Heather Tarleton, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Begins Term

Heather Tarleton, Ph.D., began her term as the inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion for the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University in January 2021.

“Seaver College reaffirms our commitment to inclusive excellence,” said Seaver College Dean Tina Choe. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to our mission. Associate Dean Tarleton will work with our leadership and community to further bolster a collaborative environment that prioritizes DEI in all aspects of our college.”

Tarleton is a well-recognized and respected teacher, mentor, scholar and leader with an intrinsic interest in diversity, equity and inclusion.

“DEI work has always been a part of my experiences. It’s included in my scholarship, and is inherent in all I do,” she said. “I believe when you lead with equity and inclusion, you will yield diversity.”

Tarleton joined the faculty at LMU in 2012 after holding faculty and administrative positions at UCLA. As a molecular biologist and epidemiologist, she has a passion for developing and teaching courses at the intersection of the biomedical sciences and public health. Her research in cancer epidemiology has focused on health disparities and quality of life among multi-ethnic populations of cancer patients.

Nationally, Tarleton led outreach and diversity initiatives between UCLA’s Graduate Division and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and served as the president of the National Association of Black Women in Higher Education. She continues to serve on the Governing Council for Maternal Mental Health-Now and on the planning committee for the National Institutes of Health – Network of Minority Health Research Investigators.

At LMU, Tarleton has supported diversity and equity efforts for undergraduate students through the Office of Intercultural Affairs and for faculty, as co-chair of the Black Faculty and Staff Association. She serves as a faculty advisor for the McNair Scholars Program and the Health and Society Minor.

Within Seaver College, Tarleton has served as the chair of the College Curriculum Committee and has supported students through first-year advising and orientation, the ACCESS program, and the Health Professions Advising Committee. In 2017, she was awarded the Elizabeth and Michael Rudinica Prize for Student-Faculty Research.