Kanbar Diversity Action Committee

Diversity: The richness of human similarities and differences.

Inclusion: The valuation of diversity that allows people to bring their whole selves to work and school and allows those that we serve to share their whole selves.

At Thomas Jefferson University, we value an inclusive environment that embraces, cherishes, and celebrates the diversity of our people. We believe that a diverse and inclusive environment is key to achieving excellence in our missions of education, research, and patient care. 

Kanbar Diversity Action Committee (K-DAC)

Diversity is the richness in human differences, and inclusion is the valuation of diversity. We are committed to fostering an environment that is collaborative and welcoming to diverse viewpoints, where all of the members of our community are valued and heard. Kanbar College celebrates individual abilities, needs, identities and backgrounds as a valuable asset to create and ethical progress. 

Our mission is to achieve this in the following ways:

  • Create a welcoming and inclusive experience for students, faculty and staff.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion as an important consideration when developing activities, events and the curriculum.
  • Make recommendations to increase the diversity of the college's faculty.

Fall/Spring 2021/2022

Richard Shell
The Wharton's School's Thomas Gerrity Professor of Legal Studies, Business Ethics and Management

How to Stand and Fight for Your Values at Work

Employees frequently face pressures from bosses and peers to compromise core values such as honesty, fairness, social justice, and personal dignity. When this happens, you may confront an anxiety-provoking choice: speak up and risk your job or be silent and stay safe. In this talk, Professor Shell will provide practical tools to help you craft a third way: become an effective advocate for your values and advance your career by committing to become what he calls a “Leader of Conscience.”

November 11, 2021- 5pm

Fall/Spring 2020/2021

Lauren Guthrie
VP. Global Inclusion & Diversity VF Corporation. 

Lauren Guthrie is the Vice President of Global Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action for VF Corporation.  

Lauren is responsible for developing and operationalizing the strategic framework, guardrails and program development that drive VF’s commitment to building a culture anchored in allyship, advocacy and belonging.  She works closely with key talent management and business leaders to amplify social impact initiatives within VF, in direct support of the diverse associates, communities and consumers served by the VF portfolio of brands.

Prior to joining VF, Lauren has held progressive merchandising and general management roles with global brands such as The North Face, Nike, Levi’s and Abercrombie & Fitch across a variety of businesses. She is a vibrant team leader and coach, who is passionate about developing powerful teams and fostering high integrity work environments where each player is celebrated for their unique contributions.

Reggie Miller
VP, Global Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer McDonald’s Corporation 

As McDonald’s Vice President, Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Reginald J. Miller oversees the company’s global I&D strategy with a focus on transformational change around the world.

Reggie began his career at McDonald’s in November 2020.  He joined McDonald’s from VF Corporation, where he served as Vice President, Global Inclusion and Diversity, where he built the company’s first I&D strategy and turned it into an award-winning program.

Reggie has worked in a variety of disciplines including supply chain, merchandising, international project management and multiple specialties within human resources.  Prior to joining VF, he was the Director, Diversity Strategy and Support, responsible for the D&I strategy, reporting, and consultation for all Walmart stores in the U.S. and was a recruiter and D&I leader at Tyson Foods.  He also was an instructor and faculty administrator for the University of Phoenix for several years. 

A US Army Veteran, he served as a Supply Sergeant with deployments to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education - HR Development and a Master of Science in Education - Workforce Development from the University of Arkansas.  He also received an MBA from Webster University. 

Reggie serves on the Executive Advisory Committee for the College of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T State University.  Additionally, he serves as the Co-President for the board of directors for Camber Outdoors.  Recently, he was named to the 2020 Top 50 Chief Diversity Officer list by the National Diversity Council.

Tia Brown McNair
VP, AAC&U Diversity & Inclusion & Director of Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers (TRHT).

Dr. Tia Brown McNair is the Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success and Executive Director for the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC. She oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact practices, and student success. McNair directs AAC&U’s Summer Institutes on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, and TRHT Campus Centers and serves as the project director for several AAC&U initiatives. She is the lead author of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education (January 2020) and Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success (July 2016). In March 2020, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education named McNair one of thirty-five outstanding women who have tackled some of higher education’s toughest challenges and made a positive difference in their communities.

To view Dr. McNairs presentation please email a committee member for a protected link and password.

David Dylan Thomas:

David Dylan Thomas serves as Content Strategy Advocate at Think Company and is the creator and host of the Cognitive Bias Podcast. He has developed digital strategies for major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. A co-organizer of Content Strategy Philly, he previously consulted at the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy and is the creator, director, and co-producer of Developing Philly, a web series about the rise of the Philadelphia tech community. He has given standing-room-only presentations at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, and the Wharton Web Conference on content strategy and emerging content trends.

Recording Password: QZ6%Px#y

The following resources are available to help further educate our campus community in order to better understand other people, perspectives, and cultures.

