Diversity Director, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Eric Abrams joined UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business as its Diversity Director in January 2012. Throughout a distinguished career, Abrams has gained a national reputation as a gifted administrator and outstanding public speaker who has consistently placed the needs of students first and foremost. Born in Berkeley, Abrams spent his childhood in the Bay Area and Chicago before matriculating at Stanford, where he majored in political science and drama. As a graduate student at UCLA, Abrams studied political science, as well as being elected Secretary of the Black Graduate Student Association. Shortly thereafter, he began his career in admissions at the University of Southern California.
He has been successful in a number of different settings; during his tenure as Director of Admission at Pitzer College, the school had the largest applicant pool it had ever had, the mean GPA and SAT scores of the entering class were the highest in the College’s history, and the entering class was the most ethnically diverse in the history of the College. At Berkeley Law, he was fortunate to be a part of a team that met with a great deal of success; enrollment of students from traditionally underrepresented groups increased by more than 600% during his time there.
In two stints in the Stanford MBA Admission Office, Abrams led efforts that helped that institution become the most ethnically diverse of the nation’s most selective MBA programs; in addition, he served as both an academic advisor to undergraduate students as well as a Resident Fellow in an undergraduate residence. Most recently, he served as Assistant Dean for Diversity Outreach in Stanford’s Office of Undergraduate Admission. In this role, he supervised a team of professionals charged with enhancing the diversity of the Stanford undergraduate population.
He met his wife, Donna, when she was a third-year student in the joint MBA-MPH program at Haas. They live in Oakland with their two teenage sons. Abrams is a huge sports fan, a beginning motorcyclist, and an avid barbecue pitmaster.
Assistant Director of Admissions, Undergraduate Program, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Sojourner Blair is the Assistant Director of Admissions for the Haas Undergraduate Program. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Haas in 1992, Sojourner worked in the consulting industry for 8 years. Realizing her true passion was in higher education, she returned to her alma mater in 2000 to work in the field of admissions. As a first generation college student, Sojourner believes strongly in the power of education in finding our unique life purpose and path. She volunteers extensively at her church and with youth programs in her community. Sojourner enjoys reading, is a huge sports fan and avid "do-it-yourselfer".
Lead MBA and Diversity & Inclusiveness Recruiter, Ernst & Young
Nicole Felix is the Lead MBA and Diversity & inclusiveness Recruiter for the West Sub Area of Ernst & Young. In this role, she is responsible for attracting top MBA students to the firm’s consulting practice and executing Diversity & Inclusiveness initiatives to attract minorities to the Accounting profession.
Nicole is a Bay Area native and received her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from California State University, Hayward in 1997. During her matriculation at CSU, Hayward, she became a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., NABA, (1994) and Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., (1995). As a lifetime member of NABA, Inc., Nicole has served on National, Regional and Local executive boards of the association. She is currently an advisor to the regional and local level leadership. She is the founder of a middle school program, now in its thirteenth year and is currently working with business partners to form a non profit (L.I.F.E. Courses, Inc., www.lifecoursesinc.org) for the program. As a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., Nicole has chaired the fundraising and social committees where she has been responsible for strengthening the financial resources, bond and sisterhood activities for the Sorority. Nicole is also a co-founder of the African American Employee Network, a collaborative network of African American employee resource groups from the private, public and educational sectors of the Greater Bay Area community. Nicole has received numerous organizational awards for her unfaltering commitment and the communities she serves.
Assurance Partner, Ernst & Young
Ed Kennedy, Ernst & Young Assurance Partner, has more than 18 years of experience providing assurance services to SEC registrants and high-growth private companies in the San Francisco office of Ernst & Young. Ed has significant experience working with high-growth clients in co-developing audit approaches, resolving technical accounting issues on a proactive basis throughout the year, defining deliverables, and executing audits. Ed's industry experience reflects the diversity of Ernst & Young's market share in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ed has served leading clients in many industries including real estate, hospitality, retail and consumer products, manufacturing, services, and technology.
Ed is a leader in recruiting the next generation of Ernst & Young professionals in his role as the firm's Campus Coordinating Partner for the University of California at Berkeley. Ed serves on the Executive Board of the Center for Financial Reporting & Management (CFRM), which is part of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. The CFRM provides the accounting community with opportunities to get involved in the development of academic programs and professional activities.
