Session Speakers

Amy Yip

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Founder

Amy Yip Coaching

Amy is a Life Transformation and Mental Fitness coach who works with high-achieving, ambitious women tap into their potential and bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be (even if that destination isn’t totally clear yet). Her passion for coaching is to empower people to realize their full potential, let go of the ‘shoulds’ and author their own life story because if you don’t tell your story, someone else will.

 

In January 2020, after 16+ years of building and leading global teams in organizations like Google, Clorox, and Booz Allen, Amy left the corporate world, sold everything, and took a 1-way flight to Ghana with her husband to volunteer at a breast cancer non-profit and travel the world. COVID shifted their plans; they got stuck in Ghana for 7 months.

 

She believes: Your mindset, NOT your circumstance, makes all the difference in your happiness and success.

 

Through this lens, she works with clients to find their voice, the courage to speak up, build self-confidence, navigate change, and discover what they REALLY want for their next chapter.

 

Amy's an ICF PCC, Certified Hudson Institute Coach, and a pioneer Mental Fitness Coach. She holds a MBA from Anderson UCLA, and a BS in Computer Science, BA in Communications from UMD.

Jeronimo Cortina is an award-winning Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Associate Director at the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston.  He earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University where he previously earned a Master's degree in public Administration and Public Policy from the School of International and Public Affairs.

 

Dr. Cortina specializes in survey research, immigration, development, and quantitative methods. His work has been published in scholarly and policy journals such as Political Research Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, Social Science Quarterly, American Politics Research, Foreign Affairs in Spanish, and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. His latest books include (with Andrew Gelman, David Park, Boris Shor)“Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do” published by Princeton University Press, “A Quantitative Tour of the Social Sciences” published by Cambridge University Press (with Andrew Gelman) and  “New Perspectives on International Migration and Development” (with Enrique Ochoa-Reza) published by Columbia University Press.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Gonzalez is Associate Professor of English at  University of Houston and an 

authority on American literature, Mexican-American novelists, Chicanx writers, and Feminist and Queer Theory.  Gonzalez is the author of Contemporary Mexican American Women Novelists: Toward a Feminist Identity.  Currently completing a book on the influence of Chicana lesbian writers and queer theory in Chicanx literary studies, she is the co-editor of Voices Breaking Boundaries’ three volume series collection of transnational art and essays, Borderlines.  Past president of the National Women's Studies Association and a board member of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, she has served on the editorial boards of the NWSA Journal, The Journal of Lesbian Studies, NACCS Annual Proceedings, and Chicana/Latina Studies Journal.  

 

One of the founders of the GLBT Studies Minor and the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Houston, she served for many years on the UH Faculty Senate and is the treasurer of the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Scholars.

 

 

 

Chris is author of 'Love as a Business Strategy' and the Co-founder of Culture+, a culture-as-a-service company. He works with and speaks at companies like Google, The Obama Foundation, ExxonMobil, Groupon, Habitat for Humanity, and others to strengthen their culture and organically build inclusive behaviors. 


Chris is a student of the world and enjoys anthropology, history, travel, and culinary experiences. His interests in global cultures naturally led him to travel around the world co-leading culture and leadership transformations through Culture+.

Chris is a native Houstonian who loves everything Beyoncé. He has a BBA with a concentration in marketing from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Amanda started her career working on US Political campaigns, in 5 different states, focused on electing women at all levels, from Presidential down through all levels to local city government races in Houston.

 

Amanda has experience in the Healthcare, Construction, and Energy industries. She has expertise in many facets of HR, including Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Workforce Analytics, Management Strategy, and Organizational Development. A native Houstonian, she enjoys living here with her
husband, two kids, and three fur-babies.

 

DeAnnah Stinson Reese is an author, award nominated Certified Career Strategist and a Certified Global DEIB Strategist. DeAnnah has 10+ years of experience working with minority professionals to secure leadership positions and helping companies to create more diverse, equitable work spaces. In 2017,

 

DeAnnah launched her business, E3 Professional Services, after being dissatisfied in her own career and realizing there was a bigger impact she could make. Using her expertise in hiring and retention efforts, she has been able to change how underrepresented groups advance their careers, working with over 10,000 professionals to date. DeAnnah takes a special interest in working with black women to help move them into senior level/VP/C-Suite roles and negotiate for the pay they deserve, as there is a huge disparity in black women presence in these levels of leadership. As a Certified Global Racial Equity Strategist, she delivers consulting services rooted in E3's JEDI model-- Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as she continues to partner with organizations to dismantle oppressive systems in corporate America while helping minorities advance and thrive in their careers. E3 has worked with top Fortune companies worth over $60B in creating more equitable and inclusive workplaces. Notable past partners and clients include Microsoft, Stanley Black and Decker, Forbes Coaching Council, Raytheon Technologies, TD Bank, Bounce TV, and Collins Aerospace to name a few. As a black female she is determined to change the career and financial landscape for her community!

