Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force Members


Jose B. Alvarez

Jose B. Alvarez, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Operations (Taskforce Chair)

Born in Venezuela to a Venezuelan father and a Cuban mother, JBA was raised in a multicultural environment between his native country, Switzerland, and the United States. His Ph.D. in Cultural Studies emphasizes the study of Cuban culture, paying particular attention to the analysis of gender roles primarily in films and short stories of the Revolution. Due to a family relocation, he left his tenured job at the University of Georgia and moved to Italy 10 years ago. From an early age, he started questioning divisions based on race and social injustices. 

Kwame Phillips

Kwame Phillips, Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies (Taskforce Vice-Chair) 

Born in London and raised in Jamaica, Professor Kwame Phillips specializes in sensory media production, visual anthropology, and audio culture. His work focuses on resilience, race, and social justice and he is passionate about merging art, activism, and academia. An avid cinephile, his current work oscillates between experimental documentary and mixtape scholarship.  

Luca Azzariti Crousillat

Luca Azzariti Crousillat, Student Representative of the JCU Student Government

Born and raised in Peru to an Italian father and Peruvian mother, Luca's upbringing was determined by his need to define his two culturally diverse, and sometimes clashing identities. Having volunteered both in Peru and Italy for NGOs that focused on gender, sexuality, intersectionality, and issues faced by low-income rural communities, Luca has always been hopeful and shown interest in collective action. He intends to pursue a career as a human rights lawyer. 

Raei Yohannes Megerssa

Raei Yohannes Megerssa, Student Representative of the Africans in the World Cultural Club

Raei Yohannes Megerssa is from Ethiopia and is undertaking a degree in Communication with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She is striving to leave a legacy of goodwill and immense change in the world through providing opportunities for the less privileged through the education she is receiving here at JCU. Raei hopes to make the JCU community a more comfortable and safe space for students to voice their opinions and thoughts on racially sensitive topics and to be the bridge between the student body and the administration. 

Valentina Jin

Valentina Jin, Student Representative of the Asian Culture Club

Valentina is an Italian-Chinese senior at JCU. She hopes to focus on communicating issues regarding acceptance and inclusiveness in the Asian community. Valentina’s goal is that every JCU member should acknowledge the need for an inclusive, equal, and diverse environment, which can ultimately contribute to the well-being of our community. 

Villamizar Bedford

Naomi Villamizar Bedford, Student Representative of the Organization of Latin Americans

Because of her mixed heritage (born to a Colombian father and raised by a British mother), Naomi has always been aware of the importance of cultural inclusion in society, and the societal benefit of a multicultural community. She began at JCU in 2019 and intends to complete a double major in International Business and International Affairs. As a task force member, she hopes to ensure inclusion not only of the Latino community but of all cultures at JCU. She is honored to participate as a representative of the Latino community, especially during the Fall 2020 semester where it has been difficult for many Latino students to return to campus.

Nicolas Luca Lombardo

Nicolas Luca Lombardo, Student Representative of the Queer Alliance 

Born in Rome in a multicultural family full of people from all over the world, with openly LGBT individuals, Nicolas has always understood the importance of social inclusion and acceptance of diversities. He began studying at JCU in 2018 and will graduate in 2021 in Communications with a minor in Entrepreneurship. In 2019, he was searching for a safe place in which he could talk about his bisexuality openly with peers and he joined the Queer Alliance. In 2020, he became Student Representative of the club and entered the task force to foster his ideals of equality, acceptance, and inclusiveness. 

Julia del Papa

Julia del Papa, Director of Community Service, Religious Life, and Multiculturalism (Staff representative)

Born in Rome, Italy, to a Japanese mother and American-Italian father, and attending an international school, Julia’s childhood was a daily celebration of diversity. While obtaining an MA in International Relations, Julia interned at a Disabilities Center and at Refugee Aid Organizations, which were eye-opening experiences on how diversity affects individuals in different ways. In her role at JCU, she has worked closely on issues of discrimination and marginalization with students and at-risk communities and has hosted workshops on Diversity & Identity. 

Stefania Corrado

Stefania Corrado, Assistant Director of DS Admissions (Staff representative)

Stefania Corrado is a native Philadelphian with a Bachelor’s in International Relations from the American University in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, she moved to Rome with an itching for an international experience where she could put her intercultural communication skills to work. Stefania has garnered a passion in international education, working with students and colleagues from all over the world. In admissions, Stefania has been dedicated to enriching JCU’s diverse community and hopes to continue this work on the task force. 

Giulia Ricci

Giulia Ricci, Student Cultural Programs and Activities Coordinator (Staff representative)

Born and raised in Rome, Giulia has always been attracted to foreign cultures, and through travel and empathy, this has allowed her to create deep human connections with people from all over the world. She believes that life is a kaleidoscope of many traditions and stories with different backgrounds, each of them containing something vital and precious that enrich our journeys. She particularly loves this quote from Paulo Coelho: “When a stranger approaches, and we think he is our brother, and all conflicts disappear, that is the moment when night ends and day begins.”

Peter Sarram

Peter Sarram, Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies (Faculty representative) 

Professor Peter Sarram studied Economics at Boston College and Film and Media Studies at Northwestern University's School of Speech. He has published extensively on popular culture, recorded music, and film, and his research is primarily involved in investigating the relationships between the construction of social subjectivities and popular and mass culture. His work revolves around questions of popular culture, social identities, and technology.

Isabella Clough Marinaro

Isabella Clough Marinaro, Associate Professor of Italian Studies (Faculty representative) 

Professor Isabella Clough Marinaro is a sociologist who does fieldwork research with people in Italy affected by discrimination and social exclusion. Among these are Roma communities, squatters, and people who work in informal economies. Her courses focus on diversity and, especially, on how structural inequalities impact people’s life chances and experiences in different ways. In her classes, students critically explore the mechanisms underlying disparities of treatment and opportunity and identify strategies for improving inclusion and equality, at the international level and on the national and local levels.  

Allison Grimaldi Donahue

Allison Grimaldi Donahue, Lecturer in English (Adjunct Faculty representative)

Professor Grimaldi Donahue grew up in an Italian-Irish-American family and was educated in a traditional Roman Catholic setting. When she came out as a lesbian in her last year of college, she encountered an open-mindedness from her family that she wasn’t expecting and has since been interested in working with students to broaden community understanding of LGBTQ issues. Her background is in comparative literature and creative writing and she has worked with many groups of artists and writers all over the world to make publishing a more inclusive industry. She is currently finishing a translation of Carla Lonzi’s Self-portrait, one of the foundational texts of Italian feminism. She is interested in teaching methods that allow for open, respectful discussions based on radical listening as well as creating more spaces for multilingual writers in the classroom.