Group of diverse graduates

Office of Equity and Inclusion

Meet Our Team

Dr. Ajani M. Byrd

Dean of Institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Meet Dr. Ajani BrydDr. Byrd is an equity minded scholar-practitioner that specializes in the retention and persistence of students of color.  He has over 15 years of experience in post-secondary education across student and instructional affairs divisions. Dr. Byrd has worked at mid-sized private institutions, large public universities, state-wide organizations and most recently within community colleges. 

Prior to Foothill College, Dr. Byrd served in a variety of roles within the West Valley-Mission Community College District.  Positions included Acting Dean of Student Equity and Success at West Valley College where he provided leadership and oversight over nine student success units and learning communities.  During his time at WVC, Dr. Byrd was instrumental in furthering the college’s goal of becoming an anti-racist campus that values inclusion and diversity by leading initiatives devoted to exploring the racial history of the college, identifying inequities in the student conduct process, and unearthing student engagement shortfalls through a disaggregated data analysis lens. 

Dr. Byrd previously served as the Interim Dean of Language Arts and Director of Extended Opportunity Programs and Services at Mission College.  While at Mission, Dr. Byrd worked with his colleagues to bring African American focused programming to campus, which included the Inaugural Black and Brown Summit and the African American High School Leadership Conference.  Preceding his time on community college campuses, Dr. Byrd served as a Post-Doctorate Fellow at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, a Research and Assessment Assistant at Loyola University Chicago, and Program Director at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Byrd has published multiple manuscripts and presented at numerous national conferences utilizing a critical lens towards equity and social justice.  Dr. Byrd received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, Master of Arts in Sports Management from the University of San Francisco, and Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University. 

Dr. Carolyn Holcroft

Faculty Professional Development Coordinator, Equity
Phone: 650.949-7943


Dr. Carolyn Holcroft came to Foothill as a biology instructor in 2002 and transitioned into her current position as Faculty Professional Development Coordinator at Foothill College in 2017 where she works collaboratively to create equity-minded professional learning opportunities across the campus for both faculty and staff. She is passionate about assisting faculty to develop their skill in equity-minded pedagogy and assessment and regularly leads professional learning cohorts around culturally responsive pedagogy. She also helps coach faculty through their personal identity development and to explore its impact on their teaching. Dr. Holcroft was instrumental in helping collaboratively write the college's Strategic Vision for Equity and currently works to support the Foothill community to implement that vision.

During her time at Foothill she has served in many different capacities, including stints on the student equity workgroup, on the professional development committee, as president of the Foothill academic senate, as college curriculum committee faculty co-chair, as campus student learning outcomes co-coordinator, and as our academic senate representative to the FHDA District Equity and Diversity Advisory Council. Dr. Holcroft is passionate about both equity and professional development, and has had the privilege of designing and facilitating training events for faculty, staff and administrators at both the local and statewide level. Before coming to Foothill College Dr. Holcroft worked for two years as an adjunct instructor at the University of Kansas and nine years as a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Menorah Medical Center. 

Dr. Holcroft holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing and a Doctorate in Molecular Genetics/Microbiology, both from the University of Kansas.

Erika Owens

Administrative Assistant, Equity 
Phone: 650.949.7208



Liz Leiserson

Sr. Research Analyst
Phone: 650.949.6204


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Office of Equity and Inclusion

Administration Building, 1944