Skip to main content

Our Team

Photo of Sharron Graves. DBA, a Black woman with curly hair. She is smiling and wearing white dangling earrings and a white blouse.Sharron Graves, DBA, MS (she/her)

Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging and Strategic Initiatives

Responsibilities: Dr. Sharron Graves accepted the position of Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB) and Strategic Initiatives in GPILS in May 2023. In her new position, Dr. Graves oversees the recently created Office of DEB, working to foster welcoming campus and program environments and to improve diversity and equity among the student and postdoc community. To assist GPILS and OPS in assessing and accomplishing their Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB) goals, develops strategies, initiatives, programs, and evaluation methods. As a member of GPILS’ senior leadership team, she serves on a number of committees related to DEB, functions as the point of contact for student issues and concerns, and plays a key role in targeted recruitment and retention of trainees from underrepresented groups. She also holds the position of co-chair of the DEB Taskforce, which aims to create and sustain a culture of belonging among trainees.


Melissa Kroeger, MA (she/her)

Program Specialist

Responsibilities: As the Program Specialist, Melissa ensures the DEB Office is running efficiently by providing administrative support to the Executive Director. She serves as the liaison with the GPILS program leadership, the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars, and other DEB stakeholders. She contributes to assessing the success of initiatives in order to create and implement new or improved methods. She plays an integral role in the marketing and branding of the DEB Office, through frequent updates of the DEB webpages and managing the social media sites. Melissa stays current on trends in diversity scholarship and discourse to support programming.