Guiding Coalition


Through the Lead Facilitator, using an appreciative inquiry model, the Guiding Coalition members met several times in advance (September 11, 17, and 22, 2020) of the Summit to narrow and focused the topic(s) to be explored at the Summit event. 

They also convened following the Summit to distill and process what was learned at the Summit and helped lay out next steps after the event.


RaJade Berry-James, Associate Professor, Public Administration

Dr. RaJade M. Berry-James is an African-American associate professor of public administration in the School of Public and International Affairs and a resident fellow in the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at NC State University. Her research and teaching focuses on social equity, program evaluation and research methods. In her recent book, Why Research Methods Matter (2018), Dr. Berry-James focuses on evidence-based decision making in the public and nonprofit sectors. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and chair-elect of the Faculty Senate at NC State.

Tiffany Dangleben, Vice President, Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) 

Tiffany Dangleben (she/her) is a third-year school psychology doctoral student at North Carolina State University. She is a graduate of Lehman College (CUNY) in the Bronx, New York. There, Dangleben graduated with a B.A. in psychology and a dual minor in Africana studies and women’s studies. In Dangleben’s research, she identifies and combats disparities specific to African American families of children with autism, as well as educational inequities for all children in the K-12 public school system. Dangleben’s goal is to better the quality of life and educational experiences for all children as promised by U.S. law. Dangleben is also a social psychology instructor who incorporates mental health and social justice into her classroom. Furthermore, Dangleben is vice president of the Black Graduate Student Association at North Carolina State University.

Helen DiPietro, Chair-Elect, Staff Senate

Helen DiPietro (she/her) is an office manager for Engineering Communications. She is a Midwest girl, born in Indiana, but grew up in Utica, New York (midway between Albany and Syracuse). In 1981, she earned a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree from New York Institute of Technology. Prior to moving to Raleigh in 1995 with her family, she owned and managed her own construction consulting business in New York City, including maintaining the financial and administrative records. and then was hired by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM)  as a building code consultant. During her time with OSFM, she was involved in the plan review of many university buildings on all the UNC campuses, including compliance with accessibility. She joined NC State in June of 2014 as part of the College of Engineering Dean’s staff. She has been in her current position since November 2016.

Darien Dixon, President, Black Graduate Student Association

Darien Dixon (he/him) is a Ph.D. student, and graduate teaching and research assistant in sociology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park, is currently a third-year doctoral student and is the president of the Black Graduate Student Association at NC State for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Melanie Flowers, Student Body President

Melanie Flowers (she/her) is a fourth-year studying communication with a concentration in public relations. As student body president, she serves as the principal advocate for student interests as the leader of the Executive Branch of Student Government, a voting member of the Board of Trustees, and the chair of the Council of Student Body Presidents for the UNC Association of Student Governments. She is excited to be a part of the Guiding Coalition for the inaugural Racial Equity Summit at NC State.

Pat Gaddy, Chair, Staff Senate

Pat began working at the university in 1991 is excited to be in her my 29th year. From her first job with the university, which was working in the campus drycleaning/laundry room, to her current position as administrative support to the assistant vice chancellor, her motto has been “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) In addition to being active in the university community, she is also involved in community organizations, using her leadership skills to make an impact on others. She was nominated and fortunate to win the NC State University 2018 Equity Award for Women. 

Hans Kellner, Professor of English and Chair, Faculty Senate

Hans Kellner is professor of English, chair of the faculty (2019-2021) and former chair of the faculty (2011-2013.) He has taught at Michigan State University, 1977-1991, and the University of Texas-Arlington, 1991-2003.

Lexie Malico, President, Graduate Student Association

Lexie Malico (she/her) graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with a B.A. in chemistry in 2016. Currently, she is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry at NC State, where she is completing her research on the development of microbial chassis for natural product biosynthesis. Lexie has served as an advocate for graduate students in numerous roles within Student Government and is also the President of the Graduate Student Association. She is excited to serve on the Guiding Coalition and looks forward to helping to sculpt a more diverse, equitable and inclusive NC State.

Samantha W. Warren, president, Black Alumni Society, and member, Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council

Samantha W. Warren, ’12 (she/her) earned her microbiology degree from North Carolina State University.  A leader within the pharma industry for 20+ years, she is an inclusion and diversity manager at GlaxoSmithKline. When she’s not at work, she’s energized by volunteerism and philanthropy. At the university, Sam is a member of the Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council, president of the NC State Black Alumni Society and the recipient of the university’s inaugural Alumni Legacy Award. Additionally, she’s a member of the GSK PAC’s Board of Directors and a member of the Junior League of Raleigh’s Board of Directors. Sam is married to Ken, and they have two adult children, Cierra and Cameron.

Saundra Wall Williams, Chair, Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council

Saundra Wall Williams, Ed.D. (she/her) is the CEO of WMS Leadership and Development. A graduate of North Carolina State University, she holds a B.S. in mathematics (1985), M.S. in applied mathematics and statistics (1987), and Doctor of Education in adult and community college education (1996). Her company specializes in supporting women in technology leadership and women leaders in technology companies through personal, leadership and career development via coaching and professional mentoring. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at NC State. She is the chair of the Chancellor’s African American Community Advisory Council and a member of the Executive Committee for the College of Sciences Foundation Board at NC State. The former senior vice president and chief of technology for the NC Community College System, she led information technology, distance learning, information security, project management, business intelligence and data systems. She was named NC CIO of the year and NC Technology Woman of the Year. She currently serves on corporate boards and boards in higher education.

Kayla Wilmot, Coalition of Black Student Organizations, Member at Large

Kayla Wilmot (she/her) is a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology. Raised in Raleigh, NC, she arrived at NC State after working as an intern for Haven House Services in their intervention programs for a year. She is the current secretary for both the Caribbean Student Association as well as the Mu Xi Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is a representative of both organizations in the Black Org Coalition. She is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and currently works in the Hope Lab, which focuses on critical consciousness and the racial socialization of Black youth. After graduation, Kayla hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology studying the influence of culture and familial background on mental health.