ORGANIZATION CHART: Departures in DEI and HR, new leader at UC Immigrant Legal Services Center


  • Lorraine Oropeza, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and College of Humanities and Science
  • Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and College of Humanities and Science
  • Christina Belle, Human ressources
  • Aidin Castillo, UC Immigrant Legal Services Center
  • Mary Blanche, UC Immigrant Legal Services Center

Lorena Oropeza, left, and Rachel Jean-Baptiste

Renetta Tull, Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, announced the departure of “two inspiring leaders…phenomenal historians and DCI warriors” from her office:

Lorraine Oropeza, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity since 2020, leaves UC Davis, where she is a professor in the Department of History, College of Humanities and Sciences, to become a professor of ethnic studies at UC Berkeley, while maintaining various collaborations through CPU.

Tull, in her June 2 For Your Information newsletter, described DEI leader Oropeza as “a champion in advancing our HSI mission,” referring to UC’s Hispanic-Serving Institution initiative. Davis. Her efforts included overseeing the release of the HSI Implementation Task Force Report and hiring the university’s first HSI Director, Lina Mendez.

His portfolio also included CAMPOS and CAMPSSAH (Center for Advancing Multicultural Perspectives on Science and Center for Advancing Multicultural Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities); and the Faculty Diversity Retention Grants for Advancement in the Office of the President of UC.

“Lorena brought a wonderful combination of passion and caring spirit to her work at DEI,” said Tull. “She began during the pandemic in the summer of 2020, and has been dedicated and committed to improving equity, especially for current faculty (in conjunction with Academic Affairs) and future faculty (in conjunction with graduate studies).”

Rachel Jean-Baptiste, first director of the faculty of DEI The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advancement, or IDEA, beginning in 2021, will become the University of California’s Associate Dean for Study Abroad, effective July 1, while retaining its position of associate professor in the Department of History of the College of Letters and Sciences.

“Dr. Jean-Baptiste and the IDEA team have worked tirelessly to establish IDEA, and we sincerely thank her for her leadership,” Tull said in her newsletter.

Read Vice-Chancellor Tull’s newsletter in full.

Christine Beautiful

Christina Belle, Director of Human Resources since 2018, has accepted a new role as Vice President and Director of Human Resources at Cornell University, effective August 30.

“UC Davis is my alma mater and leading human resources here has been an honor and a joy in my career,” she said in announcing her departure from HR. “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and personally overwhelmed by the impact we’ve had at UC Davis – especially over the past two years.”

In her remaining two months, Lovely intends to fill her position as Acting Co-Head of Finance, Operations and Administration, to which she was appointed following the retirement of Vice -Chancellor Kelly Ratliff.

Lovely will also support the immediate nationwide search for a new Director of Human Resources, while wrapping up some critical HR projects focused on the staff experience at UC Davis.

Aidin Castillo, left, and Maria Blanco

UC Davis alumnus Aidin Castillo, immigration attorney and immigrant rights advocate, has been named the new executive director of the UC Davis-based UC Immigrant Legal Services Center, succeeding founding executive director, Mary Blanche, who is retiring.

The center, which opened in 2014, serves the immigration legal needs of undocumented and immigrant students on all UC campuses except Berkeley. Kevin Johnson, dean of the UC Davis School of Law, praised Blanco’s work: “The center she imagined and formed from whole tissue is a model replicated in colleges and universities across the world. country.” She was the staff recipient of this year’s Chancellor’s Diversity and Community Achievement Series.

Castillo is set to start as executive director on June 27. She is leaving her position as Director of the Immigrant Rights Program at Centro Legal de La Raza in Oakland, where her responsibilities included the administration and management of immigration legal services and the supervision of staff members, including 16 lawyers.

In previous roles as supervisor of Centro Legal and staff attorney, Castillo handled a heavy workload providing legal representation to detained and non-detained immigrants. Prior to Centro Legal, Castillo worked as an attorney for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and as a member of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

As an undergraduate student at UC Davis (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, and History, 2007), she co-founded Scholars Promoting Education, Access and Knowledge, or SPEAK, the first campus support and advocacy group for undocumented students. During her law studies (Juris Doctor, 2011), she participated in the Immigration Law Clinic, co-chaired the Law Students Association of La Raza (now Latinx) and received the Lorenzo Patiño Prize of the Civil Service and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Fellowship.

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