Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Committee

Purpose of Committee

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) needs to develop goals and metrics for how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion applies to our college and how we will measure progress toward these goals.

Practical Outcomes

Ensure that we have an environment and culture throughout CAES that is welcoming, encouraging and engaging of all students, employees and stakeholders.

  • Review Unit-level 2025 Strategic Plan and existing Diversity Plan, if separate, for alignment
  • Develop aligned Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Goals
  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and Data Sources for each Goal
  • Identify Baseline and Annual Targets for each KPI

Committee Membership

The CAES Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Committee has been divided into four subcommittees:


Faculty Subcommittee


Dario Chavez
Dario Chavez Associate Professor
Horticulture Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics (IPBGG) Institute for Integrative Precision Agriculture
Melissa G Mitchum
Melissa G Mitchum Professor, Plant Nematology
Plant Pathology Center for Applied Genetic Technologies (CAGT) Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics (IPBGG)
Simerjeet Virk
Simerjeet Virk Assistant Professor and Extension Precision Ag Specialist
Crop & Soil Sciences

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Staff Subcommittee


Brad Averill
Brad Averill Athens-Clarke County FACS Agent
Northeast District
Lakecia Pettway
Lakecia Pettway Director of Diversity Affairs
Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs
Michael D Toews
Michael D Toews Assistant Dean, Tifton Campus, Professor
Tifton Campus Entomology

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Students Subcommittee


James C. Anderson, II
James C. Anderson, II Associate Professor
Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication
Laurel Dunn
Laurel Dunn Assistant Professor and Extension Coordinator
Food Science & Technology

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Outreach Subcommittee


Jason Estep
Jason Estep Public Service Assistant
4-H & Youth
Kisha Faulk
Kisha Faulk FACS Program Development Coordinator
Northwest District
Claire Sanders Kinnard
Claire Sanders Kinnard Sr. Public Relations Specialist
Dean and Directors Office
Rochelle Sapp
Rochelle Sapp Leadership Development Specialist
Office of Learning and Organizational Development (OLOD)