We are honored to have a fantastic committee who span across campus and provide multiple perspectives. Our diverse team provides the opportunity to have deep, meaningful conversations about creating a welcoming and affirming environment. It also assists with developing robust ways of addressing campus climate issues. We have undergraduate, graduate students, faculty and staff. We are honored and privileged to have the unique individuals on our committee!
Angi Baxter, Co-Chair
(She, Her, Hers)
Campus Affiliations: Chancellor's Advisoty Committee on Queer Issues (CACQI) Co-Chair, Queer Ally Program Lead, Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CACSW) member, Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion (CCCI) member, Bias Incident ResponSe Team (BIRST) founding member
Angi is currently the coordinator for Women’s Programs and LGBTQ+ Initiatives in the Office of Student Life at UC Merced. She also has the privilege of serving the Queer Ally Program and sitting on the Chancellor's Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion (CCCI) and the Chancellor's Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW). She also served as the President of the Merced LGBTQ Alliance from Nov 2016-Dec 2017. Prior to her current position, she was a social change agent who held a number of leadership and advocacy positions including co-founding the LGBT Advocacy Team and P.E.A.C.E (Pluralist Encouragement in A Community of Excellence) OSU; was the ASUCM Director of the Queer Affairs Task Force and Graduate Student Affairs; served on the SOL: LGBTQQIA People of Color Network and Pride Center advisory boards, and participated in grassroots organizing through Basic Rights Oregon as a member of Brat: Basics Rights Action Team. Further, she was a member of OSU Team Liberation, an organization that focuses on facilitating diversity development workshops and was a mentor in the Cross-Cultural Mentorship Program. She facilitated the development of the next generation of LGBTQ+ advocates as a member of the OSU Queer Leaders and Pride Panels. Additionally, she was a member of the OSU Women's Center, Women's Affairs Task Force in ASOSU, and assisted with mentoring future feminists in her work in the Women's Studies Program at OSU. She has also received multiple awards for her dedication to advancing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including receiving the OSU Pride Building Community Award twice, the Marilyn Gorski Award, the Pride Foundation Community Scholarship, and the Patricia Van Kirk Scholarship from the Pride Foundation. She also received the E.E. Cummings Diversity Achievement Award for her work in advancing gender and racial equity at Oregon State University. A quote that best describes her passion in life:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Mahatma Gandhi
(She/Her/Hers and They/Them/Theirs)
Undergraduate Student - Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Major
Campus Affiliations: Lambda Alliance Vice President
Ariell is currently Vice President of the Lambda Alliance at UC Merced. A second year Critical Race and Ethnic Studies major, her goal is the go to law school and work with non profits and grassroots organizations in the future.
(He, Him, His)
Academic Advisor and Student Success and Support Programs Coordinator - School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
Campus Affiliations: Queer Ally Program
Armando Contreras comes to UC Merced from Huntington Park (South East Los Angeles). He attended UCLA and received a bachelor's degree in Chicano and Chicana studies and a minor in LGBTQ studies. After several years of working with first-generation high school students, he attended California State University, Long Beach, to obtain his Master of Arts in Education (Social and Cultural Analysis of Education). He currently commutes from Fresno and is now a proud resident of the Central Valley. Armando is currently an academic advisor and Student Success and Support Programs coordinator in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA).
Lecturer - Merritt Writing Program
Applications Programmer - Information Technology
Undergraduate Student - Sociology, minor in Psychology
Campus Affiliations: Commissioner on Diversity for Associated Students of UC Merced (ASUCM), Outreach Coordinator for Lambda Alliance, Prevention Intern for Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE), Board Member for the Intercultural Hub, Sits on Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion (CCCI)
Cristoobal is a fourth year at UC Merced. Born and raised in Modesto, California. Genderqueer. Latinx. Xicanx.
Graduate Student - Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Humanities
Campus Affiliations: Queer Action Committee Member
Danielle Bermudez is a graduate student in Interdisciplinary Humanities. She earned her B.A. in Feminist Studies, with a minor in Global Peace, from UC Santa Barbara. Her doctoral research focuses on Nahuat women's memories of state violence in El Salvador, and how indigenous epistemologies of healing and resistance reimagine meanings of justice and dignity. Currently, Danielle is an officer in the Queer Action Committee at UC Merced.
(She, Her, Hers)
Director of Campus Climate - Office of Campus Climate
Deidre (De) Acker has been a UC employee for more than 28 years, working first at UC Santa Barbara for more than 17 years and then moving to UC Merced in 2007. "I've been a staff member on two different campuses, worked in three divisions and experienced and seen a wide variety of issues. I'm very interested in creating and supporting inclusive environments for our increasingly diverse UC population."
De is currently the Director of Campus Climate in the Office of Campus Climate at UC Merced. She was appointed to that role in August, 2015. She was previously the Campus Ombuds and prior to that served as the assistant dean for the School of Natural Sciences. She helped to start the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Queer Issues (CACQI), served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (CACSW), chaired and co-chaired the Council on Climate and Inclusion (CCCI) and as Past-President of Staff Assembly and as the Staff Advisor to the Regents from 2014-2016. She also serves as a Queer Ally and diversity awareness trainer.
Acker held a variety of positions at UC Santa Barbara, including director of the UCSB Women’s Center for 12 years. She was one of the founding members of the campus' mediation program, served as co-president of the Professional Women’s Association, co-chair of the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women and managed the final stages of the creation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender student resource center.
Acker is an alum of UC Santa Barbara.
Irenee Beattie, Co-Chair
Associate Professor - School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
(He, Him, His)
Campus Affiliations: LGBTQ+ Initiatives Intern
Israel is a fourth year English Literature major with an interest in independent films and queer topics. Israel grew up in Southern California where he took upon every volunteer opportunity he had to impact his community. His determination to give back to his community in any way he can is visible through his accomplishments at UC Merced. Israel Alonso held leadership roles in his housing’s Community Council, sitting as President his second year. He was also an officer for Lambda Alliance at UC Merced, the LGBTQ+ club on campus. All the experience, energy, and passion for supporting the prosperity of his communities is what Israel utilizes in his role as the LGBTQ+ Initiatives Intern. Israel is always willing to share some great movie titles upon request.
Jamin Shih is a graduate student in Interdisciplinary Humanities studying Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. He identifies as gay and gray-ace and is passionate about making queer spaces anti-racist.
Associate Professor - School of Engineering