CAMPOS Leadership

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Mary Lou de Leon Siantz

UC Davis ADVANCE CAMPOS Initiative Founding Director and Social Sciences Research Initiative Co-Investigator, Professor of Nursing

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz is a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. She is nationally recognized for her interdisciplinary efforts to prepare health professionals for leadership and policy, and internationally respected for her research in migrant health. As a professor at the School of Nursing, de Leon Siantz teaches, conducts research and mentors students in leadership policy and population health.Her research most recently focused on the impact of migration on the health and development of Hispanic migrant/immigrant children and families.Her current research, funded through the Office of Minority Health Department of Health and Human Service, focuses on the development of educational strengths of Hispanic immigrant adolescents and the promotion of their reproductive awareness.

De Leon Siantz is the associate director of the Community Engagement and Research Program of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center. This program connects health researchers with communities of all kinds to ensure discoveries are translated into real-world interventions. She is also an affiliated faculty member with the Migration and Health Research Center, a collaboration between the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses that is dedicated to conducting research to improve the health of migrant populations in California and around the globe.

Raquel Aldana

Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity, Professor of Law

Aldana joined UC Davis in July 2017 to serve as the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Academic Diversity. In this role, she has led important initiatives such as the institutionalization of ADVANCE, serving as Co-Chair of the Hispanic Serving Institution Taskforce, and collaborating with faculty, deans, administrative units, and alumni to promote the integration of all who bring multicultural perspectives and contributions to their research, teaching and service at UC Davis. 
AVC Aldana came to UC Davis after 17 years as a Law professor during which she instituted service learning initiatives to provide legal services to immigrants, created study abroad programs to instill the values and attitudes of intercultural sensitivity into cross-cultural lawyering, and produced engaged scholarship focused on transitional justice, rule of law reforms in Post-conflict societies and Immigrant rights. 
AVC Aldana is an immigrant from Central America (Guatemala and El Salvador) and a first generation college student. Her mentors and the civil rights struggles of many allowed her to graduate from Harvard Law School and to dedicate her career to creating meaningful access into higher education for others.

Cheryl Herrera

Program Analyst, Vice Chancellor’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion  

Cheryl HerreraCheryl Herrera has over 30 years of experience in postsecondary education administration including serving as an Assistant Dean, Assistant Professor of Public Administration, and Director of Student Academic Services; 25 of her years of experience were at Arizona State University.

She completed her Ph.D. at Arizona State University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at California State University, Stanislaus. Her research interests lie in the area of student success and persistence, and student diversity and equity. She has published articles in Research in Higher Education Journal, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. She competed successfully for a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA, almost $1 million) and contributed to the grant that funds the American Indian Students United for Nursing (ASUN) scholarship program.

As an Assistant Professor, Faculty Associate, and Instructor Cheryl has taught courses such as the Student Success Seminar, Public Policy Analysis, and Law and Society.

Cheryl has two daughters and a daughter-in-law. Her oldest daughter is a Public Finance attorney for Orrick in San Francisco, and her wife is an Environmental Law attorney for Holland & Knight. Her youngest daughter is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for Arion Care Solutions in Phoenix.

Cheryl enjoys reading, hiking, SCUBA diving, music, and good food, beer and wine.

Thomas O'Donnell


Tom first started working on diversity and inclusion issues at UC Davis in May 2015 when he was recruited to a be graduate student researcher on the Chancellor's Strategic Initiative for Diversity and Inclusion Task Force that culminated with the publication of a comprehensive report in 2017 and the creation of the Vice Chancellor's Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He currently works as a part-time analyst in that office providing policy research and project management. Tom also designed and maintains the office's website.

Tom is also a part-time instructor at Sierra College where he teaches classes on American women's history and the survey courses in American history.

He received is Ph.D. in history from UC Davis in 2018.

Rosa Deniz

Executive Assistant