Illustration of women of different races with a purple background and the words "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Celebrates Women's History Month."

Women's History Month DEI Champions

“DEI Champions”

We asked the chairs of our volunteer Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and Administrative Advisory Committees (AACs) to nominate a “DEI Champion” during this Women’s History Month. These volunteers exemplify the principles of community through tireless efforts to elevate the mission of DEI.

There are so many of you who do invaluable behind-the-scenes work to support and elevate each other and the community. We are grateful for each and every one of you. 

Our 2023 Women's DEI Champions:

Mayté Frías, PhD

Senior Research Associate, Student Affairs Assessment

ERG: Latinx Staff & Faculty Association
UCD Years of Service: 11 yrs 8 months

Mayté is a LSFA Board member and started as Historian in June of 2022. She has been a wealth of energy and ideas for the Board this year. She helps out whenever things need to get completed and the first to volunteer to take on additional work. She has helped us stay organized add meeting the needs of our members. Her work helped us grow our membership email list this will an additional 150+ people. Recently the board had a member resigned as co-chair and she was nominated and appointed in the new role. As the new Co-Chair she has been able to make things happen quickly. Within the first month she helped us host a virtual joint meeting with the Health Campus and we had successful breakout room discussions. We then had the chance to met with the Health Campus LSFA Board to discuss future collaborations and how to support both campus communities. I am very honored to be working with Mayté as the Co-Chair to LSFA.


Geniene Geffke

Senior Articulation/ASSIST Data Systems Analyst, Undergraduate Admissions

AAC: Vice Chair of the Disability Issues Administrative Advisory Committee (DIAAC) 
UCD Years of Service: 10 yrs

UC Davis Alumna (2013)

Geniene’s leadership has helped DIAAC to become more responsive to the campus community.  When she served on the DIAAC Training and Professional Development subcommittee she reviewed courses and curriculum offered by Staff Development and Professional Services. Her recommendations prompted an expansion in the use of inclusive language as well as increasing training modalities to ensure equity in the learning process.  She has promoted innovative strategies and tools like Otter, a meeting assistant tool that records audio and transcribes notes to help staff working remotely stay engaged and connected. Geniene's service on DIAAC reflects the values espoused in our Principles of Community.  She is a true Champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Germaine Kennix

Executive Analyst to the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

ERG: African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA)
UCD Years of Service: 20 yrs

As the Executive Analyst to the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Germaine is the glue for many departments, faculty, and staff members. She jumps at the opportunity to support events, whether hands-on or gathering resources. Germaine has helped with advertising, setting up meetings, and connecting AAFSA members with people and departments on campus for various purposes. She makes the time to answer questions and share information that helps diaspora members pursue their goals at UC Davis. She excels at relationship building and helps our community to come together and connect. She highlights opportunities and passes on vital knowledge to others in our community. Germaine is passionate about her job and promoting diversity, togetherness and hope throughout the University of California, Davis


Cheryl Pater

Safety and Training Coordinator, Teaching and Research Animal Care Services, Office of Research

AAC: Status of Women at Davis Administrative Advisory Committee (SWADAAC)
UCD Years of Service: 9 yrs

Our colleague Cheryl has been an intricate part of the SWADAAC for several years, serving as our trusted and diligent scribe for an endless number of monthly meetings - taking detailed meeting minutes, supporting the integrity and sustainability of the committee.  She helped design, plan and market the SWADAAC swag that was given out at a variety of DEI events. She represented SWADAAC, pre-Covid, at previous MLK celebrations in Sacramento, Office of Research Expo, Campus Club events and has always supported SWADAAC as a representative whenever needed. Not only as scribe for the full committee, but she has been part of the marketing sub-committee and was on the original sub-committee that helped create our signature event.


Linda Plutino

Lead Institutional Researcher, Enrollment Management Analytics

ERG: Staff Diversity Administrative Advisory Committee
UCD Years of Service: 8.5 yrs
UC Davis Alumna (2014)

Linda Plutino has bee a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion since becoming a staff member at UC Davis. A ’14 graduate, she is currently the lead institutional researcher for enrollment management analytics. A former vice-chair of the Chancellor’s Committee on LGBTQIA Communities, she drafted  a needs assessment examining LGBT+ perception of campus climate for students, staff and faculty. A past chair of the Staff Diversity Administrative Action Committee (SDAAC), she streamlined processes, enhanced outreach and improved recruitment and retention for needs surrounding diversity education and programming. Additionally, for the past four years she’s also been a grant reviewer for Diversity and Inclusion Innovation that supports ideas of students, faculty and staff to promote and enhance DEI initiatives. Linda continues to be voice and resource and we are proud to highlight her continued contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion.


Pamela Pretell

Student Affairs Officer, for American Studies and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

ERG: Native American Faculty & Staff Association
UCD Years of Service: 7 yrs
UC Davis Alumna (2014)

Pam Pretell has served as the Native American Faculty & Staff Association (NAFSA) Chair and Native American Alumni Association Co-Chair for a number of years. Pam’s service to the campus as a staff member and alumna exemplifies her dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion at UC Davis. As Chair of NAFSA, she has been passionate about uplifting fellow leaders and community members and contributed to creating space for sharing experiences and building connections through NAFSA. Pam has also supported Native American student success and leadership through mentorship and service in her capacity as an alumna/NAAA leader, with significant contributions to supporting the annual UC Davis Powwow. She believes in giving back and uplifting others, especially womxn of color, non-binary, trans, and queer rising student scholars and staff members through her work and service across communities. Pam’s continued work demonstrates her commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.


Nicole Wood

Project & Communication Manager, Academic Advising Enrichment, Office of Undergraduate Education

AAC: Advising for Equity Administrative Advisory Committee 
UCD Years of Service: 8 yrs

Nicole was one of the original staff who conceived on the idea of creating this space for advising. Initially, after the murder of George Floyd, both Nicole  and Elizabeth began conversing with other campus leaders in advising community to talk about what they/we (campus wide advisors) can do to addrees inequities in advising. Since joining the Advising team (in2015), Nicole has shown an unwavering commitment to the support structure for undergraduate  academic advisors. She has been a constant advocate for equity in advising specific to access to the professional development opportuities on campus an beyond.