AFA Announces the Appointment of Dr. Cecilia E. Suarez as their Inaugural Shirley-Jefferson Fellow for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Cecilia E. Suarez as AFA’s inaugural Shirley-Jefferson Fellow for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access. 

Funded by the AFA Foundation, and with generous financial support and partnership from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., the Shirley-Jefferson Fellow serves as AFA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion ‘expert in residence’. Named in honor of long-time AFA members and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity leaders, Dr. Zach Shirley and Chris Jefferson, our Shirley-Jefferson Fellow will provide strategic and operational guidance and cooperative expertise for AFA as it strengthens its resolve towards building a more equitable and inclusive association. The Shirley-Jefferson Fellow will work in cooperation and partnership with the AFA staff and governance leadership over the next three years to advance the Association’s DEIA priority areas – priority areas designed to have a lasting impact on AFA’s equity and inclusion goals. 

“Dr. Suarez rose to the top of an incredibly talented field of potential fellows. We were so impressed with Dr. Suarez’s experiences as a current campus administrator and Associate Dean at Tulane University, as a scholar and faculty member at the University of Florida, and as a national sorority volunteer and leader for her sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. We are privileged that Dr. Suarez has chosen to bring her skills, talents, and perspective to AFA, and are incredibly excited about supporting and amplifying her voice as she works in cooperation with AFA to elevate the standard of our work.” ~Jason Bergeron, AFA Executive Director. 

Recently, Dr. Suarez sat down with Dr. Zach Shirley and Chris Jefferson, Shirley-Jefferson Fellow namesakes, for a guided conversation about her experiences, perspectives, and philosophies that drive her work as a diversity & inclusion scholar and practitioner. We invite you to learn more about Dr. Suarez by watching that conversation.  


The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) is the leading voice in creating a fraternity/sorority profession of ever-increasing skill, value, and inclusion.  We achieve our commitments through the strategic and equity-minded advancement of our pillars — developing professional competency, advancing research, advocating for the profession, and creating community.


The AFA Foundation supports the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, individual members, and our wider fraternal communities. It is the mission of the AFA Foundation to secure, invest, and distribute the necessary resources to support the educational objectives of AFA, other relevant research, scholarships, and educational programming that furthers the fraternity/sorority advising profession.


Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded on January 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by three African American male students on the principles of Brotherhood, Scholarship, and Service. The Founders conceived Phi Beta Sigma as a mechanism to deliver services to the general community. This deep conviction is reflected in the Fraternity’s motto, Culture For Service and Service For Humanity. Today, Phi BetaSigma has blossomed into an international organization of leaders, with more than 800 chapters chartered across the United States and Canada, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe. The Fraternity delivers transformative experiences through its international programs of Bigger and Better Business, Social Action, Education and Sigma Beta Club (youth mentorship program), as well as collaborations with strategic partners. For more information, visit