2023 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success
Mary Ann Villarreal
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of Utah; Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors
Mary Ann Villarreal is the inaugural vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Utah. She provides leadership and strategic oversight of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the university’s academic and health sciences campuses. Prior to her current role, Villarreal served as the associate vice president of strategic initiatives at California State University–Fullerton; the associate dean at Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver; an assistant professor of history at the University of Colorado–Boulder; and an instructor and assistant professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Utah. She has authored multiple articles and book chapters, and her book Listening to Rosita: The Business of Tejana Music and Culture, 1930–1955, won the South Texas College Américo Paredes Book Award.
Michelle Asha Cooper
Vice President for Public Policy and Executive Director of Lumina's Washington, D.C. Office; Former Deputy Undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education; Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Michelle Asha Cooper leads the development and implementation of state and federal policy initiatives for Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. She works to advance the foundation’s support for today’s students at community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. Cooper brings a wealth of experience, a deep devotion to students, and an acute understanding of policymaking at all levels.