Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, November 14th Relationships Matter: Using Data-Informed Decisions for Public Good
Talithia Williams, Ph.D., Harvey Mudd College
Associate Dean for Research and Experiential Learning and an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd CollegeDr. Williams is cohost of the PBS series NOVA Wonders, premiering in April 2018, and has delivered speeches nationally and internationally on the value of statistics in quantifying personal health information. She has made it her life’s work to get students, parents, educators and community members more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education.
In 2015, she won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, which honors faculty members whose teaching is effective and extraordinary, and extends its influence beyond the classroom.She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Spelman College, a master’s degree in Mathematics from Howard University and her Ph.D. in Statistics from Rice University. Her professional experiences include research appointments at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and the National Security Agency.Dr. Williams develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data and has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Through her research and work in the community at large, she is helping change the collective mindset regarding STEM in general and math in particular – rebranding the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or male-dominated but instead a logical, productive career path that is crucial to the future of the country. She is active in her faith community and serves with her husband as a Christian marriage mentor couple, all while being the mom of three amazing boys.
Thursday, November 15th In the Room Where it Happens: IR Across Campus, Across Questions
  Jamienne S. Studley, WASC Senior College and University Commission 
President of the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and President Emerita of Public Advocates Inc.Ms. Studley was deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education from 2013 to 2016, at times also acting in the positions of under secretary and assistant secretary for postsecondary education. Her focus included accreditation and accountability, development of the College Scorecard, campus climate issues, and student success strategies. She also served on the federal advisory committee on accreditation, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), from 2008 to 2013 (chair, 2011-13). Earlier Ms. Studley was the department’s deputy and then acting general counsel from 1993 to 1999.Ms. Studley has served in a number of other higher education roles, including as the first female president of Skidmore College; Associate Dean & Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, and scholar in residence, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She has also been professor of practice (public policy), Mills College; adjunct faculty, UC Berkeley and Stanford Law Schools; board member, Association of American Colleges & Universities; and Visiting Committee, Harvard Law School. A graduate of Barnard College (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Ms. Studley also served as National Policy Advisor for Beyond 12 and an independent consultant on institutional effectiveness, accreditation, and leadership.Her nonprofit leadership experience includes CEO and now President Emerita of Public Advocates Inc. and executive director of the National Association for Law Placement. She serves on the boards of KQED and the Foundation for Student Success. Her past civic and volunteer activities have included chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission and Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund; co-chair, California Civil Rights Coalition; co-founder, Washington Area Women’s Foundation and Collectors of Wood Art, and board member, SF Education Fund, Mills College, American Craft Council, and Museum of Craft and Design (SF).
Friday, November 16th Panel : Difficult dialogues, quick wins and other tales of actionable research
Pamela Brown, Moderator

Pamela Brown is Vice President of Institutional Research and Academic Planning (IRAP) at the UC Office of the President.  She began in November 2013 and manages a team that produces evidence-based analyses and reports for university and academic senate leaders to advance strategic and academic planning, address legislative requests, support assessment, and promote transparency efforts. Prior to joining UCOP, Pamela worked sixteen years at UC Berkeley where her last role was Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Analysis (OPA). Pamela received her Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public Policy and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Mathematics both from the UC Berkeley.




Wadell Herron, Ph.D.

Dr. Waddell M. Herron is the former (retired) Associate Director, Academic Affairs, of the Analytic Studies Division, at the California State University(CSU), Office of the Chancellor.  During his tenure at the CSU Chancellor’s Office, Dr. Herron was responsible for undertaking broad and complex assignments associated with the short and long-term strategic planning activities of the CSU system.

Dr. Herron earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Princeton University and a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Before joining the CSU in 1992, Dr. Herron taught full-time in the Ethnic Studies Department and Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Herron has received many honors and awards throughout his academic and professional career including a Distinguished Doctoral Student Award from the American Planning Association, an University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, and was selected by the American Council on Education (ACE) to be a member of the 2002-03 class of the ACE Fellows Program.  Dr. Herron also served on the CAIR Board of Directors from 2013-2016, and continues to be an active Emeritus member of CAIR and AIR.

Allison Cantwell, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Dr. Allison M. Cantwell is Assistant Vice Chancellor of Institutional Research at UC Riverside where she leads a team of four analysts to support campus efforts in strategic planning, student success, and decision support. In addition to AVC of Institutional Research, Allison serves as UC Riverside’s data lead for the University Innovation Alliance, a coalition of 11 public research universities nationwide that strives to promote student success for low-income and first-generation student populations. She is also co-chair of the data action committee for Growing Inland Achievement, an initiative focused on increasing college preparedness, college completion, and career preparation for students in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Allison earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Riverside, where her research focused on the undergraduate student experience, student success, and social psychology.


Juan Ramirez, Ph.D., Western University of Health Sciences

Juan is currently Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Western University of Health Sciences, where he plays a prominent role in supporting institutional and budgetary decision-making at all levels.  He leads an institutional research unit responsible for producing information and analysis for academic programs, executive administration, university support services, and the Board of Trustees.  Juan oversees the university’s process on program review and is a member of the University’s committee on assessment.  Having led the past two WSCUC reaffirmation efforts, he also plays a prominent role in institutional accreditation.

Juan earned a doctorate degree in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.  As a student he studied approaches for inhibiting substance abuse within underprivileged and depressed populations in California and Arizona.  During these early experiences, which included a six-year stint as adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton, he developed a strong foundation in statistics and research methods that have helped shape the course of his career.

In addition to his full-time role, Juan currently serves as Past President of CAIR.  Throughout his time on the Board, he led efforts related conference evaluations, conference site selection, and the CAIR website.  Juan was sitting CAIR President for the 2017 conference in Concord, Calfornia

Sunny Moon, Ph D., California State University, Los Angeles

Dr. Sunny Moon currently holds Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness at Cal State Los Angeles, and has worked as an institutional researcher and educational researcher for more than fifteen years, with expertise in student retention and student success in higher education.  She serves as a key member of university steering committees including Graduation Initiative, Enrollment Management, Strategic Planning, Educational Effectiveness & Assessment, and as campus leader for Data Governance Committee.  She also received national recognition and award for actionable and impactful research based on culturally responsive and student-focused perspective utilizing predictive analytics.  Dr. Moon received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in USC’s Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis.

Brianna Hays, Cuyamaca College

Bri Hays currently serves as the Senior Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Success, and Equity at Cuyamaca College. In this position, she provides leadership in areas such as research, institutional planning and evaluation, and program review. Bri also serves as the College’s accreditation Liaison Officer. She has over a decade of experience in institutional research and planning.  In previous roles, Bri has led the Institutional Research Office at San Diego Mesa College and served as a research analyst at San Joaquin Delta College. Her primary areas of focus are student success, equity, social justice, and organization development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Stanislaus, and a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in Program Evaluation from San Diego State University.