Women We Admire: Jerlena Griffin-Desta speaks today
Date: Tuesday, June 9
Time: 12-1 p.m.
Location: Franklin Lobby 1
Griffin-Desta supports Vice President Judy Sakaki in all aspects of her portfolio, including directing the day-to-day operations of the department, while overseeing the budget, human resources and technological support. As executive director of student services, Griffin-Desta focuses on student mental health, student conduct, student life and leadership, housing and residential life, campus climate, diversity and inclusion, and other campus life programs.
Prior to joining UCOP, Griffin-Desta was the vice president of student affairs at Reed College, executive director of student development at UC Berkeley and assistant director of residence life at UCLA. While at Berkeley, she chaired the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee and was a member of the Committee on Honors, the Police Review Board and the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.
Also at Berkeley, Griffin-Desta co-taught a seminar, Critical Dialogues Across Differences, bringing together students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for conversations around race, class, gender, sexuality, religion and politics. Drawing from years of critical dialogues, she and co-teacher David Stark edited a book based on the student experiences in the classroom, Facing You, Facing Me: Race, Class, and Gender Among UC Berkeley Students. The book was later the basis for a documentary of the same title and is now used on college campuses throughout the nation and abroad.
Griffin-Desta is an active member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the America College Personnel Association, where she served on the Status of Women Commission. She is on the board of directors of California Heritage Fund, which raises funds to support black students at UC Berkeley, and on the Stiles Hall board, a 125 year-old community service agency serving UC Berkeley students.
Griffin-Desta’s dissertation from UC Berkeley makes the case for expanding the definition of merit in college admissions through communitarianism and community service, which has both racial and ethnic implications.
An enthusiastic traveler, Griffin-Desta has lived in or traveled to all the continents except Antarctica!
If you can’t attend the talk in person, listen via ReadyTalk by dialing 866-740-1260 and entering access code 7226879.
The President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women (PACSW) initiated the Women We Admire series in 2009 to bring women to UCOP from around the system to share insights about their careers, workplace challenges and work–life balance. All members of the UCOP community are invited to learn how to make the most of working at UC.
Find upcoming speakers in the series and archived audio of past talks on the Women We Admire website.