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Diversity & Inclusion
President's Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council

The President's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council was created by President Drinan in 2008-2009 to provide her with advice and consultation; to set priorities; shape strategies; and integrate diversity and inclusion principles in all facets of the College.

"The PDIAC addresses topics that are tightly woven throughout Simmons's mission, goals and strategic plans. I established the PDIAC to underscore the importance of this work, and to bring to the table many of the leaders upon whom we rely to carry it out…We are building momentum and I greatly look forward to further implementing the plans we have underway, while taking a disciplined approach to tracking our progress." — President Helen Drinan


  • President Helen Drinan
  • Gary Bailey, Professor of Practice, School of Social Work, & Vice-Chair
  • Anne-Marie Barron, Associate Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Joel Blanco-Rivera, Assistant Professor, Grad. School, Library & Information Science
  • Katie Conboy, Provost and Senior Vice President, & Chair
  • Andrew Effrat, Associate Provost
  • Daphne Harrington, Library Director
  • Jennifer Herman, Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching
  • Cheryl Howard, Vice President for Marketing & Admission
  • Jennifer Kilson-Page, Diversity & Inclusion Practice Leader
  • Cathy Minehan, Dean, School of Management
  • Sarah Neill, Dean of Student Life
  • Catherine Paden, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Regina Sherwood, Vice President, Talent and Human Capital Strategy, HR
  • Lisa Smith-McQueenie, Associate Dean of Student Life

The President's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (PDIAC) sponsors the SimmonsPalooza. Faculty, students, and staff are invited to submit requests (by November 1) for financial resources in support of new and existing activities advancing the SimmonsPalooza goals:

  • To celebrate Simmons's history of increasing inclusiveness – and the ongoing struggle, at Simmons, in the United States, and the world, for social justice and inclusion.
  • To bring together, highlight, and support existing and new diversity and inclusion programs and activities of the College.
  • To build ongoing celebrations of Simmons's social activism into the traditions of the College
  • To create a greater sense of community and student-centeredness.