Our Mission


Diversity & Social Justice Education (DSJE) offers anti-oppression curricular and co-curricular opportunities that:

  • Build capacity of students, staff, and faculty to explore diverse perspectives
  • Create transformative learning spaces and programs that encourage self-reflection, intersectional solidarity, action & advocacy
  • Develop a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to self-awareness, equity, justice, and collective liberation
  • Empower our students, staff, and faculty to become social justice leaders and change agents in our communities
Meet our Staff

Our staff are passionate about supporting your success at the University of Illinois

DSJE Staff Photo


Photo of Domonic Cobb

Domonic Cobb, EdM (he/him)

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Inclusion, and Belonging

Email: dcobb@illinois.edu Phone 217.333.2121

Domonic Cobb serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor (AVC) for Student Success, Inclusion, and Belonging at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is responsible for co-leading a talented team charged with designing and implementing strategies that bolster students’ success and sense of belonging. He also leads the campus’ First-Generation Steering Committee and is the Senior Diversity Office in Student Affairs.

After nearly three decades in higher education, AVC Cobb has contributed to student and academic affairs at the University of Illinois. He has served as the Director of the Office of Minority Student Affairs and TRIO Programs, the Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Chez Family Scholars and the POSSE Scholars Programs, the Special Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Assistant Provost of Recruitment and Retention, the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, the Assistant Coordinator for the Program on Intergroup Relations and Specialist in Education, the Assistant Dean and Director of New Student Orientation, Assistant to the Director for Admission and Records, and the Resident Director and Assistant Director the Liberal Arts and Sciences Residential Learning Community. AVC Cobb is also a member of several professional organizations, including NASPA, the Council on Opportunity in Education (COE), and the Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education (ICBCHE). 

AVC Cobb holds a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is a three-time alum of Illinois’ TRIO programs and a proud first-generation college graduate.

On a personal note, AVC Cobb is actively involved in his community. He serves on the Dr. Martin Luther King Advocacy for Justice Board, the University of Illinois Black Alumni Network Board, and in his local church. Finally, he enjoys time with family, friends, media, and music.

Photo of Sang Lee

Sang S. Lee, PhD (she/her)

Associate Director of Social Justice Leadership

Specialty Areas: critical pedagogy, racial formation, immigration, racial microaggressions, community organizing

Email: sanglee7@illinois.edu Phone: 217.300.1055

Dr. Sang Lee earned three degrees from the University of Illinois, including her Doctorate in Regional Planning with a graduate minor in Asian American Studies. Her research interests include immigration, civic participation, and racial and ethnic diversity in US cities. Sang is a 1.5 generation Korean American, and her family moved to Champaign in the early 1980s. Her passions as an undergraduate student-activist included the anti-chief movement, organizing Take Back the Night, and advocating for resources for Asian American students. She worked as a union and community organizer in Chicago, Champaign, and Madison, WI, before pursuing her graduate studies. She brings to DSJE a passion for community-building and years of experience as an educator and researcher on racial formation, immigration, and racial microaggressions.

Photo of Michelle Naese and her cat Coconut

Michelle Naese, BS (she/her)

Assistant Director of Allyship & Solidarity

Specialty Areas: antiracism, racial justice, psychology

Email: naese2@illinois.edu Phone: 217.333.1918

Michelle is a multi-racial first-generation college graduate and native of Chicago, IL.  She came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 2011, where she later received her bachelor's degree in Psychology. She was a peer educator throughout her undergraduate years and participated in I-Connect, LENS, Intergroup Dialogue courses, and the Social Justice Educator Paraprofessional Program.  After graduation, Michelle served as a lab manager and project coordinator on several research projects in the Department of Psychology.  Throughout that time, she was able to assist in leading research focused on racial and cultural identity development, emotional regulation and well-being, and trauma-informed intervention.  Most recently, Michelle worked with Diversity & Social Justice Education on a number of programs and initiatives within the office, gaining valuable experience in coordinating peer education programs on campus. 

She loves cats, board games, and all things true crime.  Michelle is active in our community and volunteers as a Jail Librarian for the Books 2 Prisoners program, an Election Judge, and a suicide prevention Field Advocate.


