Dr. Hernandez received a Bachelor of Science, in Molecular Genetics, and an MS and PhD in Biochemistry. Her scientific training and research in biochemistry and molecular biology focused on control of gene expression at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. After leaving research she worked to support STEM trainees of all levels by designing and implementing programs to recruit, enhance retention, and support trainees including a special focus on those with underrepresented backgrounds. She became a scientist thanks to an excellent PhD mentor who inspired her, trained her, and mentored her. For this reason, she is very passionate about mentoring and helping the next generation of STEM professionals navigate successfully to rewarding careers. Realizing that greater impact on trainees is achieved through supporting faculty, she is now leading and providing strategic oversight of engineering faculty recruitment efforts, onboarding and retention. To learn more about Dr. Hernandez’ story go here and for her professional trajectory, go here.

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Yolanda Zepeda serves as Interim Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. As a member of Ohio State’s senior leadership, she directs the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).  ODI’s team of experts employ innovative practices to promote a welcoming and inclusive university where all students can thrive. ODI programs support access, retention, mentoring, and leadership development for students at Ohio State who reflect the rich diversity of our state and nation. As one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent diversity offices in higher education, ODI is a catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the university.

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