Associate Vice President for Equity
TiShaunda McPherson joined the Univeristy as the Associate Vice President for Equity in September 2020. TiShaunda is an accomplished civil rights professional with 20 years of experience addressing institutional, regional, and systemic discrimination in higher education and employment settings. She has served in numerous positions, including roles as a researcher, attorney, compliance professional and equity officer, each of which strengthen her understanding and bold leadership in the areas of equity and access. TiShaunda has a demonstrated commitment to ensuring a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment in which all members are treated with dignity and respect, and are provided access to resources that enable them to thrive. Full Bio.
Director, Sexual Misconduct Response and Resources and Title IX Coordinator
Colleen Johnston joined the university in 2015 and currently serves as the Director of Sexual Misconduct Response and Resources and the Title IX Coordinator. Previously, Ms. Johnston worked in civil rights enforcement, investigating discrimination complaints for the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, she served as the Executive Director of the City of Cambridge’s Human Rights Commission. In addition to her legal experience, Ms. Johnston previously worked as a Quad Director at Brandeis University. Ms. Johnston received her law degree from Boston College Law School. She has a master’s degree in Gender/Cultural Studies from Simmons College and completed her undergraduate work at Brandeis University. In her previous role as Senior Equity Specialist, Ms. Johnston conducted investigations of complaints of sexual misconduct, discrimination and harassment.
Director, Equal Opportunity & Access | Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Karen Tamburro joined Northwestern as the Director, Equal Opportunity & Access, in 2018. Karen has worked in the field of civil rights since graduating from DePaul's College of Law in 1996. She started her career in Chicago, practicing in the areas of police misconduct and employment discrimination. She worked in Boston as an employment lawyer and in Phoenix representing farmworkers in labor and employment issues. Karen returned to Chicago in 2001 to join the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, where she investigated complaints of discrimination and harassment in educational institutions. More recently, Karen served as the Title IX Coordinator for DePaul University responding to issues related to discrimination and harassment based on sex.
Director, Equity Outreach and Education
Kate comes to Northwestern with over a decade of experience facilitating and advocating alongside marginalized communities. In addition to her direct support work with youth and adults affected by sexual violence and gender discrimination, Kate has provided training for employers, non-profits, hospitals, and law enforcement on sexual violence prevention, anti-oppression frameworks, and LGBTQ cultural competency. She was named one of the Windy City Times’ “30 Under 30” in 2016 and is currently the Director, Equity Outreach and Education for the Office of Equity, where she trains over 5,000 people every year on harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence prevention. Kate holds a BA in Women and Gender Studies from McGill University, and a Master of Science in Communications from Northwestern University.
Senior Affirmative Action Specialist
Chad Bergmann is the Senior Analyst for Affirmative Action in the Office of Equity. In his role as Senior Analyst, Chad oversees the technical development of the University’s Affirmative Action Plan for employees. Chad joined the University in 2009 in the Office of Human Resources and moved into his current role in the Office of Equity in 2017. Chad received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in history and his master’s degree from Northwestern University in information systems.
Laura Conway joined Northwestern as the ADA Coordinator in 2018. Laura most recently worked on education law issues at LAF, which provides free legal assistance for Cook County residents living in poverty. Laura, who is hard-of-hearing and uses cochlear implants, has worked in both the public and private sectors on a wide range of issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504. She holds a BA in Political Science from Macalester College and received her law degree from William & Mary Law School. In her free time, Laura enjoys reading, oil painting, creative writing, and playing sand volleyball by Lake Michigan.
Laura Ellen Conway
Associate Director, Equity and Title IX Compliance | Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Amanda DaSilva joined Northwestern as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students in 2016. Amanda’s primary responsibilities include responding to reports of sexual misconduct, engaging students around available resources and options, facilitating interim measures and academic flexibility and serving as students’ point of contact throughout the complaint resolution process. Prior to her role in the Office of Equity, Amanda held positions in sexual misconduct response, student conduct and residential services at institutions including The University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern, and National Louis University. Amanda completed her undergraduate studies in Criminal Justice and Sociology at LaSalle University in Philadelphia and received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys distance running, exploring Chicago’s restaurants and spending time with her miniature schnauzer, Daphne.
Jason serves as Senior Equity Specialist for the Office of Equity, investigating complaints related to sexual misconduct, stalking, dating and domestic violence, and other discrimination and harassment concerns. Jason previously worked as an Assistant Director in Northwestern's Office of Student Conduct from 2015-2018, where he oversaw the Residential LIfe aspects of the conduct process. In this role, he also recruited and trained the University Hearing and Appeals System's student, faculty, and staff panel members. Jason's work prior to Northwestern included a decade of work developing residence hall communities at 3 other Illinois universities, and 3 years of middle school teaching prior to that. Jason holds a bachelor's degree in Social Studies Education, and a master's degree in Higher Education/College Student Personnel. Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending time with his four daughters, kayaking, reading, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.
Senior Equity Specialist
Equity Outreach and Education Coordinator
Shá joins Northwestern with eight years of non-profit management and community organizing experience. While teaching students performing arts and creative writing all across Chicago, they became aware of the inequities in educational systems for students from marginalized backgrounds. This led to their passion for not only the work of advocacy for equity in education, but also the training and professional development of administrators, staff, and program instructors around equitable educational practices and cultural competencies. They have worked with prominent non-profits including Youth Guidance, Youth Opportunity United in Evanston, and recently served as Interim Executive Director of PlayMakers Laboratory. Shá holds her BA in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Masters of Education in Higher Education from Loyola University of Chicago.
Ish Faith Orkar
Senior Equity Specialist
Ish Orkar joined the University in March 2018. Before joining Northwestern, Ish worked as an attorney for 8 years with experience in private practice, legal aid and small firm environments. Ish is also a clinical social worker and spent a significant part of her career providing crisis intervention services. Ish received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan, and her legal education and master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Passionate about equity in higher education, she has given trainings and presented on Title IX, sexual assault and domestic violence at colleges and universities throughout Cook County. Ish is a trained civil rights investigator and serves the Northwestern community as an investigator for matters including, but not limited to, reports of discrimination, harassment, dating and domestic violence, sexual misconduct and stalking.
Amy Truelove joined Northwestern in May 2019. Before joining Northwestern, Amy was a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Equity Specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago for over three years, where she responded to and investigated complaints of sexual misconduct and discrimination from students, faculty and staff. Before working at UIC, Amy worked at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights in Chicago for almost 29 years, where she investigated complaints of discrimination against educational institutions. Amy graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Public Policy. In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family (including her two dogs), reading, walking, yoga, traveling and volunteering.
Amy A. Truelove
Senior Equity Specialist