Staff

Photo of Dr. Roger Worthington

Roger L. Worthington, Ph.D.
Executive Director | pronouns: he/him/his
E-mail: rlw@umd.edu

Roger L. Worthington is the founder and executive director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education, where he served as department chair from 2014 to 2017. He is the immediate past editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. He served as the Interim Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at UMD (2017-2018) in the wake of the murder of Second Lt. Richard Collins, III. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association with scholarship focused on diversity in higher education, multicultural counseling competencies, sexual identity development, and difficult dialogues teaching and learning.

Dr. Worthington was a founding member of the board of directors for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE; 2006-2011), and he co-authored the NADOHE Standards of Professional Practice for CDOs (2014; with Christine Stanley and William Lewis). He was the recipient of three prestigious grants from the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative (2006-2011). He was also the founding chair of the board of directors for the Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center.

Prior to arriving at UMD, he was a professor at the University of Missouri (1997-2014) with a joint appointment in the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. He also served as the Assistant Deputy Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Missouri (2006-2011). His first faculty appointment was at Boston College (1994-1997).

Dr. Worthington was a licensed psychologist in Missouri (1999-2015) and he has taught courses to undergraduate and graduate students on ethics and law for professional psychology, counseling and interpersonal skills, research design, measurement, multicultural counseling, and difficult dialogues teaching and learning. He is a nationally recognized scholar and higher education consultant on issues of diversity in counseling and education. He has won numerous awards for academic, service, and teaching excellence. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology in 1995 from the University of California at Santa Barbara. 

 

Photo of Dr. Candace Moore

Candace M. Moore, Ph.D.
Director & Affiliate Faculty | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: cmmoore@umd.edu

Dr. Candace M. Moore is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, International Education Policy (HESI) program and Director of the Center for the Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (CDIHE). She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining UMD, she served on the faculty in the College Student Affairs Administration program at the University of Georgia. Dr. Moore also was the program coordinator and co-developer of the Student Affairs Leadership Ed.D. program.

Dr. Moore's research agenda is two tiered with a focus on: 1) Qualitative research methodologies—critical research; narrative research; epistemological pathways, and 2) Inclusive campus environments—Black student identity development; student success at historically Black colleges and universities; LGBTQ student development; student athlete transitions; contingent faculty development; student affairs practice in tertiary education within the context of Ghana, West Africa.

As a former student affairs administrator, Dr. Moore is committed to educating, learning from others, and promoting inclusive education environments in higher education. It is important for her to bring her practical skills to the classroom, informing an intentional pathway of applying theory to practice in higher education/student affairs spaces. Moreover, her engagement with higher education in Ghana, West Africa is supported through study abroad programs and a newly formed research agenda related to student affairs practice in Ghanaian higher education. Throughout her career, she has presented research at the local, state, regional, and national levels. She is the 2016 recipient of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA) Region III Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award. Currently, she serves a member of the NASPA Faculty Council.

She is thrilled to be a member of the thriving scholar-practitioner community at UMD, committed to advancing a social justice agenda in education and practice.

Photo of Elaine Henry

Elaine Henry
Coordinator | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: ehenry@umd.edu

Elaine Henry is currently a Coordinator in the Counseling, Higher Education, & Special Education Department in the College of Education (COE) at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has played an integral role as a dedicated staff member of the COE for the past 29 years—demonstrating an expertise in administrative tasks and business duties pertaining to programmatic planning and logistics.

Ms. Henry has engaged in managing the operations and functions of previous research centers within the College of Education, such as the Science Teaching Center, which has since been reorganized within the Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) STEM program. During her tenure with the COE, she worked with the International Clearinghouse for the Advancement of Science in coordinating bi-weekly colloquiums and summer institutes that brought together teachers from all around the world connecting and sharing educational practices. Furthermore, Ms. Henry has implemented million-dollar grants for research projects and educational initiatives related to science education, while also creating data deliverables for research articles and academic journals.

Currently, Ms. Henry is providing CDIHE with critical support and coordination of initiatives aiding in the establishment of the Center in its inaugural year. Overall, she enjoys working with faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and students in strategizing, visioning, and implementing the administrative processes that are needed to sustain the many research projects and resources that the COE contributes to the greater academic community.

M. Lacy

Marvette Lacy, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Associate| pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: mlacy@umd.edu

Marvette is a current Postdoctoral Associate in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (CDIHE). She earned her Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining UMD, she served as the Director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

Dr. Lacy is dedicated to centering the voices of those within historically marginalized communities through developing and maintaining power-conscious programs, services, and spaces. Dr. Lacy’s research agenda focuses on using critical theories to explore the influence of social and cultural contexts on the identity development of graduate womxn, the dynamics of power and privilege in sexual violence and response movements, and the intersections of race and gender in student activism. Dr. Lacy has also served in areas of residence life and housing, student conduct, and first-year programs.

