CHSS Welcomes Equity Advisors, Inclusive Excellence Advisory Council

by Anne Reynolds

CHSS Equity Advisors

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce that it has hired two CHSS equity advisors for academic year 2021-22: Xiaomei Cai, associate professor in the Department of Communication, and Cesar Rebellon, professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society (CLS).

The equity advisors are part-time faculty fellow positions created as a part of the college’s inclusive excellence plan and the university’s Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence initiative in order to build more robust support for anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and civility in CHSS. The equity advisors will support the CHSS inclusive faculty search process for active searches in AY 2021-2022, support faculty mentorship and professional development activities in CHSS and at the university, and serve as facilitators for connecting CHSS community members to resources regarding anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, and civility.  

Dr. Cai has substantial leadership experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Mason and in the community. Recently, she served on the University Policies and Practices Committee, one of the ARIE task force subcommittees, and as the secretary of the Faculty Equity and Inclusion Committee. She has agreed to serve as the newly formed Mason Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group program coordinator. In the community, she recently served as a judge for the northern Virginia AAPI essay contest among local K-12 students. 

Dr. Rebellon came to Mason about a year ago from the University of New Hampshire and has served in DEI leadership roles since arriving at Mason; he is currently the chair of the CLS DEI committee. At UNH, he worked for more than 10 years with the McNair Scholars Program—which supports students who are either first-generation college students with financial need or members of a group that has been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education—as a member of the executive committee and a senior advisor. Dr. Rebellon brings to the equity advisor role expertise as a sociologist and criminologist. 

CHSS Inclusive Excellence Council 

The college’s Inclusive Excellence (IE) Advisory Council was created to provide comprehensive feedback and engagement on the CHSS IE plan goals and related implementation efforts. The committee represents term, adjunct, tenure track, and tenured faculty; staff; alumni; undergraduate students; and graduate students. The team, which meets approximately once a month, actively contributes to creating CHSS IE planning, reviews written documents related to IE, reaches out to their colleagues for information and feedback on IE planning, and represents a variety of perspectives. Members serve for a two-year term, with some members only serving for the AY 2021-22 term. 

The members of the college’s inaugural IE Advisory Council are:

  • Afra Ahmad, BA Psychology ‘08, MA ’12, PhD ’16; Department of Psychology
  • Anu Aneja, Women and Gender Studies Program
  • Aziza Bayou, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  • Charles Chavis, Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • Cher Chen, School of Integrative Studies
  • Michael Davis, BIS ‘09
  • Austin Deray, Cultural Studies Program
  • Isidore Dorpenyo, Department of English
  • Sarah Holland, CHSS Dean’s Office
  • Holly Mason, Department of English 
  • Stacey Remick-Simkins, Department of English
  • Colleen Sweet, Department of Modern and Classical Languages
  • Gabi Tayac, Department of History and Art History