Presidential Task Force for Opportunity and Equity


The Presidential Task Force for Opportunity and Equity is a representative team invested in developing an equitable and inclusive Auburn University. Our current priority is to examine racial inequality and to recommend strategies for addressing disparities. The membership of this group may change in response to specifics that may emerge.


Lt. Gen. Ron Burgess (ret), chair
Executive Vice President

Ms. Akilah Alwan
Graduate Student, College of Sciences and Mathematics
Graduate School

Dr. Katrina A.R. Akande
Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science
University Senate Representative

Ms. Molly Boudreaux
Executive Vice President, Student Government Association

Dr. Michael Brown
Professor, School of Kinesiology

Ms. Mikayla Brown
Graduate Student, Emerge

Ms. Chacolby Burns-Johnson, MPA
Chair, Black Alumni Council

Ms. Angela Cannon
Department of Human Resources
Administrative & Professional Staff Representative

Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton
Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity

Dr. Royrickers Cook
Vice President, University Outreach

Mr. C. Kevin Coonrod
University Ombudsperson

Dr. Joffery Gaymon
Vice President, Enrollment Services

Dr. Norman Godwin
Associate Provost for Academic Effectiveness

Ms. Lady Frances Hamilton,
President, Panhellenic Council

Mrs. Jaime Hammer
General Counsel

Dr. Robin Jaffe
Professor, Department of Theatre

Dr. Kimberly Mulligan-Guy
Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Equity and Diversity, College of Sciences and Mathematics

Ms. Lastella Paradise
Department of Human Resources
Staff Council Representative

Coach Bruce Pearl
Men’s Basketball

Dr. Jared Russell
Director of Diversity, Professor and Assistant Director, School of Kinesiology

Dr. Melody Russell
Professor of Science Education, Asst. Dept. Head, Dept. of Curriculum & Teaching, College of Education

Mr. Jailin Sanders
President, Black Student Union

Dr. Joellen Sefton
Professor, College of Education; Director, Warrior Research Center

Dr. Bruce Smith
Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine;
Director, Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer

Dr. Giovanna Summerfield
Professor and Associate Dean for Educational Affairs/Foreign Language and Literature, College of Liberal Arts

Ms. Gretel Thornton
Graduate Student, College of Education
Graduate School

Mr. Jeffery Turnipseed
Undergrad Student, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering;
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Mrs. Gretchen VanValkenburg
Vice President, Alumni Affairs

Mr. Rett Waggoner
President, Student Government Association


Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education and Training
  • Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, leader
  • Ms. Angela Cannon
  • Ms. Elizabeth Devore
  • Ms. Donielle Fagan
  • Dr. Oladiran Fasina
  • Mrs. Jaime Hammer
  • Ms. Ada Ruth Huntley
  • Mr. Seymour Irby
  • Mr. Ronny Isaac
  • Coach Bruce Pearl
  • Mrs. Gretchen VanValkenburg
Focus on Student Recruitment and Retention
  • Dr. Joffery Gaymon, leader
  • Dr. Katrina Akande
  • Ms. Madison Birckhead
  • Dr. Royrickers Cook
  • Mr. Kevin Coonrod
  • Dr. Vini Nathan
  • Ms. Lastella Paradise
  • Ms. Mya Strickland
  • Ms. Ja’Lia Taylor
  • Dr. Bill Hardgrave
Recruitment and Retention of African-American Faculty
  • Dr. Vini Nathan - leader
  • Dr. Katrina Akande
  • Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton
  • Dr. Royrickers Cook
  • Ms. Donielle Fagan
  • Mrs. Jaime Hammer
  • Mr. Seymour Irby
  • Ms. Lastella Paradise
  • Coach Bruce Pearl
  • Dr. Melody Russell
Recruitment and Retention of African-American Employees
  • Mrs. Gretchen VanValkenburg, leader
  • Ms. Madison Birckhead
  • Ms. Angela Cannon
  • Mr. Kevin Coonrod
  • Ms. Elizabeth Devore
  • Dr. Oladiran Fasina
  • Dr. Joffery Gaymon
  • Ms. Ada Ruth Huntley
  • Mr. Ronny Isaac
  • Ms. Mya Strickland
  • Ms. Ja'Lia Taylor
Last updated: 04/27/2021