Dr. Lacy is the founder of Qual Scholars where she helps doctoral students understand the qualitative research process so that they can successfully complete their dissertations and graduate. 

K. Slay

Kelly Slay, Ph.D
Postdoctoral Associate| pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: kslay@umd.edu

Dr. Kelly Slay is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education at the University of Maryland - College Park. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, her MS in Public Service Management and Higher Education Administration from DePaul University, and her PhD in Higher Education--also from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education, Dr. Slay completed an appointment as an inaugural President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland’s Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy (HESI) program.

Dr. Slay's interdisciplinary research agenda explores issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in post-affirmative action contexts, and is primarily focused in three areas: the implications of campus racial climate for Black students' pathways through higher education; enrollment management policies (admissions, recruitment and financial aid) aimed at improving campus racial and socioeconomic diversity; and racial and gender inequities in STEM at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctorate levels. Her work has appeared in the Review of Higher Education, Educational Policy, and Teachers College Record and she has shared her research with diverse audiences—from academic conferences to policy convenings and community meetings.

Drawing lessons from her background as a first-generation college student and professional experiences in public policy and PK-16 education, Dr. Slay is passionate about connecting research to practice to help cultivate equitable, inclusive and diverse campus environments that improve access and student success.

Dissassa

Di-Tu Dissassa, M.A.
Graduate Assistant | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: dissassa@umd.edu

Di-Tu is a current Ph.D. student in the Student Affairs Program in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education.

Di-Tu graduated with her Master of Arts from the University of Missouri - Kansas City in 2014. There she worked in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) where she assisted incoming and current students in navigating the campus. After completing her graduate degree, she worked at the University of Michigan as a Hall Director. During this time, Di-Tu was involved with training the residential staff by facilitating intergroup dialogues on social identities, allyhood, power, and privilege to help staff create inclusive communities.

Di-Tu currently works as a Graduate Assistant in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (CDIHE) and her research interest are hate crimes/bias incidents on college campuses and diversity in STEM. Di-Tu is committed to her goals of lifelong learning and helping spread the importance of intercultural development of students to create global change.

A.Hixson

Ashley Hixson, MSW, MBA
Graduate Research Assistant | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: ahixson@umd.edu

Ashley is a second year doctoral student in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy Program with a concentration in Student Affairs.

Ashley attended Georgia Southern University for her undergraduate studies, University of South Carolina for her MSW, and University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) for her MBA. Ashley also worked at UM-Flint in many different functional areas. During Ashley’s time at UM-Flint, she served as an academic advisor and career counselor, coordinator for a conditional admit program, the program manager for retention and transition where she was responsible for orientation operations and new student programming, oversaw and executed the intercultural center programming, and taught as a lecturer in the Social Work Department. Ashley has also worked with TRIO Programs as a retention specialist for TRIO Student Support Services.

In addition to working in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (CDIHE), Ashley currently serves as a graduate coordinator and teaches in the Leadership Studies Program. Her previous graduate assistantship was with the Robert H. Smith School of Business Office of Careers Services. Her professional and scholarly interests include leadership and strategic planning around diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, the experiences of Black women in the academy, technology utilization for engagement and retention strategies, and Higher Education/Student Affairs career pathways for professionals of color.

S. Sabihi

Sama Sabihi
Graduate Research Assistant | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: ssabihi@umd.edu

Sama is a second year master's student in the Student Affairs concentration at University of Maryland, College Park. She grew up in Ohio, where she later received her undergraduate degree in neuroscience from Ohio State University. Sama now serves as the graduate coordinator for outreach and recruitment with the Women in Engineering program at Maryland. In addition to her work and academics, her current research interests include studying Middle Eastern identity development, women in STEM, and religion on campus. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new food, exploring neighborhoods, and meeting new friends!

J. Towsend

Jalah Townsend
Graduate Research Assistant | pronouns: she/her/hers
E-mail: jtownse4@umd.edu

Jalah is a current M.A. student in the Student Affairs program in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education.

Jalah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University in 2019. There, she worked in the Office of Housing and Residence Life where she assisted first year students in the transition to campus and trained student leaders on how to become effective Resident Advisors. In August of 2019, Jalah completed research on the impact of identity-centered organizations on the transition of first year Black students.

Currently, Jalah works as a Graduate Academic Advisor in the Office of Letters and Sciences and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education (CDIHE). Her research interests include the experiences of students of color at predominantly white institutions and the impact of language at these institutions.