UMass Boston

Campus Leadership Advisory Group

The Campus Leadership Advisory Group (CLAG) champions and brokers community-engagement efforts on campus and beyond, provides high-level guidance to OCP on strengthening campus community engagement infrastructure, and identifies opportunities for networked partnership strategies.

Bob Chen​
Professor, School for the Environment

Bob Chen is a Professor at the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He received his AB from Harvard University in Chemistry and Physics in 1986 and his PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1992. After an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he has remained at UMass Boston since 1993, serving as Graduate Program Director, Director of the Center for Coastal Environmental Sensing Networks (CESN), and presently Interim Dean. His research interests include the cycling of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), carbon biogeochemistry in coastal systems, and the development of sensor networks in shallow water systems. He has explored dissolved organic carbon (DOC) outwelling from salt marshes, remote sensing of coastal water quality, and indicators of estuarine health. He is also dedicated to ocean and environmental science education and outreach at the local, national, and international levels and transforming K-12, undergraduate and graduate environmental and aquatic science education.

Adán Colón-Carmona
Professor of Biology - Cell, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Plants

Adán Colón-Carmona is a professor of biology in the College of Science and Mathematics at UMass Boston. During his 21 years at UMass Boston, Colón-Carmona haaspired to balance and integrate his faculty responsibilities in scholarship, teaching, and service. As faculty at UMass Boston, Colón-Carmona is motivated by the University’s mission to being “a public university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement”. Consequently, he puts a particular emphasis on providing professional expertise to the University and communities off campus on issues that focus on disparities in health and science education, specifically on the education of under-represented groups in the sciences.  Over the years, his scholarly projects focus on promoting equity and diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, at both undergraduate and graduate level, with an emphasis on making these fields more inclusive

Liya Escalera, PhD
Vice Provost for Academic Support Services

Dr. Liya Escalera is Vice Provost for Academic Support Services at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She brings more than 17 years of experience in public, urban higher education in community college and university settings. Liya is passionate about creating vibrant, inclusive, and equitable learning environments where all students can succeed and contribute meaningfully to their local and global communities. In her work, she focuses on developing partnerships that can transform educational systems that were not designed to support the success of underrepresented students into asset-based spaces that value the strengths and ways of knowing of diverse students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Laura Hayden, EdD
Associate Professor of Counseling & School Psychology, College of Education and Human Development

Laura Hayden is an Associate Professor of Counseling & School Psychology serves as the for the College of Education and Human Development. Her research shows a commitment to the local urban community and larger global community, focusing primarily on positive youth development through sport and physical activity. She explores the relationship between physical activity and life skill development among at risk youth, with attention on understanding how youth develop culturally relevant skills that contribute to their success within their community. She examines how school counselors can incorporate physical activity into their work to best serve youth in accordance with the ASCA National Model, while exploring the strength of interdisciplinary team approaches to student development, highlighting the importance of the counselor/athletic coach relationship. 

Rebecca Herst

Rebecca Herst, MBA
Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab
Research Fellow, School for the Environment

Rebecca Herst is the Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a center focused on the intersection of climate change and social equity. A former community organizer focused on racial and economic justice, Herst developed her expertise in climate resilience with roles at Boston Harbor Now, Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability, and the Urban Land Institute. She has a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University.     

Steven Neville

Steven Neville, PhD
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Steven Neville serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston where, among other duties, he has responsibility for Student Multicultural Affairs. Neville's professional experience includes nearly 15 years of service in higher education administration, as well as 12 years of information systems consulting and project management in the manufacturing and distribution industry. Neville earned a PhD in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a BA in sociology from Dartmouth College, and an MA in theological studies from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 1989.

Lorna Rivera, Phd
Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Director of Gaston Institute for Latino Public Policy

Lorna Rivera is Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy, and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies & Latino Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  Rivera has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northeastern University.  Her research focuses on women’s and family literacy programs, social welfare reform policies, gender/racial/ethnic-based health disparities, and the education of Latinx students  She is also Co-P.I. on the study, “Community-Driven Environmental Assessment” in Vieques, Puerto Rico.   Rivera oversees the Talented & Gifted (TAG) and Alerta afterschool programs for Latinx bilingual students in the Boston Public Schools.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Hyde Square Task Force, an arts-based Afro-Latinx youth agency in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, and board member for the Inter-University Programs on Latino Research (IUPLR) in the US.  

Rajini Srikanth

Rajini Srikanth, PhD
Dean of Faculty
Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts

Rajini Srikanth is a faculty member in the English Department and affiliated faculty in the Asian American Studies Program and Human Rights Minor and the Dean of Faculty. She previously served as the Dean of the Honors College. She started at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1998, assumed the directorship of the Honors Program in 2004, and was named the Honors College’s founding dean in 2013. She co-organized an international conference on Islamic feminisms that brought 29 scholars from around the world to UMass Boston through a Ford Foundation grant. Srikanth earned a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Shirley Tang

Shirley Suet-ling Tang, PhD
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, College of Education and Human Development

Shirley Suet-ling Tang is a national leader in developing a model of curricular innovation for digital storytelling in Asian American Studies, pedagogies of wholeness, and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) centered knowledge production. Tang is a co-principal investigator for a five-year, $1.75 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Education AANAPISI Program. She has nearly two dozen publications in print. She received the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at UMass Boston in 2016. Tang holds a PhD in American Studies from SUNY Buffalo.

Cedric Woods

J. Cedric Woods, PhD
Director, Institute for New England Native American Studies
Director, Critical Ethnic and Community Studies Program

Cedric Woods has served as the Director of the Institute for New England Native American Studies since 2009. Woods is a citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and he combines over a decade of tribal government experience with a research background. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Plymouth Plantation, a bicultural living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Woods earned a PhD from the University of Connecticut. 


Jackie Lageson, MA
Senior Lecturer II of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts


Tim Sieber

Tim Sieber, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts 

Tim Sieber was a professor of anthropology, specializing in the study of urban problems. At the University of Massachusetts Boston since 1974, over the years he has done community-engaged research and service work in many neighborhoods of Boston and Massachusetts more widely, as well as in Portugal and Venezuela. Sieber earned his PhD in social anthropology from New York University, with specializations in urban anthropology and education anthropology. 

Ester Shapiro

Ester Shapiro, PhD
Emeritus Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

Ester Shapiro was an associate professor of psychology, research associate for the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy, and faculty in the Transnational, Cultural, and Community Studies Program (TCCS). A Cuban Jewish Eastern European immigrant, her writing, practice and community partnerships are dedicated to helping all families thrive even though facing adversities and inequalities. Shapiro earned a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.