Jasmine A. Lee MSW, PhD
Director for Inclusive Excellence and Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Dr. Jasmine Lee works with staff and students to create inclusive campus environments through direct programming, strategic student success initiatives, and collaborative leadership, along with consultation for racial climate concerns and broader diversity issues for faculty and staff across campus. In addition to her work at UMBC, Jasmine works with universities, non-profits organizations, and faith-based communities to provide engaging opportunities for community members to further develop their leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion knowledge, awareness and skills. She has collaborated with various national organizations including the National Academic Advising Association, American College Personnel Association, the Residential College Symposium, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. Jasmine completed her Ph.D. in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program at Michigan State University. Her research focuses broadly on Black college student experiences, social justice, and theory-to-practice methods for higher education professionals. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. Beyond work, Jasmine is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a cousin, and an avid traveler. She has a deep belief in people and possibility. She seeks to find joy in everyday life, and values time with friends and family . . . especially her super cute twin nephew Kamran! More than anything else, she believes that she is always capable of learning, growing, and evolving. Within her role at I3B, Jasmine co-created the INTERACT Dialogues, IDEAL Training and Facilitation Programs, and co-instructs the Social Justice Dialogues FYS102 Course.
Lisa M. Gray M.A.
Associate Director, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Lisa has worked in student affairs, diversity and social justice education, organizational development and training for over 20 years. Originally joining UMBC in the summer of 2006, Lisa works with student-centered staff, faculty, campus partners, events, and support resources connected to our department and centers. In her work, she also partners and collaborates with UMBC students, staff, faculty, alumni, and surrounding community members on diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives and events in the on- and off-campus community. Lisa is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a Social Justice Training Institute (SJTI) alumna, and serves with numerous social change-based professional associations, non-profit and grassroots community organizations. In addition, Lisa is a Facilitator and Collaborator with Both-And.org. During her free time, she loves dancing, traveling, reading, going to the movies/theatre, and spending time with her amazing daughter, family and friends – new and not-so-new. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Richmond with a minor in Speech Communication and Women’s Studies, and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. During her time at I3B, Lisa co-created the What’s The (T)ea?, How to Be a Better Ally series, and serves as a co-lead in the SistaCare discussion group.
Carlos A. Turcios ‘15, Psychology, Sociology, ‘17, Applied Sociology M.A.
Coordinator, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Carlos was the first Coordinator with Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging, originally joining the center as the intern for Hispanic and Latinx community outreach in fall 2016. Carlos proudly boasts that he is a double alum and is an active member of the UMBC Chapter of Black and Latino Alumni (CBLA). As a self-identifying Mestizo, gay, second-generation Salvadoran-American immigrant man, he incorporates his identities, experiences, and passions into his work. His professional interests include gender equity and immigrant rights, accessibility issues, medical sociology, and exploring the historical context of sociopolitical structures. When he’s not working or spending time with family, or friends Carlos enjoys going out dancing, video gaming, DIY crafting, and being an active dog dad to his two dogs; Pancho and Charlie. During his undergraduate career, Carlos minored in French and Gender and Women’s Studies and additionally has earned a Certificate in Management in the Nonprofit Sector and will soon earn his Certificate for Learning and Performance Technology. Within his role at I3B, Carlos created the Mundo Lingo, PAWTalks, Pawsitive Bodies and Minds series, the SafeZone LGBTQ+ Allyship Development Training, co-created the Bagels and Banter series, co-leads the Retriever Immigrants United (RIU) self-care and advocacy discussion group. Carlos also serves as the point person for the day-to-day operations of The Mosaic.
Erin E. Waddles M.S.Ed
Coordinator, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Erin is a Coordinator with Initiatives for Identity Inclusion & Belonging. She works with staff and students to provide the UMBC community with holistic experiences that strengthen and diversify their worldview through education, consultation, and advocacy. Prior to arriving at UMBC, Erin was an inaugural cohort member of the Washington University in St. Louis College Advising Corps. In this role, she guided first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students through the college selection process. This experience significantly shaped her decision to attend the University of Pennsylvania and attain a Master of Science in Education. Her professional interests center on promoting equity, access, and social justice in higher education through collaboration with community-based partners, university staff, and students. Outside of work, she enjoys creating oddly specific playlists, spending quality time with her friends, and writing. During her undergraduate career, Erin earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. Within her role at I3B, Erin co-created the Multicultural Leadership Experience, IDEAL Training and Facilitation Program, SistaCare, co-created the Bagels and Banter series, and our [Re]fresh and [Free]dom Friday virtual series. Erin is also the point person for the day-to-day operations of The Interfaith Center.
Ciara Christian ‘18 Applied Sociology, M.A., ‘22, Language, Literacy, and Culture PhD
Graduate Assistant, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Ciara Christian is a doctoral student whose research explores digital media platforms, specifically podcasts, as spaces for knowledge production, identity formation, and organizing for Black identity, Black feminism, and Black thought more broadly. Ciara came to UMBC in 2016 as a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow to for the Applied Sociology graduate program and to continue the spirit of her Peace Corps experience (Rwanda ‘13-’15) in service to UMBC’s campus. Through the many partnerships and connections forged through her graduate assistantships across campus, Ciara has found meaning and fulfillment in working to help cultivate a sense of belonging for herself and others at UMBC. Outside of campus, Ciara enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, and sharing quality time with friends and family. Ciara is a very proud alumna of Howard University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. As a part of the I3B team, Ciara serves as one of the co-leads of the INTERACT Dialogues series and co-instructs the Social Justice Dialogues FYS102 Course.
Our Student Staff
Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging have multiple undergraduate student staff opportunities every year.
Sofia Encarnacion ‘22, Economics BA, Mathematics BS
Mosaic Peer, Identity, Inclusion & Belonging
Sofia is dual degreeing with a minor in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies. She is a strong advocate for education equity and LGBTQ+ rights. Her Puerto Rican heritage has given her a strong appreciation and love for her family. Sofia is a McNair Scholar and the treasurer of the TEDxUMBC organization on campus. She enjoys watching anime with her siblings and cooking new dishes. In her role, Sofia supports the work of the I3B Coordinator team through co-facilitation, content co-creation, and student organization outreach and support. Sofia served as a previous Vice President of Retriever Immigrants United (RIU) student org prior to transitioning to becoming our immigrant self-care and advocacy discussion group.