The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice (DEIBJ) student representatives program at the School of Information, now in its third year, is an initiative aimed at supporting the needs of our current students.
Student representatives from each degree program at the I School participate in committee meetings with faculty and staff, engage with prospective students in webinars and in-person events like prospective student visit days, and develop and manage student-led DEIBJ initiatives.
Meet the 2023 student representatives:
Noor-Ul-Ain, 5th Year Master of Information and Data Science (5th Year MIDS)
Noor-Ul-Ain is a 5th year MIDS student interested in reimagining what data can be in a way that does not harm communities, and the use of data science methods to extract insights from data to inform peoples’ experiences without exploiting them. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in data science in 2022 and was named recipient of the Sharon X. Lin and Andrew R. Bullen Graduate Fellowship in Data Science in April 2022.
“The center of my work lies at the intersection of data science, critical education, and cultivating passion for the work students do in their field by providing skills and relationships to navigate higher education and institutions not created for them,” she said.
“My educational philosophy is that the learning environment should be co-created by students and educators with a fundamental understanding that all students possess a wealth of knowledge and are experts in their own lives and experiences. While it is critical to empower students to be agents of change in their communities and larger society, it is just as important to cultivate spaces that are supportive and grounded in preparation and opportunity.”
Lauren Chambers, Ph.D. in Information Management and Systems
Lauren is a second-year Ph.D. student focused on how socio-political advocates engage with, respond to, and inform technology and algorithms. She graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in astrophysics and African American studies. Lauren currently is also an affiliate of the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society as well as a Tech for Liberty consultant for the Massachusetts ACLU.
“As a marginalized individual in both academia and in STEM, I understand the stakes (as well as the limitations) of DEIBJ work and I am committed to advancing those goals in formal and informal capacities in all the work that I do,” Lauren said.
In previous positions, she started a social justice reading group, organized panels to facilitate discussions of power and institutional change in STEM academia, and participated in many groups mentoring underrepresented students. She also leads the I School Ph.D. Applicant Feedback program and plans to pull from her extensive experience to achieve her goals as a DEIBJ representative.
Juliana Gómez Consuegra, Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS)
Juliana is in her first year of the MIDS program, currently serving as CEO of her education consulting firm Éccole. Her focus is on data science and its potential in climate crisis mitigation and biodiversity conservation. Juliana graduated from the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia with a B.Sc. and M.Sc in biology.
Juliana, as a Latina feminist, has an avid interest in intersectionality and is passionate about supporting the "fair and equal treatment of all minorities" as a DEIBJ representative. “I consider myself an ally, and I am constantly reading about cultures and gender identities different from my own, to understand different needs and think of ways in which I can make a difference,” she explained.
Suprapti McTaggart, Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS)
Suprapti is a second-year student in the MICS program, currently working at United Airlines as a senior principal cybersecurity architect. Her research focuses on application security and usability. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's degree in computer science.
“I am who I am today because of the program and the leaders who believe in DEIBJ,” Suprapti said.
She attributes her DEIBJ interests to her background as a woman in STEM and her upbringing in a low socioeconomic community. Hoping to give back to those same communities, she applied to become a representative for the MICS program. “I believe everyone should have a chance to pursue their dreams to have higher education, so they feel they belong [and are] able to contribute to society, building prosperity for communities and the nation.”
Dean Rene, Master of Information Management and Systems (MIMS)
Dean is a first-year MIMS student at the I School. Prior to Berkeley, he worked in the public and social sector directing student and family-focused programs, evaluation, and strategy. In Spring 2024, he will graduate with a Master of Information Management and Systems from the School of Information and a Master of Public Affairs from the Goldman School of Public Policy.
Dean applied to become a DEIBJ representative to understand and center those among us who are most marginalized and extend feelings of belonging and safety throughout our community.
“Graduate school, and all academic spaces, can come with a lot of expectations for achievement, but we can’t achieve if there are forces or assumptions that limit the critical resources individuals need to be successful,” Dean said. “My whole life I’ve been sensitive to the impacts of marginalization on people’s identities and needed to push through assumptions others had of me to progress towards my goals.”
“I hope to serve as a DEIBJ Representative that thinks broadly about diversity and wants to support our school in continuing to be a place that courageously addresses the needs of any student who says yes to our programs, regardless of their background and identities.”
These students represent and champion the needs and interests of current and prospective I School students in their degree program, with particular attention to students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in higher education and information, data science, and cybersecurity, including (but not limited to) Black, Chicanx/Latinx, Native American, and Alaska Native students, first-generation college students, undocumented students, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, women in STEM fields, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Catherine Cronquist Browning, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and of Equity and Inclusion, remarked, “The I School’s mission is to advance knowledge and practice wherever people interact with information and technology, and our DEIBJ student representatives are perfectly situated to examine how equity, fairness, transparency, accessibility, and related values are part of that mission.”