Diversity Advisory Council

2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops 2019 Slam Poetry Workshops


The Diversity Advisory Council is made up of prominent leaders from local community and industry partners, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Lennox International, BB&T Bank, GXA Networks, The Gatson Group, HEB, AT&T, Ericsson, Nordstrom, and other Dallas-area businesses. In support of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and the University’s goals and strategic initiatives, the members of the Council provide guidance through financial support, awareness and advocacy, and expertise in diversity and inclusion.

Meeting and Council Priorities

The Diversity Advisory Council meets about six times a year to discuss diversity related trends and practices, and tackle such priorities as:

  • The Support of students through scholarships, internships, and professional development workshops
  • Contribution to Comet Giving Day and other university-related financial campaigns
  • Participation in other ODCE and University-wide events
  • Current Council Members

    Chris Bhatti Chris Bhatti
    University of Texas at Dallas
    Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations

    Chris Bhatti is Assistant Dean for The Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas. Chris holds a Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University a Master's from ...[Read more]

    Sonia Quirino Canales Sonia Quirino Canales
    Diversity and Inclusion Manager

    Sonia Quirino Canales is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager for H-E-B where she develops, implements and manages the company’s diversity and inclusion programming and strategies that align with H-E-B’s business goals....[Read more]

    Helen Dorsey Helen Dorsey
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas(BCBSTX)
    Community Outreach Specialist

    At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Helen is responsible for employee engagement and volunteer initiatives for the state of Texas. Her professional background includes over 10 years of experience in both corporate and the non-profit sector. ...[Read more]

    Vanessa Fernandes Vanessa Fernandes
    General Manager

    Vanessa is a transformative retail sales leader. She leads Nordstrom store sales in the nations 5th largest market.Vanessa has been with Nordstrom for 19 years and her journey with the company is extensive - ...[Read more]

    Felicia Johnson Felicia Johnson
    The Gatson Group
    Founder and Managing Director

    Felicia Johnson is the Founder and Managing Director of The Gatson Group, a Diversity & Inclusion consulting firm specializing in translating diversity & inclusion strategic goals into practical results....[Read more]

    Dr. Alicia Makaye Dr. Alicia Makaye
    GXA Network Solution
    Vice President/Founder

    Dr. Alicia Makaye (the "A" in GXA) is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of GXA Network Solutions, an IT Solutions provider that helps other businesses take command and control of their IT. ...[Read more]

    Mei Miao Mei Miao
    BB&T Bank
    SVP/ Regional Multicultural Banking Officer

    Born and raised in Taiwan, Mei earned her degree in Banking & Insurance in Taiwan and later graduated from University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting....[Read more]

    Laura Ramirez Laura Ramirez
    Human Resources, Ericsson
    Director, Diversity & Inclusion

    Laura is responsible for Ericsson North America’s Diversity and Inclusion corporate strategy. Her efforts around D&I help to elevate employee engagement, employee experience, external brand, attracting diverse talent and retaining talent....[Read more]

    Drew Walls Drew Walls
    Collins Aerospace
    Pr. Supportability Engineer

    Drew C. Walls is a Pr. Supportability Engineer at Collins Aerospace. Drew holds a Master's degree from the Air Force Institute in Avionics and a Bachelor's degree in Computer Programming from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC....[Read more]

    Kathy Weaver Kathy Weaver
    Lennox International
    Director, HR/Talent Acquisition

    Kathy Weaver is a Global Human Resources Strategic Business Partner and Business Transformation Leader who helps companies implement strategic and innovative Human Resources solutions ...[Read more]

    Mohammed Farshori
    Director – Community Engagement
    Corporate Social Responsibility