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Gregorio FigueroaGregorio Figueroa
Program Manager, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion. Pick one of these words and tell us what it means to you.

I believe diversity refers to the sum of social, cultural, and individual human attributes represented within a group and how these groups work together. These attributes include (but are not limited to) age, class, disability, educational background, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, geographical location, immigration status, income, marital status, national origin, parental status, political views, race, religion, sexual orientation, work experiences, and veteran status. These categories are not always fixed and often can overlap.

Can you share with us one (academic/professional) highlight from your time at Rady?

One of my professional highlights at Rady is my contribution to the design, development and launching of the Business and Economics Mentoring Program (BEMP). BEMP is a program under the Belonging Initiative umbrella. The goal of BEMP is to expand the diversity of the Business Economics major, which was launched in Fall 2021. The components of the program focus on attracting and matriculating underrepresented minority and first-generation college students.

So far, we’ve been able to create an inaugural cohort of freshman students in the business and economics major from diverse backgrounds:
  • 60% First-Generation
  • 60% Female
  • 65% Black or Hispanic
  • 65% Low Income
Mentors meet one-on-one with mentees to provide guidance on course taking, resources on campus for academic support and opportunities for research and business opportunities. Our mentors also organize networking and social events for the cohort.

The program also aims to provide summer internships in business and research for undergraduate students. It aims to support predoctoral scholars, by providing work opportunities as full-time research assistants after their undergraduate degree to gain additional experience in preparation for graduate school or industry opportunities. Predoc programs are becoming increasingly common and provide additional training to underrepresented students to make them better prepared and more competitive.

One of Rady's guiding principles is that we are community focused. What has community looked like for you at Rady?

Rady is welcoming place where people from a diverse range of backgrounds can grow and thrive–and where I feel that I belong.

Community at Rady is one in which I feel connected to others, share a sense of purpose, and feel supported to be my individual self and respectfully express my views. Community at Rady, is one that encourages empathy, civil discourse, inclusion, and engagement. At Rady, we know that talent and good ideas can come from anywhere – and we value one another’s contributions in every role. I see this being exercised every day at Rady, through the different partnerships and collaborations taking place among staff, faculty, and students.

Beyond your professional life, what brings you joy?

I love art! I enjoy exploring different art galleries and attending performing arts events (e.g., concerts, plays). I recently got into sailing, which is something that I really enjoy to do. It’s definitely a very soothing and calming experience. I also enjoy hiking. I would have to say what brings me the most joy is watching my daughter, Ozara Grace, perform her latest dance moves and gymnastic routines.

Steven Kempa

Steven Kempa

FlexEvening MBA '24
Brendan McIntyre

Brendan McIntyre

FlexEvening MBA '23
JeLissa Morgan

JeLissa Morgan

MPAc '22