Inclusion & Engagement Committee Members

Sibel Bargu

Sibel Bargu Ates
Co-Chair, CC&E DEI Steering Committee
Provost’s Fellow, LSU
Associate Dean of Academics, CC&E
Shell Professor in Oceanography/Wetland Studies, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences 

Since joining LSU in 2006, Dr. Sibel Bargu Ates has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility. As a trained coastal ecologist and biological oceanographer, she has a special interest in ecological issues related to estuarine and marine plankton. As a first-generation college student with limited English skills at the start of her graduate education in the U.S., she has learned that providing individualized assistance to identify appropriate educational opportunities, expedite learning. Additionally, many cultural barriers can be overcome with individualized support; a welcoming, home-like environment; and the right circle of support. Dr. Bargu enjoys leveraging her skills and experiences to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion and believes that learning is best achieved when faculty and students learn from each other.

Nancy Rabalais in scuba gear on the deck of a shipNancy Rabalais
Co-Chair, CC&E DEI Steering Committee
Professor and Shell Endowed Chair 
LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences 

Dr. Nancy Rabalais went on her first scientific research cruise in 1976 in the western Gulf of Mexico. Then, as well as during her more recent work with another marine laboratory in the northern Gulf of Mexico, she was often joined by women scientists and students. Her mentor possibilities through her college education, however, were dominated by males (but supportive ones). Shifting to her beginning in the higher education workforce, there were few women in the academic professor series of oceanographers. The number of senior and professorial women in oceanography is increasing but falls far short of the population. While not ignoring other inequities within the science world, she takes a special interest in mentoring women scientists and students.


Jun-Hong LiangJun-Hong Liang
DOCS Representative
Associate Professor
LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences

Since coming to the U.S. as an international student, Dr. Liang has been living, studying, and working in communities that are racially, ethnically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse. He understands the different challenges that students of different backgrounds face during their growth and strives to engage students of diverse backgrounds in STEM. Since joining LSU, he has been actively participating in various outreaching activities targeting middle and high school students in the local community, particularly those from historically excluded groups.  


Linda HooperLinda M. Hooper-Bùi
DES Representative
Department of Environmental Sciences 

Lily PhamLily Pham
Staff Representative
LSU College of the Coast & Environment 

Raised by a Vietnamese immigrant parent, Ms. Pham is dedicated to supporting, affirming, and empowering minority women. She spends time mentoring and empowering her nieces and daughters to break the glass ceiling. With her vast experience in fashion, mentorships, and empowerment, she strives to teach others about the Vietnamese migration along the Southern coast and about continuously ensuring equality for minority women in the academia.  As her mother has taught her, a match can cause a spark, a spark can create a fire, and a fire can create awareness.


Kathe FallsKathe Falls
Staff the Committee
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations 
LSU College of the Coast & Environment 

When she first entered the international economic development workforce in 1984, Ms. Falls was hired as the second professional woman in her organization. Throughout her career, she has been mentored only by men although women professionals are now common in this field. After accepting multiple positions of increasing responsibilities, she managed a diverse global staff and led numerous multi-cultural initiatives. Before switching to a career in higher education, she led one of the most successful state export programs in the nation, twice receiving Presidential E-Star Service Awards, the highest honor in the nation in her field. She continues to mentor others in her spare time.