduated from Amherst College in 2016, where he was shaped by the peers, staff, and professors he encountered and connected with. He values each individual's story and wants to know people's journeys to the present.
Solsiree Del Moral

Solsiree Del Moral

Professor of American Studies and Black Studies Faculty Equity and Inclusion Officer; Chair of American Studies

Cooper House

Solsiree del Moral is Professor of American Studies and Black Studies at Amherst College. A historian of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Professor Del Moral offers courses that explore the history of African-descended persons throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States. She's published on the history of education and empire (Negotiating Empire, 2013) and is completing a second book on the history of street children and incarceration in twentieth-century Puerto Rico. She is committed to the success of faculty of color in academia and serves as a resource for all faculty who need support. 

Sheila S. Jaswal

Sheila S. Jaswal

Professor of Chemistry; Faculty Equity and Inclusion Officer

Sheila Jaswal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and in the Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics. She teaches Introductory Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Being Human in STEM. Professor Jaswal’s research investigates how proteins fold and move in order to perform critical cellular functions. As FEIO, her goal is to help faculty thrive in scholarship and teaching.

Jenny Allison Citarelli

Jenny Allison Citarelli

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Assistant

Pronouns: she/her

As Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assistant, Jenny Citarelli '14 supports the Office of Workforce Equity and Inclusive Leadership, the MMUF Program, Academic Engagement & Student Success, and the Faculty Equity and Inclusion Officers. Her position includes management of the Inclusive Hiring program, data collection and analysis, workshop and event coordination, and general administrative support. Jenny is also a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at the Hartt School, University of Hartford. She is committed to support of equity-oriented initiatives in academia as an assistant, scholar, and artist. 

Carolyn Coulter

Carolyn Coulter

Assistant to the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer

Carolyn Coulter serves as the Assistant to the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. Prior to joining Amherst College, Carolyn worked as a paralegal and marketing manager for the law firm of Bacon Wilson, P.C., and also as a gift planning officer at Mount Holyoke College. Originally from New York City (and later, Vermont), Carolyn came to the Valley in the mid-90s to attend college, earning her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.