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Dean's Diversity Action Council

The Dean's Diversity Action Council was formed in 2019 to ensure that Duquesne University School of Law is a welcoming and supportive environment for all. Our goal is to create a culture of inclusion and belonging at the School of Law where our students of color and other historically underrepresented students flourish. We aim to create long-term, sustained progress toward justice, equity, and human dignity. We act in accordance with our Spiritan Mission as we seek to energize our minds, hearts and spirits to overcome the affliction of discrimination and racial inequality.

Promise Statement on Race & Justice

This Promise Statement is an affirmative statement against racism and a commitment to lead positive change. It re-affirms our Spiritan Mission and comes from a place of dignity, respect, and love for all. The statement calls us to speak with clarity around the harms of racism, and to be actively involved as faculty (on and off campus) in efforts to promote justice, equity, and human dignity.

Reflections from the Dean's Diversity Action Council

During the 2020-2021 Academic Year, the Dean's Diversity Action Council met monthly and were joined by the leaders of SBA and our student affinity groups. Each meeting began with a reflection, prayer, or poem by one of our Council members or students to ground us in our work together. We have compiled these reflections to share with our community, because they powerfully represent the challenges we face, the courage we seek, and our hope for a brighter future.

As always, we aim to create long-term, sustained progress toward justice, equity, and human dignity.

Dean April Mara Barton
April, 2021

Council Members

photo of April Barton

April M. Barton

Dean and Professor of Law


photo of Ella Kwisnek

Ella Kwisnek

Associate Dean of Students and
Assistant Professor of Legal Research & Writing



Photo of Beth Bauer

Beth Bauer

Assistant Director of Student Organizations & International Programs


photo of Marissa Meredith

Marissa Meredith

Assistant Professor of Law


photo of Aman Gebru

Aman Gebru

Assistant Professor of Law



Photo of Dana Neacsu

Neacsu, Dana

DCLI & ACLL Director
and Associate Professor of Legal Research Skills


photo of Valerie Harper

Valerie J. Harper

School of Law Registrar



photo of Grace Orsatti

Grace Orsatti

Director of the Externship Program, Pro Bono Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education


photo of Nicola Henry Taylor

Nicola Henry-Taylor

Director of Diversity



photo of Carrie Samarin

Carrie Samarin

Executive Assistant to the Dean



photo of Jalila Jefferson Bullock

Jalila Jefferson-Bullock

Associate Professor of Law



photo of Kaitlin Yacob

Kaitlin Yacob

Associate Director of Admissions


photo of Rona Kaufman

Rona Kaufman

Associate Professor of Law




Student Affinity Group Leaders: 2021-2022

Antonio Bonnetty                    bonnettya@duq.edu      3D      Vice President, Black Law Student Association
Stephon Burton                       burtons2@duq.edu       3D      President, Student Bar Association
Mallory Friday                         fridaym1@duq.edu        4E      Representative, Student Government Association
Falco Muscante                      muscantef@duq.edu     2D      Vice President, Christian Legal Society
Anabelle Nietupski                  nietupskia@duq.edu     2D      Vice President, Lambda Law Society
Brianna Schmid                      schmidb@duq.edu        3D      Vice President (Day Division), Student Bar Association
Kaine Spitak                           spitakk@duq.edu           2D     President, Lambda Law Society