2020-21 Student Organization Directory:


Gutman Library Anti-Racism Resource Guide:

https://libguides.philau.edu/Antiracismguide  (Anti-Racism Resource Guide)

Teaching Resources:

Nioka Wyatt (Chair) is a graduate of Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science and studied fashion industry management. She is currently the program director and associate professor in the School of Business for the fashion merchandising and management department at Thomas Jefferson University. Nioka formerly worked for Qurate Retail Group and was founder of Soles by NioShe footwear company. She developed short courses to Asia to provide experiential learning opportunities for fashion students

Notable Achievements

  • Participated in Jefferson Leadership Academy- 10 month executive leadership program
  • Recipient of 2019 Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Recipient of 2019 Partnership in Philanthropy Award
  • Co-author for book Cotton: Companies, Fashion and Fabric of our Lives
  • Contributing Author for book: The Business of Fashion Reader

Anne Hand (Member) was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she received a BFA in Fashion Design.  After a working in the fashion industry as a design room and production pattern maker, a series of fortunate events led her to a career in teaching.

In a fashion design program whose educational goals include developing industry facing professionals, she introduces her knowledge of the technical skills required for students to become successful creatives.  Along with teaching Anne serves as a freshman and upper level advisor. Fostering the growth and development of students and watching them become self-confident, talented designers is why Anne has continued to teach at the University for the past 28 years.

Katie Casano (Member) is an Assistant Professor in the BS Fashion Design and MS. Fashion Design Management programs, and is an elected member of the DEC Diversity Action Committee.   Casano worked for many years for top brands in the New York Fashion Industry as a designer, licensed brand manager, and Design Director, before transitioning to teaching the next generation of student designers.  Casano’s designs have been featured on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily, various fashion magazines, and in music videos.  She continues to actively work as a freelance designer, and has recently started her own design business.  Casano has a BS in Fashion Design from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences, and an MS in Global Fashion Enterprises from TJU.  

Maribeth Kradel-Weitzel (Appointed Member) is an assistant provost, associate professor and founding director of the Master of Science in Health Communication Design program at Thomas Jefferson University. As assistant provost, she directs Jefferson’s Creativity Core Curriculum which serves students across the university. Kradel-Weitzel is an elected member of the national board of AIGA, the largest professional association for design in the world. She is a “Sappi Ideas That Matter” grant recipient, has lectured internationally and the work of her practice, Kradel Design, has been recognized with numerous awards. Kradel-Weitzel has a Certificate in Creative Leadership from the Yale School of Management, an MFA from Tyler School of Art and a BA from The Pennsylvania State University.

EJ Herczyk (Appointed Member) is currently an Associate Professor and coordinator for the drawing and digital imaging courses at Thomas Jefferson University’s Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce. Herczyk has 20 years of teaching experience specializing in the areas of digital imaging, drawing, materials exploration, as well as analog and digital printing processes.

As a multimedia artist, Herczyk’s work explores the relationship between analog and digital identities and the structure and balance of these forms. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and has lectured extensively throughout the US. Additionally, Herczyk is active as both a designer and a production consultant for a variety of companies across the home and apparel industries.

Bethany Lang (Staff Representative) currently is in a new role at Thomas Jefferson University and serves as the Academic Advising Coordinator for Kanbar College. In this role, she supports students from their start of their journey by connecting with resources and academically assisting them until post-graduation. This position focuses on recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of all Kanbar College specific students. Lang currently serves on both Leadership, Executive and Diversity Committee as a representative and to assist with communications across School of Design & Engineering and School of Business. Lang will be teaching First Year Success in the Fall as well.

Melayna Frye (Staff Representative) is a 2018 graduate of Penn State and started with Jefferson in 2019.  She is currently the administrative assistant to the Dean of Kanbar College, Dean Ronald Kander.  In her free time, she is most likely studying or taking in the sights around the city of Philadelphia.

Rashidah Salam (Adjunct Member) was introduced to art at an early age, growing up surrounded by the rich and glorious art and craft of her direct community as well as the influence of multi-cultural and multi-ethnicity traditions in the country where she grew up.  She graduated from the prestigious Malaysian art school, University Technology of MARA, and was offered a teaching job at the University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS, the first university on the island of Borneo) where she taught for eight years. During her tenure at UNIMAS, she received a full scholarship to pursue a master’s degree at Memphis College of Art, focusing on studio art and computer art.

Salam is currently an adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson University. Where she teaches Design Essentials and Intro to Digital Imaging courses. Salam exhibits artwork regionally and internationally and is represented by Muse Gallery, Philadelphia and is a member of Artessa Alliance Collective, Cheltenham Center for the Arts in Philadelphia. Salam has been the recipient of artist residencies and several Emerging Artist awards including the Young Contemporary Artist Award in Malaysia,  the Richard Nexon Memorial Award, and the 77th Annual CCA Members Show at Cheltenham Center for the Arts. She was commissioned by the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia, the Interfaith Chapel of Philadelphia, and the National Endowment of the Arts to paint a mural titled “Dare to Understand” at the St. Thomas Aquinas Community, Philadelphia.  

Contact Kanbar Diversity Action Committee

To contact the Kanbar Diversity Action Committee email us at KC_Diversity_Committee@jefferson.edu.