Our Team


Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi
Vice Provost
Phone: (415) 422-2821 | Email: mjwardell@usfca.edu

Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi brings passion for creating more equitable, inclusive and caring campus climate and culture for all. She is an executive leader skilled at building organizational capacity through strategic initiatives with over 20 years experience in California higher education in academic affairs, student life, community engagement, and diversity and inclusion. Currently she is the Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach and an associate professor of organizations, communication and leadership at the University of San Francisco.

Mary leverages the university's mission and commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion to strengthen the campus for students, faculty and staff and expands the university's community engagement, particularly for multicultural and marginalized communities. She has been a leader in developing a creative framework for how the university's mission can be more fully realized as part of the community it resides within; for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.

Mary has created strategic new initiatives including: Diversity Scholar & Visiting Professor, Diverse Workforce Initiative, Stakeholder Community Forums (such as Latinas in Leadership), and the DiversityTalks series for greater intercultural and interpersonal understanding. These activities promote more inclusive practices within USF and beyond. In 2014, Mary was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to serve San Francisco citizens as a Library Commissioner for the San Francisco Public Library. In 2016, she was elected through a unanimous vote to serve as the Commission's president. Dr. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi was recently awarded the San Francisco Human Rights Commission's Hero Award and listed in Diversity MBA Magazine's Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders.

Prior to leading diversity and community initiatives at USF, Mary served as the USF Associate Vice President and Dean of Students leading and supporting campus-wide student services, including behavioral intervention and crisis response. Prior to Jesuit Catholic education, she was the Dean of Student Affairs at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA and the Assistant Dean of Students at the California State University, San Marcos, CA. She enjoys the arts and lives in San Francisco with her husband.

Ria DasGupta
Diversity and Community Relations Program Manager
Phone: (415) 422-2828 | Email: aadasgupta@usfca.edu

Ria DasGupta

Ria (Ariana) DasGupta moved to the Bay Area from New Jersey in 2014. In 2010, she earned an MA in Women's and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, where her studies focused on women's human rights in the context of neoliberalism. In 2008, she graduated summa cum laude from Douglass College, the women's college of Rutgers University, with a BA in History/Political Science and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.

Prior to her move to the Bay Area, Ria was an Interim Assistant Dean for Douglass Residential College. In her position, she developed women's leadership, global engagement and wellness programs for the college's undergraduate population. Until 2011, she was a Program Assistant for the Center for Women's Global Leadership, where she had begun as an undergraduate volunteer.

Ria is currently a doctoral student at USF in the department of International and Multicultural Education. In her free time, she dances professionally and runs a contemporary Indian dance company.

Monica Paez
Graduate Intern
Phone: (415) 422-2683 | Email: mpaez3@dons.usfca.edu

Monica Paez

Monica was born and raised in southern Colorado and currently lives in San Francisco. She received her degree from Colorado State University in 2015 in Sociology. 

Monica was heavily involved both on and off campus through various student organizations and volunteer work that helped shape her passion for education. She began working in education shortly after she graduated from CSU when she completed a year of service with AmeriCorps, specifically working with City Year Denver. Since then, Monica's dedication to education along with overcoming challenges has fueled her passion to support and work with fellow students.

One of her goals is to graduate with her M.A in Higher Education Student Affairs in 2018 and work for a university directly serving students. She hopes to help marginalized students find their home away from home in a university setting because it wasn't long ago that she walked in their shoes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the city of San Francisco as well as trying new foods and going on nature hikes.

Liz Lopez
Graduate Intern
Phone: (415) 422-5224 | Email: elopez20@dons.usfca.edu

Liz Lopez (pronouns she/her/hers and they/them/theirs used interchangeably) is originally from South Central, Los Angeles and currently lives in Vallejo, California. She identifies as a first-gen, working-class, Brown, queer scholar and artist with a disability and a daughter of Mexican immigrants. She graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Chicana/o Studies with a focus in Social Policy emphasis and Education minor.

Liz attributes most of her foundational social justice values through her community involvement in her undergraduate career as a Peer Advising Counselor at the Educational Opportunity Program and a Community organizer at the Women’s Resources and Research Center. Her interests include student activism in higher education, disability justice, queer and trans students of color issues, inter-community healing and studying liberation movements across the world specifically in Latin America. She is committed to doing equity work in oppressive systems and seeks to engage in critical dialogues on how to move towards collective liberation.

Liz is currently a masters student at USF in the department of Organizational Leadership: Higher Education and Student Affairs. She hopes to continue to address issues of accessibility in higher education primarily impacting marginalized scholars. She loves to connect through pets, food, traveling and casual conversations on how to dismantle the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

Dr. Joseph L. White
USF Diversity Consultant

Dr. Joseph L. White

For the past 51 years, Dr. Joseph L. White has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of psychology and mental health as a teacher, mentor, administrator, clinical supervisor, writer, consultant, and practicing psychologist. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, where he spent most of his career as a teacher, supervising psychologist, mentor, and Director of ethnic studies and cross-cultural programs. Dr. White received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Michigan State University in 1961. On May 10, 2007, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from the University of Minnesota, which is the highest award conferred by the University of Minnesota, recognizing individuals who have achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public affairs, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship. On May 24, 2008, he was inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame as Alumnus of the Year. Dr. White is the author of several papers and books: The Psychology of Blacks(2011; 1999; 1990; 1984); The Troubled Adolescent(1989); Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing a Future in America (1999); Black Fathers: An Invisible Presence in America (2006; 2011); Building Multicultural Competency: Development, Training, and Practice (2008). He was a pioneer in the field of Black psychology and is affectionately referred to as the “Godfather” of Black psychology by his students, mentees, and younger colleagues. His seminal article in Ebony magazine in 1970, “Toward a Black Psychology,” was instrumental in beginning the modern era of African-American and ethnic psychology.

In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. White has been a practicing psychologist and consultant. He has served as a supervising psychologist and staff affiliate psychologist to five hospitals and three clinical practices in Southern California. He has worked as a consultant with school districts, universities, private organizations, drug prevention programs, and government agencies. Dr. White was appointed to the California State Psychology Licensing Board by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and served as chairman for three years. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of The Menninger Foundation in Houston, Texas.