Inclusive Excellence Professors

Supported by a grant for Advancing Faculty Diversity from the UC Office of the President (PIs: Professors Ilona Yim and Nina Bandelj), the Inclusive Excellence Professors are appointed as Faculty Assistants to the Provost and work directly with the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development to organize and run faculty development activities.

They also serve in mentoring roles for faculty who participate in grant sponsored activities. To be matched for a mentoring conversation, please contact Nina Bandelj, nbandelj@uci.edu.

NameIntroductionMentoring Topics

Sharon Block
I am a historian of sexuality and race in colonial North America including a stream of articles and two monographs (Rape and Sexual Power in Early America and Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America). My digital humanities work has involved showing the unfortunately small footprint of women’s history in publications, and revealed the racist and sexist algorithms in a scholarly database. As a historian of settler colonialism and racism, I have a deep understanding of the ongoing effects of white supremacy in the United States. I have held a variety of administrative positions (Associate Dean, CAP Chair, EAP Center Director were some of the fun/challenging ones -- you can decide which was which) and leadership roles in professional societies.

I've sometimes found myself in 'good trouble' because I expect higher education to live up to its promises of equity and inclusive excellence. I have been lucky enough to be mentored by fantastic feminists, and try to pay this forward by mentoring an array of minoritized and women faculty at UCI and within my discipline. This includes multiple Equity Advisor-assigned mentees, Presidential Postdoctoral Scholars, and colleagues across the country I have sought out through writing groups and professional organizations.
  • Women in Administration
  • Tenure, Promotion, and Merits
  • Children on the Tenure Track
  • Inclusive Teaching
  • Centering Non-traditional Scholarship


Tom Boellstorff
I am a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, former Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist (the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I have conducted research on sexuality in Indonesia, which has appeared in a range of publications including my books The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia and A Coincidence of Desires: Anthropology, Queer Studies, Indonesia. I have also conducted research in digital anthropology, focusing on virtual worlds, methodology, and disability, which has appeared in works like Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, the coauthored Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method, and the edited volume Data, Now Bigger and Better!

At Irvine I have worked in a range of service positions including as a DECADE mentor, a member of the Committee on Committees, and Graduate Director in my department. I am committed to supporting UCI's important efforts in making our institution a place of creative flourishing for all faculty. I enjoy working with faculty as well as students to discover ways to make their work more enjoyable and successful. I am particularly interested in strategies for life balance; practices for effective writing and publishing; navigating possibilities in the academy at department, school, and campus levels; and engagement across disciplinary, activist, and community networks.
  • Department interactions
  • Editing, writing, and publishing
  • Engaged research
  • Mentoring students
  • Time management
  • LGBTQI+
  • Disability


Kevin Bradford
I am an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Paul Merage School of Business where I also serve as the newly appointed Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs (beginning July 1, 2021) and lead and contribute to several newly established and existing programs that are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment at UCI. My research focuses on relationships between organizations and specifically how to develop productive business to business relationships. The focus is on the boundary spanner and the behaviors that lead to more productive relationships as well as intra-organizational relationships leading to better inter-organizational success. I also study the administration of distribution channel relationships in industries where the products can be used to cause harm with a focus on the firearms industry.

The most important thing I bring to my role as an Inclusive Excellence Professor is my passion for cultivating and helping to create an environment where ALL faculty can thrive. UCI is extraordinary in their efforts to pursue this type of environment and should pride itself on providing support for individual and collective efforts and resources to address perceived gaps. These efforts are going to pay dividends that positively affect the lives of UCI students, faculty and staff and provide immediate benefits to the university through satisfaction, sense of belonging, and organizational citizenship behaviors. I am committed to creating, participating, and contributing to the initiatives and conversations that differentiate UCI as a first-class thriving environment for our faculty of color.
  • Faculty of Color in Academia
  • Invisible Burdens
  • Faculty Retention
  • Work/Family/Community Balance


Frances Leslie
I am a neuropharmacologist who uses animal models to study the brain mechanisms underlying addiction. I am particularly interested in the impact of nicotine and tobacco on developing brain. Although I am now professor emerita in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, I am still actively involved in research and in mentoring the next generation of scientists. I have served in several administrative roles throughout my career at UCI, including Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Dean of the Graduate Division and Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Director of a Transdisciplinary Center for Tobacco Research and Equity Advisor for the College of Health Sciences. I have enjoyed balancing the priorities of research/teaching, administration and raising a family.

I have a life-long commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and am currently chairing the committee charged with establishing a supportive climate in our new School. While at the Graduate Division, I enjoyed participating in the many outreach efforts that my unit undertook. I also obtained federal funding to create two new programs – DECADE and DECADE PLUS – intended to enhance the climate for equity and inclusion in graduate school. It is important to me that DECADE has been institutionalized and has gone from strength to strength. I am pleased to continue with efforts to enhance our campus climate and to support our junior faculty.
  • Work – life balance
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Women in administration
  • Grant writing
  • Mental health

Regina Ragan
I am a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. I am also the Stacey Nichols Endowed Chair for Diversity in Engineering Education and the Education Director of the Center for Complex and Active Materials, an NSF MRSEC at UCI. I engage in interdisciplinary research (material science, chemistry, and physics) to overcome scientific and technological challenges associated with novel device development. Understanding self-assembly, using chemical and thermodynamic driving forces, is pursued to arrange assemble systems with molecular scale control for devising new routes for manufacturing devices requiring nanoscale elements with unprecedented properties. Some applications of my research involve creating diagnostics for rapid antibiotic susceptibility tests to mitigate the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

I am committed to work toward equity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all participants in academia. UC Irvine is a leading institution in defining and implementing best practices for inclusive excellence and it is rewarding to witness the resultant institutional change due to committed faculty and leaders across the campus. As an Inclusive Excellence Professor, I plan to continue to work toward recruitment of diverse faculty and building support networks to support faculty retention and success. I will work to further encourage a collaborative environment on campus where students and faculty can bring their diverse experiences and expertise to address grand challenge research.
  • Women of Color in Academia
  • Invisible Burdens
  • Faculty Success and Leadership Development
  • Community Building

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