Meet the DEI TEAM
Mission, Values, Vision
To enhance OU's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, to recognize and respect the essential worth of each individual and to value differences amongst groups. We commit to building a welcoming and supportive campus environment where each individual feels welcomed, valued, and supported for success.
To become the leading voice in inclusive excellence.
We aspire to be the pacesetter institution in our commitment to building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community where diversity is embraced and celebrated, while equity and inclusion are weaved into the fabric of our university community.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will continue to be the point of contact and arbiter of engagement, discourse, information, interaction, outreach and leadership in the mission of diversity and inclusivity at the University of Oklahoma.
Belinda Higgs Hyppolite, Ed.D.
Vice President Belinda Higgs Hyppolite, Ed. D. , joined the Office of Diversity, Equity, and inclusion in January 2020 with more than two decades of experience in higher education and several certifications related to the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies in higher education.
She completed her undergraduate work at Southwest Missouri State University and earned a master’s degree in counseling education and one in human resources from Western Illinois University. She earned a doctoral degree in education from Concordia University with a specialization in professional leadership, inquiry, and transformation. Throughout her career, she published extensively on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Teara Flagg Lander, Ed.D.
As the Assistant Vice President for the Norman campus, Teara Flagg Lander engages with faculty, staff and students to create a more inclusive environment for all members of the OU community. She received a bachelor of arts with a major in political science from the University of Central Oklahoma and a master of education with a focus on higher education administration from the University of Oklahoma. She earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in higher education from Kansas State University. Additionally, she holds two graduate certificates in qualitative research methods and social justice education also from Kansas State University.
She is passionate about increasing cultural awareness and providing educational access to people who want to continue their education. In her leisure time, she enjoys being with her family, traveling, and reading.
Jasmine Willis-Wallace, Ed. D.
As the Director for the OU-Tulsa campus, Jasmine Willis-Wallace oversees the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives for the campus. In nearly every position she has held, she has worked very hard to incorporate the work of DE&I whether that has been through chairing a committee, serving as an officer of a DE&I affiliated organization, or presenting at different conferences.
She received a bachelor of science with a major in business administration from Miami University of Ohio and a master of science with emphasis on college student development and counseling from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She also earned a doctoral degree in education with a focus in higher education administration from Northeastern University. Jasmine moved to Oklahoma in January of 2016 and enjoys spending time with her family, exercising, and watching a good television show or movie.
Toni Pace serves as the director of finance and human resources. She received her bachelor’s degree from East Central University. With 20 years of experience serving young people, Toni worked in both profit and nonprofit organizations as a co-developer of a wellness camp that incorporated activities promoting physical, mental, cultural and spiritual health for ages 9-13. For youth ages 14-21 in foster care or aged out of foster care, she developed a program to enhance self-esteeem and to promote education and other life skills. For her work with youth, she was named Executive Director of the Year for the State of Oklahoma National Boys & Girls Club of America.
In her spare time, she enjoys camping, OU sports, and spending time with family.
Jennifer Robbins serves as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Studies, she has developed her career in child welfare and higher education administration with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Southwestern Christian University, and the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma. In the last 6 years, she has volunteered as treasurer for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. In her positions, Jennifer has worked to make a positive impact in the lives of those she served by cultivating relationships and accounting for their unique circumstances, needs, and desires. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and being involved in the community.
As the Associate Director of Assessment, Research, and Special Projects, Paola integrates experience in organizational change with education in management and communication to mold data into meaningful reports and to distill research into practical applications and training. Her goal is to develop an inclusive workplace where diversity is a necessary condition to understand one’s identity and to innovate. More recently, her doctoral coursework in organizational communication enriched her repertoire of qualitative and quantitative methods of investigation, which she started to explore in her MPA coursework.
As an Assistant Director of Training and Development, Saasha Reese collaborates with campus and community partners to support diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Oklahoma through developing content, experiential and transformative learning opportunities, and community. In her role, she serves to increase education, awareness, and advocacy amongst faculty, staff, and students.
Saasha received two degrees from the University of Oklahoma: a bachelor of arts in human relations and a master’s degree in higher education with an emphasis on training and development. Saasha is also a certified associate life coach and enjoys empowering others through coaching. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her people, live music, and traveling.
Amy Lyons-Ketchum, M.A.A.L.A.
Amy Lyons-Ketchum is a longtime resident of Norman and OU graduate. She received her B.A. in Linguistics (2011) and her M.A. in Applied Linguistic Anthropology (2014) from OU. Amy has worked as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Native American Language Department of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, an ESL Instructor at OU's Center for English as a Second Language, and an Academic Advisor in the Gallogly College of Engineering. She has volunteered for the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair since 2012 and is an advocate for learning heritage languages and endangered languages. Tá beagáinín Gaeilge aici (She speaks a little bit of Irish). Amy enjoys learning languages, doing yoga, playing Pokémon Go, and roller skating (badly). You might see her and her ofi tuklo (Choctaw for 'two dogs') walking around campus in the evening catching Pokémon and chasing squirrels.
As the program coordinator at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Danielle helps plan and execute training sessions, educational programs, and meetings for staff, faculty, and students. She also manages all aspects of the Aspiring Health Professions Summer Academy, a program that introduces 9th to 12th grade students to various healthcare practices via interactions with faculty and staff in all seven OUHSC colleges. In 2015, Danielle earned a bachelor of science in human development and family science with a focus in child and family services from Oklahoma State University. Since then, she has continued nurturing the next generation of learners by volunteering with foster children and inner city youth. To sharpen her coordination skills, Danielle enjoys working as a wedding planner.
Tyler Figueroa, B.A. (He/Him/His)
Tyler Figueroa (like the song) is an avid art lover who primarily writes poetry and creates music. He is a graduate from Bradley University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During his time at his alma mater, Tyler majored in Advertising and minored in Theatre and Creative writing, leading to a robust undergraduate experience. He has served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Bradley’s advertising club, Public Relations Coordinator for Bradley’s production of Sense and Sensibility, Peer Educator for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, alongside his internship at Crittenton Centers, a family resource center. He was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta the English honor society and was awarded the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts Award due to his academic excellence and devotion to his department. Tyler is eager to begin his professional career in his role as Assistant Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Marketing and Communications | Outreach and Engagement. Tyler enjoys listening to music, reading, hanging out with his loved ones, and playing with his cat Aristotle.
In her role as a program coordinator, Jackie advances the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mission via programming and curriculum development. She helps in organizing events and assists in preparing material for workshops, training and informational sessions. Jackie received a bachelor’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. As an undergraduate student, she was involved in several organizations and was part of the Dean’s and President’s Honor Roll. She now pursues a master's degree in human relations with emphasis in human resources. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys reading, hanging out with family, and watching YouTube.
In her role as a Graduate Research Assistant for TRIO, Joy actively engages within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by providing support to TRIO Programing. She helps with Human Resources and clerical work for DEI. She received a dual bachelors’ degree from the University of Oklahoma in Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies with a minor in Dance History. As an undergraduate, she was very involved on campus and in the greater community. Joy is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Regional and City Planning in the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. She has two businesses; a beauty business CrwnedBeautyCo. and a hair business CrwnedbyBelle. Hair and beauty are two things that she is super passionate about. Joy loves to travel, create media content which ranges from graphics to video filming and editing. She also loves to cook, bake, dance, write and sing.