Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Antonio Farias serves as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion responsible for driving and developing initiatives that build on and advance CU Denver’s commitment to equity and justice. Antonio joined CU Denver from the University of Florida, where he served as its inaugural Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the President. There he oversaw university-wide efforts to advance The Big I.D.E.A! - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access. Antonio worked closely with cabinet members, deans, and a network of campus diversity liaisons embedded in the leadership teams of each college and business unit, who advanced I.D.E.A. within their respective micro-cultures.
Antonio was previously Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at Wesleyan University and, before that, the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Antonio has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Riverside. He worships his daughter, re-energizes through a plant-based diet, runs ultra-marathons to test the limits of WHY, fly fishes to commune with the divine, and believes failure is the greatest teacher. He is currently failing to publish his first novel.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Dr. Samuel Kim (he/him/his) currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver). He is a proud first-generation college student, an immigrant and an English-language learner who was raised in Garden Grove, California. Dr. Kim has over 19 years of progressive professional experience working in higher education in the areas of Student Affairs, Student Support Services, DEI, and Housing and Residential Education. He joined the CU Denver team in October 2010 and has been recognized for his leadership in Student Life, TRIO Programs, launching the Lynx Center, implementing mandatory first-year orientation, and serving as the Director of Asian American Student Services. More recently, he was a part of the leadership team that was instrumental in obtaining the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander – Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) designation, propelling CU Denver to become the first university in the Rocky Mountain region to earn the designation and to receive a $1.8 million grant. Dr. Kim received his Ed.D. in Leadership for Educational Equity from CU Denver (Go Lynx!) and earned both his B.S. and MPH degrees from the University of Northern Colorado (Go Bears!). To balance the demands of work and life, Dr. Kim spends time with his family, enjoys watching movies and volunteers in his community.
Executive Director of Grants, Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Terry assists CII staff and other CU Denver staff and faculty applying for equity-focused grants with research, proposal writing, and project budget development. During his ten years at CU Denver, Terry has also served as the Executive Director of the National Veterans Training Institute and the National Learning Center which prepared employment specialists and Navy career counselors to assist veterans and sailors transitioning to civilian life with employment and education plans. Previously he developed and taught workforce development courses at Michigan State University, administered an employee skill center while at Mott Community College in Flint, MI, and served as an education counselor for first-generation and adult learners while at the University of Michigan.
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Kerri Clarke serves as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to her role in the Office for DEI, she was the Operations Coordinator for the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education, including Stevens Institute of Technology and Seton Hall University, specializing in student support services and event management. She grew up in Cleveland Ohio and attended Seton Hall University for her undergraduate degree.
Program Director, Asian American Student Services
Soyon Bueno serves as the Director of Asian American Student Services at the University of Colorado Denver. She has over 20 years of experience in higher education specializing in recruitment, retention, advising, diversity training, and student support services. She enjoys her role in helping students get engaged on campus and providing cultural programming that raises awareness about the diversity and richness of Asian American Pacific Islander experience and history. Throughout Soyon's professional career, she has been an equity champion, examining processes and policies that can uplift or hinder student success. She is an immigrant from South Korea but grew up in a predominantly Latinx community. She is proud to be a Denver Public School graduate from North High School and attended Colorado College for her undergraduate degree and Colorado State University for her master's degree.
Ken English serves as the Program Director of Black Student Services. Originally from Georgia, Ken mostly grew up in Denver and is proud alumnus of DPS, graduating from George Washington High School. Ken completed his B.A. at CU Boulder, followed by an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Immediately after college Ken began working in higher education out of a desire to help and encourage students to have a successful academic career. For over two decades Ken’s career has spanned many facets of higher education at both the community college and large university level, from recruiting and admissions to advising to student programs. Over the years Ken has narrowed his focus to helping those students most in need of support, whether that is international students, nontraditional students, or first generation and students of color. Ken’s passion to help those from similar backgrounds stems from his own experiences in K-12, his college years, and as a professional in higher education. A constant throughout his professional life has been discovering and creating pathways for black student success in higher education.
Office Manager, Center for Identity & Inclusion
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Mary Lassiter serves as the office manager for CII, USS, and WGC. She is a past recipient of the President's Diversity Award for outstanding contributions to diversity. This award recognizes significant achievements of faculty, staff, students, and academic or administrative units in developing a culturally and intellectually diverse university community reflective of inclusive excellence. Outside of her CII, HR, and Fiscal duties, Mary enjoys being with her esteemed colleagues, students, family, music, and quilting. As a quilt artist, two of her quilts "Color My World With Peace…Please" and "Gullah Hands" were showcased in The Human Touch Journal (2011 and 2019)… a publication of the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, and have been exhibited in several venues including the Fulginiti Gallery Foyer.
CII Leadership Coordinator
Born in Florida, CII Leadership Coordinator Marcia Maxson moved to Colorado when she emancipated from the foster care system. Maxson is a CU Denver alum who has been an enormous support for many students across the campus while working in Admissions, Student Life, and the School of Education and Human Development. Maxson is passionate about social justice and committed to creating equitable pathways for students through sustainable solutions. When Maxson’s not supporting students or conducting research, you can find her scoping out local farmers’ markets, volunteering at food justice organizations, or trying to get lost somewhere in nature. She loves enjoying loose leaf tea, paddle boarding, and traveling.
Coordinator for Undocumented Student Services and Interim Program Director, Latinx Student Services
Estéfani Peña Figueroa was born in Guatemala and came to the United States when she was 7 years old. She has been part of the Auraria Campus for 11+ years as an alumna of the Community College of Denver and the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Estéfani is the first-ever Undocumented Student Resource Coordinator at CU Denver. As an Undocumented Latina with the privileges of DACA and first-generation college graduate, she is very passionate about advocating, supporting, and elevating her immigrant community. She is committed to centralizing immigrant students' voices and lived experiences and aims to spread awareness of the resources, services, and programming available for immigrant background students. When Estéfani is not looking for innovative ways to support students or her community, you can find her swimming, dancing, singing, exploring the outdoors, cooking, and taking care of her cats, parakeets, and plantitas.
Program Director, of Women & Gender Student Services
CII Women & Gender Student Services Director Jill Rubin has been on a path of gender unlearning and reimagination in university settings for the past six years. A graduate of Florida Atlantic and Boston University, Rubin is passionate about disrupting hierarchies through lifting and centering student voices and ideas. With experience teaching women's studies and sexual health courses, collaborating with women's non-governmental organizations, and organizing women & gender programming, Rubin excels at making hard conversations accessible, necessary resources available, and gender education fun! When Rubin's not working, she enjoys cuddling her butterscotch pit mix, Maggie, trying new foods, and exploring the city.
Program Director, American Indian Student Services and Special Assistant for Indigenous Affairs
Dr. White Eagle is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who was raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation. As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. White Eagle's work and research is centered around Indigenous youth, furthering their educational opportunities, and retention efforts in higher education. Her work currently is aimed at recognizing and honoring each of our Indigenous peoples' historic struggles, culturally sustaining, and educational experiences.