Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Work Group
Aramina Vega Ferrer, Ph.D., is a long-time Bronx resident and former associate professor of Literacy and Multilingual Studies in the School of Education at Mercy College where she prepared teacher candidates for advanced certificates and the M.S. in Teaching Literacy. She views the teaching and learning of reading and writing as complex processes best examined through a sociolinguistic lens that takes into account the cultural and linguistic experiences of students and their families in the home.
Dr. Frances Wills served for six years as Superintendent of Schools in Putnam Valley, New York, after spending three years as a consultant and Coordinator of Professional Development for Pace University's School of Education. She retired in June 2010 as Superintendent of Schools in Briarcliff Manor, New York where she served for 16 years. The Briarcliff Manor community recognized her contributions by naming the auditorium in her honor.
Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D. was appointed as a Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, in 2010. He serves as Centro’s Director of Education. Dr. Reyes has served as assistant professor in various education departments, including Lehman, Hunter, Brooklyn and Baruch Colleges, CUNY, and at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Dr. Reyes earned a B.A. in Spanish Literature from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (1967), an M.A. in Spanish Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont (1971), and a Ph.D.
Elizabeth S. Hakanson is Regent of the University of the State of New York for the 5th Judicial District encompassing the counties of Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego. She resides in Onondaga County.
Nan Eileen Mead has been an education advocate for two decades. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she began her work as an assistant coach and mentor on the speech and debate team there, where many of her students hailed from immigrant families. Ms. Mead also served for eight years on the Bronx Science Alumni Board of Trustees, where she advocated for low-income students to have access to continuous funding for nationally competitive speech and debate activity. More recently, Ms.
Beverly L. Ouderkirk was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents on March 10, 2015 for a five-year term effective April 1, 2015. She proudly represents the students, educators, parents, and communities within the eleven counties comprising the major geographic portion of the North Country. Regent Ouderkirk brings to her appointment over fifty years of experience in public education in New York State.
Judith J. Chin was elected by joint session of the Legislature to the Board of Regents to a three-year term (March 10, 2015 - March 31, 2018) and re-elected (April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2023) as the Regent representing the borough of Queens, the 11th Judicial District.
Josephine Victoria Finn was first appointed to a 5-year term on the New York State Board of Regents effective April 1, 2014 and elected to a second 5-year term effective April 1, 2019. At the June 2021 Board of Regents meeting, she was unanimously elected by her peers to be Vice Chancellor effective June 8, 2021. Vice Chancellor Finn graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta receiving a B.A. in Psychology and Black Studies and from the University of Buffalo Law School where she received a J.D.
Ruth B. Turner was appointed to the New York State Board of Regents for a one-year term effective March 2, 2021. Regent Turner graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester receiving a B.S. in Social Work and a MSW from University of Buffalo. She also holds a M.S. in Ed. from SUNY Brockport. She is a licensed Clinical Social Worker who has served the profession for over 24 years.
James E. Cottrell, M.D. was elected by a joint session of the Legislature to a three-year term as an At-Large Member of the New York State Board of Regents.