Meet the DEI Team
Luzilda (Lucy) Arciniega, PhD (she/her) Director, Diversity Equity & Inclusion
Lucy C. Arciniega is responsible for developing viable and sustainable strategies to further diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Salk. She also secures and manages partnerships between Salk and external community members to further the diversification of Salk and the STEM workforce. Prior to joining Salk, Lucy helped organizations design DEI strategies by using insights about company beliefs, values, norms, and practices through her firm Willing Observers LLC. She has held faculty positions at Wayne State University and California State University, Long Beach, and a director role at the National Diversity Council. Lucy has published widely on diversity, equity, and inclusion in peer-reviewed journals and opinion editorials. She holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine.
Lauren Mitchell (she/her) Program Manager, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Lauren Mitchell leads various initiatives as the program manager for diversity, equity & inclusion at the Salk Institute. Before joining Salk, she worked in student affairs at Seton Hall University, offering first-year advising and diversity programming. Prior to her career in higher education, Lauren practiced marriage and family therapy at two private practices, applying a multicultural and systemic approach to mental health and interpersonal issues. She holds a BA in anthropology and English from Fordham University, and an MS in marriage and family therapy from Seton Hall.
Sophie Bales (she/her) DEIB, Culture and Experience Administrator
Sophie Bales is Salk’s culture and experience administrator, and actively contributes to creating a space that intentionally fosters trust, respect, and a sense of belonging for all individuals, identities, and backgrounds. Prior to joining the Salk Institute, Sophie worked at Jennifer Brown Consulting as its first DEI community manager. She launched and managed several internal programs that further developed DEI initiatives, community building and engagement, and organizational success. Previously, she held multiple roles at the Disability Resource Center at the California, Santa Cruz, where she supported students with various accommodation needs and requests. Sophie also obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from UC Santa Cruz.
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