UPCEA's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

UPCEA is a diverse, inclusive organization supporting and welcoming individual and institutional diversity. We strive for diversity in membership and leadership, including representation from all types of institutions and individuals from all races, genders, and backgrounds.

Our Commitment
UPCEA calls on all members and member institutions to assume personal and institutional responsibility for the recognition and elimination of inequity and barriers to member engagement or success. Accepting such challenges will help us build an inclusive peer group, where people feel a truer sense of community and an authentic sense of belonging.

UPCEA encourages all to respect the value of diversity. Each of us is unique and we each bring our own values and life experiences to our various institutions and affiliated organizations. When we respect the viewpoints, values, talents and experiences of others, we all benefit from the creative and innovative ideas generated through our open discussions and interactions. Understanding we will not always get it right, our intentional and relentless pursuit of human equity, co-existence and inclusion is conscious and genuine.

As a committed body of diverse members, UPCEA pledges to forever strive for inclusive excellence as we serve as an essential industry resource.

The Bethaida “Bea” González Diversity in Leadership Scholars

In an effort to professionalize and elevate the field of Professional, Continuing, and Online Education (PCO), UPCEA launched a series of Online Professional Development programs. As we examined the unique challenges of the profession, the importance of representative and diverse leadership—a cornerstone of UPCEA’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence—came to the forefront. To address this need, we have established the Bethaida “Bea” González Diversity in Leadership Scholars program with the goal of equipping diverse professionals at any stage of their career with the skills and knowledge needed to move into leadership positions on campus, in the field of PCO, and in UPCEA. 

Application Process:
Individuals who identify as a member of one or more diverse groups are encouraged to apply by submitting a curriculum vitae, a brief note of support (300 words or fewer) from a senior leader or supervisor at their institution, and a brief essay of no more than one page (single spaced) that addresses the following questions:

  • How will completing this program help you achieve your career aspirations?
  • How do you hope to contribute to your campus and the communities it serves?
  • How do you hope to contribute to the PCO profession?

The selection committee will consider all applications and choose 7-9 individuals to each receive a full scholarship for one (1) UPCEA Online PD certificate program consisting of five courses.

Learn more about the 2021 cohort of Diversity in Leadership Scholars here. Information about the application process for the next cohort of Diversity in Leadership scholars will be available in 2022. 


Bethaida “Bea” González, born in Cayey, Puerto Rico, and a long-time resident of Syracuse, New York, has almost 40 years of experience in higher education administration and continuing education, as well as a distinguished record of public service.

González joined Syracuse University's University College (UC) in 1984 as an academic advisor and quickly rose through the ranks. After serving as associate dean at UC, she was appointed Interim Dean in 2004 and Dean 2007. In 2014, she was appointed Special Assistant to the Chancellor and in 2017 she was appointed Vice President for Community Engagement.

In addition to being recognized with numerous awards and honors for outstanding leadership in public and community service, González has been elected to public office three times. In fall 2001, González was the first Latina elected president of the Common Council for the City of Syracuse.

González served in various volunteer leadership capacities in UPCEA over the years, including as 2014-15 UPCEA President. She was also the 2017 recipient of UPCEA’s Julius M. Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership, which is the association’s highest honor.

UPCEA Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee 

The UPCEA Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee exemplifies UPCEA’s commitment to inclusive excellence and the following core principles, established in 2017 and updated in 2019:

  • Seeking institutional members from all sectors of higher education;
  • Welcoming all individual members of all identities and lived experiences;
  • Recruiting diverse corporate partners who share the values and goals of increasing access to higher education;
  • Offering content and programming reflective of its commitment to
  • diversity and inclusion.

2020-21 Committee Members

Chris Sax, Chair, Maryland University of Integrative Health

Cheryl Broughton, North Carolina State University

Ana-Rita Mayol-Cabassa, University of Pennsylvania

William Bajor, East Stroudsburg University

Shino John, Rutgers University

Katherine Im, UMUC

Kimberly Love, Weber State University

Heather Chakiris, UCLA

Michelle Dennis, Adler University

Elizabeth Valencia-Borgert, St. Cloud State University

Johanna Prado, William Paterson University

Tonya Amankwatia, North Carolina A&T State University

Olysha Magruder, Johns Hopkins University

Ayellee Adam, CSU East Bay

Kisha Carmichael-Motley, UNC Greensboro

Corie Alicea, Villanova

Alexandria Glaize, Mentor Collective

Miguel Ortiz-Crane, New York University

Lisa Denenmark, California Institute of Integral Studies 

Shea Johnson, Georgia Tech

Balvinder Kumar, CSU East Bay

UPCEA Board Members and Staff:

Kim Siegenthaler, University of Missouri, Columbia

Pat Malone, Stonybrook University

Kimberly Zaski, UPCEA

The UPCEA Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee meets monthly for about one hour. If you are interested in joining the committee, please email [email protected]