 

Dr. Kolaini is an experienced leader skilled in cooperation, building partnership and integrated support services to address barriers impeding the students’ success.  Her body of work spanning over the last fifteen years at HCC is centered on access, inclusion, belonging, and promoting an overall culture of care in our diverse community.

Dr. Kolaini is an experienced mental health clinician with experience in different mental health setting. In her current role, she leads programs and activities that include Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence/Dating/Sexual Violence awareness and prevention, Basic Needs support, and overall wellness.

In her efforts to build sustainable systems of support for students, Dr. Kolaini has forged many large-scale partnerships and care coordination agreements with community organizations to reduce the basic needs insecurity in our students’ population.

Dr. Kolaini is a licensed professional Counselor-Supervisor with a Master’s Degree in Counseling from University of Houston and her Doctor of Psychology from California Southern University.

 

Dr. Roberson drives alignment and expansion of institutional strategies to advance the commitment to a discrimination-free workplace and an inclusive learning environment for 11 universities, 8 state agencies, and a health science center.

 

Dr. Roberson’s work experience encompasses her passion for DEI and education. 

She worked 10 years for the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  In that role, she advocated for and protected the civil rights of students within the United States education system.  To advance her career in higher education, Dr. Roberson accepted a position with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) as the Coordinator of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.   In this role, she was responsible for compliance training for all UTA employees, internal and external investigations of discrimination and the affirmative action plan.   After three years in that role and completing her Ph.D., Dr. Roberson accepted an Executive Dean position with North Lake College where she oversaw the Business and Information Technology Department for this large community college.  She later accepted a position as the Academic Dean/Chief Academic Officer for another college where she oversaw all degrees and industry certifications. Dr. Roberson returned to DEI as the Assistant Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action for the University of North Texas, her alma mater.  Following that position, she accepted the Director of Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity position with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).  In her role with DART, she oversaw diversity and EEO efforts for this large transportation authority.  She also had the opportunity to utilize her diversity skills in supplier diversity by advancing MWDBE businesses.  Dr. Roberson has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses for over 20 years for several universities including UNT, UTA, Southern New Hampshire University, and Amberton University. 

Dr. Baker’s involvement in diversity and equal opportunity matters spans more than 20 years. Starting as a student then as entry-level staff, Dr. Baker has worked at every level of equal opportunity compliance. He eventually became the chief equal opportunity officer for the third-largest university system in Texas.

After serving in that role for eight years, Dr. Baker transitioned to Rice University in August 2019 and became the Executive Director for Institutional Equity, EO/AA, and Title IX. In this role, Dr. Baker’s responsibilities include assessing the University’s diversity management effectiveness, specifically in the area of recruitment and retention of diverse personnel. Dr. Baker’s responsibilities also include overseeing the University’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including authoring and enforcing policies, procedures, practices, and other institutional strategies aimed at eliminating disparate treatment and impact on its community. In addition to providing high-level strategic guidance on equal opportunity matters, Dr. Baker conducts formal investigations of individual complaints and systemic reviews of allegations of discrimination.

In order to prevent these events from occurring, Dr. Baker provides anti-discrimination training for thousands of employees and students and presents on the topic of equal opportunity and Title IX at academic conferences throughout the country.

 

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Jeronimo Cortina

Maria C. Gonzalez, PhD

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Professor

University of Houston

WSJ Bestselling Author and VP Softway

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Amanda Scott

Specialist, Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Acquisition Strategy

Enbridge.

Chris Pitre

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Professor

University of Houston

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DeAnnah Stinson Reese

Award Nominated Author, Career Strategist and Global DEIB Strategist.

Mahnaz Kolaini, PsyD.

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Director of Counseling & Ability Services

Houston community College.

Nicole Arleane Roberson, PhD.

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Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Texas A&M University System (TAMUS).

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Richard Anthony Baker, PhD.

ED Institutional Equity, EO/AA, and Title IX

Rice University