Donna Kaplowitz (she/her/hers) is the LSA faculty co-director of The Program on Intergroup Relations. She works in partnership with the Student Life co-director to provide campus leadership in student learning in the areas of intergroup relations and social justice education. Donna teaches in the program, guides curricular activities, leads programmatic efforts to conduct research and is an academic advisor for the minor. Her research focuses on facilitating intergroup dialogue with specific attention to race topics in peer and near-peer settings.
Monita Thompson (she/her/hers) serves as the Student Life co-director of The Program on Intergroup Relations. Her student affairs work of more than 25 years has focused on educating students in intergroup relations and social justice education, specifically the training, development, and support of peer educators in skills and techniques of intergroup dialogue facilitation, conflict management, and supporting students in their journey to becoming a social change agent.
Staff and faculty
Danny Alvarez (they/them) is a lecturer with The Program on Intergroup Relations in the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. They're a passionate facilitator, educator, and organizer who has applied social work practices to their work for the last decade. With practices strongly rooted in popular education and intergroup dialogue pedagogy, they have taught, developed and managed programs at both U-M and Stanford University over the last 5 years.
Mark Chesler (he/him/his) is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Michigan and a founding faculty member of The Program on Intergroup Relations. Mark is an activist scholar conducting research, teaching, consulting and organizing on issues of social justice and personal/organizational change around race and gender equity, and of the psycho-social impact of childhood cancer.
Hailey Emery is the student administrative assistant for The Program on Intergroup Relations. She is responsible for providing support for IGR courses and instructional needs, National Intergroup Dialogue Institute, and Community of Scholars. She also supervises IGR office assistants, helps manage shared space, and manages circulation and maintenance of the Mark Chesler Library holdings.
Patricia Gurin (she/her/hers) is the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a faculty associate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research and of the Center for African and Afro-American Studies. She directs the research program of The Program on Intergroup Relations, a curricular program co-sponsored by the College of LS&A and Student Life. A social psychologist, Dr.
Stephanie Hicks (she/her/hers) is a lecturer at The Program on Intergroup Relations and a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at U-M. Her teaching and research foci include diversity, equity and inclusion policy in higher education, intergroup dialogue and social justice education. As a lecturer, Stephanie teaches courses for the Program and coordinates the Race & Ethnicity Engagement efforts between IGR and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
Christina S. Morton (she/her/hers) is an associate director of The Program on Intergroup Relations. In her role, she provides strategic leadership and administrative support toward advancing IGR’s mission as well as teaches courses focused on the training and development of peer educators in dialogue facilitation. Her research explores diverse students’ experiences with and meaning making of social justice education as well as how cultural resources, such as spirituality, contribute to the success of Students of Color in STEM fields.
Nick Pfost (he/they) is a communications strategist at the University of Michigan, serving The Program on Intergroup Relations, Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, and Spectrum Center. An MPP-trained communicator with over a decade of experience in higher education and nonprofits, they lead in each unit on communications, marketing, and design to advance their missions and impact.
Vibha Shivakumar (any pronouns) is a program coordinator for the Student Experience Team at The Program on Intergroup Relations. They are responsible for overseeing the Student Experience Team (SET), which works to ensure that IGR students have joyful, valuable, and sustained engagement in our community. In addition to this, they work closely with student recruitment and communications.
Deborah Slosberg (she/her) is the assistant director for The Program on Intergroup Relations. She works with the Student Life team to provide strategic leadership for IGR's co-curricular programming through CommonGround, SET, and strategic partnerships. She helps coordinate the annual National Intergroup Dialogue Institute as well as provides consultations to outside colleges and universities. Deborah also teaches and assists with research and assessment efforts.
Cesar Vargas-Leon (he/him/his) is a program manager supporting IGR’s CommonGround and other partnerships. He works with a team of graduate and undergraduate students to execute requested programs that raise awareness about social identities, prejudice, stereotyping, power, privilege, and oppression for students who are part of the University of Michigan’s community. Cesar is passionate about transforming spaces, structures, and systems through the art of storytelling. He holds a BA in sociology and Latinx studies from the University of Michigan.
Meaghan Wheat (she/her/hers) is the program manager for CommonGround at The Program on Intergroup Relations. She supervises a team of undergraduate and graduate students who plan, develop, and facilitate requested workshops on social identity, communicating across identities, power and oppression in groups, entering communities, and allyship across campus. She also supports IGR's Summer Youth Dialogue program. Meaghan holds a BA in psychology and political science, an MSW, and an MA in higher education from the University of Michigan.
Sierra Voigt (she/her) is a lecturer at The Program on Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan. Voight's graduate studies involved identifying pathways to pursuing and completing higher education for underrepresented students. She has a passion for diversity of minds, bodies, identities, and cultures, and encourages others to identify ways that they can create more inclusive and equitable spaces for all humans. She incorporates these ideas into her teaching and clinical work, helping individuals, families, and groups remove barriers to success and wellbeing.
Haarika Gurivireddygari (she/her/hers) is a student office assistant at The Program on Intergroup Relations, where she helps handle administrative tasks for the office. Haarika assists with planning recruitment events, curriculum, and other celebrations as well. She has worked for IGR since 2021 and loves the environment here! Haarika was interested in working with IGR because she believes the curriculum is really impactful for students and wanted to support the program. Haarika is currently a BBA junior at the Ross School of Business and minoring in gender and health.