Diversity & Inclusion

Office of University Diversity and Inclusion

HSI Task Force

The establishment of a Hispanic-Serving Institution Task Force in 2022 was a critical step towards the university's goal of becoming a designated HSI.  The Task Force will work to support the University in developing recommendations that are rooted in what it means in both purpose and practice to holistically serve the Latine/x community at Cal Poly.

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Dr. Denise Isom (Co-Chair)


Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

"We, as an ENTIRE campus community, must vision together, strive together with purpose, and seek to become an HSI not simply through demographics, but by centering service, belonging and assuring equitable access to all Cal Poly has to offer."

Gold Divider LineDr. Beya MaBeya Makekaukekau (Co-Chair)


Assistant Vice President, DEI Strategic Planning & Networks

"Being apart of the HSI effort at Cal Poly signifies a movement towards ensuring that our Latinx community feels seen, heard, and understood across the Cal Poly campus. I envision a community rich with representation of Latinx culture, food, music, dance, language, and history. This is what belonging looks like in practice. ¡Aquí Estamos y sí se puede!"

Gold Divider LineAdrienne Garcia-Specht (Co-Chair)


Cal Grant & Dream Program Manager, Financial Aid Counselor 

"The task force is another important tool for creating lasting cultural change at Cal Poly so that our institution can live up to its potential of truly serving Latinx students. We have a responsibility to the population of California to be an institution where Latinx students can thrive."

Gold Divider LineDr. Blanca Martinez-Navarro


Associate Dean of Students

"Being a member of the HSI Task Force equips me with a set of tools necessary to transform Cal Poly towards an equitable space for our community- nuestra comunidad- to feel free to grow and learn in the most authentic way."

"Un pueblo unido jamás será vencido". 


Gold Divider LineDr. Phillip Williams 


Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

"I look forward to supporting Cal Poly’s goal of becoming a Hispanic/Latinx Serving Institution. In addition to achieving the enrollment goals for HSI designation, it’s crucial that we continue to focus our efforts on supporting the academic and personal success of our Latinx and other underrepresented students."

Gold Divider LineDiana Ortiz Giron


Director of Student Diversity and Belonging

"It is my personal belief that they come to our institutions with a plethora of assets and forms of capital that sometimes we're not trained to identify: cultural capital, linguistic capital, navigational capital. We have to learn how to see them for all of who they are — not just the challenges, not just the struggles — but the ways that they enrich our campus community. That is what becoming an HSI at Cal poly is about."

Gold Divider LineDaisy Paniagua-Uribe 


Coordinator-LAtinx Initiatives

"I am genuinely filled with so much alegría, the HSI initiative at Cal Poly is a labor of love, and it’s beautiful to see the campus committed to fostering a deep sense of belonging and community for Latinx students. This Task Force is just the start of all the wonderful things that are to come.”

Gold Divider LineKari Mansager


Director of Wellbeing & DEI,
Campus Health & Well Being

"I am passionate about serving the Latinx communities because of my personal background and the needs I have seen in serving campus communities. A diverse campus community is a vibrant one!"

Gold Divider LineJacob Campbell


Data and budget analyst, Cal Poly Scholars 

"It is an honor to be in community with leaders who center students and servingness. While there are specific data and metrics required to officially receive the HSI-designation, it is clear to me that this group is invested in the stories and lived experiences driving those numbers."

Gold Divider LineCat Placencia


Director of Housing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

"I joined the HSI Task Force eager to support Cal Poly in reflecting California's important community of Latinx individuals. I look forward to helping current and future Latinx students feel a greater sense of belonging on-campus and in Housing at Cal Poly."

Gold Divider LineDr. Efrain Brito 


Assistant Professor School of Education, College of Science & Math

"The HSI task force represents a service initiative aimed at shining a light on the past, present, and future intellectual contributions of our LatinX community that for far too long have been rendered invisible or lived in the shadows.  It’s a recognition that these contributions are destined to become pillars of this country’s and Cal Poly’s intellectual future.  Through service, I hope to serve as an accelerant for this inspiring future."

Gold Divider LineDr. Ramon Esquivel


Professor of Theater, Playwriting, and Main stage Director

"Cal Poly offers extraordinary opportunities for students to "Learn by Doing" in artistic and creative pursuits, but how many Latinx students see themselves doing that at our university? I hope to see more Latinx students performing on our stages, creating in our studios, writing in our coffee houses, and telling their stories in our community. Artists thrive in community, so I hope Cal Poly as an HSI will be a beacon for Latinx students to come here to make art."

Gold Divider LineMandy Blackburn


Assistant Director of Student Engagement

"The HSI Task force is a beacon of hope for the LatinX community in regard to Cal Poly efforts towards building an inclusive community where all students can feel safe, valued, respected. The hope is for all students including those from underrepresented or historically marginalized identities to feel that Cal Poly is their home away from home too. You have a community of faculty, staff, leadership, and student peers here that are working together to help LatinX students feel celebrated for their diverse values, culture, and heritage. ¡Juntos, Podemos!"

Gold Divider LineSelina Jaimes Davila


OUDI GradUate Student Intern, Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs Program 

"I joined the HSI task force because as a Cal Poly Alumni, I faced culture shock during my time at Cal Poly. However, through the HSI task force, we can create an inclusive environment where Latinx students and students of color can feel safe and have a sense of belonging on campus. I want to see Cal Poly be more diverse and welcoming to all students!"

 Gold Divider LineEmily Petatan Gonzalez


OUDI Intern, Third-Year sociology Major and ethnic studies minor

"I joined the HSI Task Force to help bridge the gap between higher education and culture. I hope to help build equity on campus for Latinx transfer students like myself."



Gold Divider LineYvonne Bee


ASI Secretary of Diversity and Inclusion, Third-Year English Major

"Cal Poly becoming an HSI impacts the livelihood and success of all communities e.g.various identities, backgrounds, current and future generations of students, faculty, and staff. I decided to join the HSI Taskforce because it’s crucial to keep the student body informed while also prioritizing students’ voices and opinions throughout the entire process."

Gold Divider LineWesley Ahumada NewhartWesley Ahumada Newhart


oUDI Intern, 4th Year Political Science Major and City and Regional Planning/Spanish Minor

"I joined the HSI taskforce because I believe in the value of having a student body that more closely represents the diversity of California. I am honored to be working with my fellow taskforce members to ensure that Cal Poly has a culture where Latino/Latine students have the resources they need to succeed, and feel a sense of belonging."

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