Photo of Chris McConkey and her dog Bella Mae

Chris McConkey (she/her)

Office Support Specialist

Specialty Areas: interfaith dialogue, social work, budgeting & finance

Email: cam18@illinois.edu Phone 217.300.9786

Chris holds a Bachelor and Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois. She has worked for over 20  years in the community mental health field.  She has provided office support for Diversity & Social Justice Education since 2018 and is excited to be a part of the Illinois family once again.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, Bella Mae, TV/movies/theater, all things related to agriculture, and working outdoors in her pollinator garden (Save the Bees and the Monarch Butterflies!)

Photo of Mackenzie Schabowski

Mackenzie Schabowski (she/her)

Graduate Assistant to I-Connect

MA Student in Human Resources & Industrial Relations

Email: iconnect@illinois.edu

Mackenzie Schabowski is a central Illinois native holding a BA in Gender in Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois. During her time as an undergrad, she was a peer educator with the FYCARE program, facilitating interactive workshops for first-year students on pertinent topics such as sexual assault and dating violence. She was also a member of Inner Voices Social Issues Theatre group, which produced some of her fondest experiences at UIUC. Alongside her fellow cast members, she utilized radical performance art to stimulate meaningful civic dialogue in the local community. Currently pursuing a Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations, Mackenzie’s goal is to build a career in Diversity Equity and Inclusion. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, crossword puzzles, gaming, and weightlifting.

Meet our Student Staff

Our team of social justice leadership interns are trained peer educators who offer workshops, trainings, programs, and more to foster an inclusive campus community at Illinois.

Photo of Arrielle Henderson

Arrielle Henderson (she/her)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Journey Workshops

Arrielle is a freshman from Des Plaines, IL. She works as a florist, has a German shepherd named Luna, and her family is from England. Arrielle loves spending time with friends and her little sister, and fashion makes her happy. Arrielle is excited to work with my other interns and the UIUC community in order to create a welcoming environment for everyone.

Photo of Natalie Hulseberg

Natalie Hulseberg (she/her)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Journey Workshops, Reproductive Justice

Natalie is a sophomore double majoring in political science and economics. She is interested in pursuing a career in law with a focus on constitutional law and disability rights. As well as being a DJSE intern, she is a writer for the Undergraduate Law Review, a Project Associate at the National Center for Principled Leadership and Research Ethics, and a member of the University of Illinois Philharmonia Orchestra. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, playing minesweeper, practicing her cello, and spending time outdoors.

Photo of Daniela Marin

Daniela Marin (she/her)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Connect, I-Journey Workshops, Student Leadership

Daniela is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science and government, as well as sociology and public relations. From Park Ridge, Illinois, Daniela is hoping to use her diverse family background to foster inclusion across all areas of life. This will be Daniela’s third year as an I-Connect student facilitator and second year as a Social Justice Intern. In her free time, Daniela enjoys walking around campus, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music.

Photo of Terra Salgado

Terra Salgado (she/her)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Journey Workshops, Racial Justice, Abolition, Reproductive Justice

Terra is a Mexican-American from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She is a junior pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Social Work. This is her second year working as a Social Justice Leadership Intern for Diversity & Social Justice Education. She is passionate about racial justice, reproductive justice, and abolition. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games and going to concerts.

Photo of Tesh Saravanan

Tesh Saravanan (he/him)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Journey Workshops

Chittesh is a freshman pursuing bachelor's degrees in political science and philosophy, interested in identity politics and public policy. He is hoping to use his experiences as a student of color to find ways to celebrate intersectionality not only on campus, but as he enters the legal field as well. Chittesh is passionate about getting disadvantaged voters involved in politics, fighting mental health stigmas for minorities, and immigration reform. In his free time, he listens to Lana Del Rey, rewatches his favorite Julia Roberts movies, and reads any book a friend (or stranger) recommends.

Photo of Vans Smallwood

Vans Smallwood (she/her)

Social Justice Leadership Intern

Specialty Areas: I-Journey Workshops

Vans is a junior at UIUC majoring in advertising and a first-generation college student. Recently over the summer, she had a chance to participate in an internship with the Greenwood Project, which opened her eyes to wanting to promote and teach others about social justice. Vans' passions include advocating for African Americans and she's accomplished this through joining organizations such as NACWC and NAACP.