Ed earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1993 and is a member of both the AICPA and the California State Society of CPAs. Ed lives in Walnut Creek with his wife and two children. He enjoys golfing, wine tasting, traveling, and watching Cal football and basketball games. Go Bears!
H. Faye C. Lawson
Student Outreach Advisor, Undergraduate Program, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
H. Faye C. Lawson is the Student Outreach Advisor of the Undergraduate Program at the Haas School of Business. Before joining the undergraduate office she also served as Director of Student Services in the MBA unit as well as Haas First Student Advocate. Having worked on the Berkeley campus for over 25 years she worked in other units and served on several Chancellor Committees, i.e. Student Conduct, New Student Welcoming Committee and many others across the campus. She also received two degrees from Berkeley, BA in Ethnic Studies and Masters in Education, before recently joining the Haas Undergraduate School of Business. Her role now is to implement programs for student outreach, recruitment and admission to the Haas School of Business.
Dean, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Richard K. Lyons became the Bank of America Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in July 2008. He is a graduate of the school’s undergraduate business program.
Dean Lyons has focused his time in office refining the Haas School’s strategic plan to leverage the traits that are distinctively Berkeley. He has also launched the public phase of a $300 million capital campaign, the Campaign for Haas. Its goals are centered on transforming the Haas School campus, building a curriculum based on the Berkeley-Haas approach to leadership, and aggressively expanding the school’s faculty and its support for research.
Prior to becoming dean, Lyons served as the chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he was responsible for leadership development among the firm's managing directors.
Dean Lyons started his career as a professor of finance. He joined the Haas School in 1993. In 1998 Lyons received UC Berkeley's highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award. His students have honored him with the Haas School's Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching six times. In 2004, he was named acting dean of the school for one year and then continued his strategic duties here as executive associate dean from 2005 to 2008.
Following completion of his undergraduate studies at Berkeley in 1982, Lyons went on to earn a PhD in international and macroeconomics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1987. He began his teaching career at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in New York, where he served on the faculty from 1987 until he joined the Haas School faculty in 1993.
Executive Director, Center for Financial Reporting & Management, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Professor Nondorf joined the faculty at the Haas School of Business upon completion of her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003. Prior to obtaining her PhD, Professor Nondorf was a senior manager in the Corporate Finance Transaction Services Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, NY. She started her career with Deloitte and Touche in Atlanta, GA and she is a CPA in the state of Georgia where she received her BBA in accounting from Mercer University.
At Berkeley-Haas, Professor Nondorf currently researches the effects of accounting on the structure of corporate financing activities, in particular, mergers and acquisitions. She is also examining the effect of regulatory involvement on the quality of firms’ financial reporting and disclosures. In particular, she is studying the impact of SEC comment letters on disclosure quality and the effects of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 on smaller firms. Professor Nondorf teaches intermediate and advanced financial accounting topics to Berkeley-Haas undergraduate and MBA students.
In the summer of 2010, she was named Executive Director of the Center for Financial Reporting and Management. In her role as Executive Director of the Center, Professor Nondorf strives to link the Accounting Group at Berkeley-Haas to the global financial reporting community and she serves to provide awareness and advise students about the educational pathway towards a career in the accounting and financial advisory professions.
Americas Advisory Services Campus Recruiting Leader, Ernst & Young
Fred's primary responsibilities include the development of recruiting
strategies for the US, oversight and implementation of strategic
directives and program management for several Americas-wide initiatives
Fred began his career with Ernst & Young as an auditor in the research, development
and manufacturing industries, where he specialized in the energy sector. After three
years, Fred changed hats to assist Ernst & Young's Inclusiveness Recruiting team. In
order to attract talent to the firm, Fred identified underrepresented minorities at
colleges and organizations throughout the US and managed external relationships with
organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc.; the
Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, INROADS, Inc.; and the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' Minority Initiatives Committee.
Fred received his bachelor's degree in Accounting from Grambling State University,
where he now serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the College of Business. He is
also a voting board member of the Spring Valley Athletic Association in Richardson,
Executive Director, Undergraduate Program, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Erika Walker is the Executive Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Haas School of Business. She also teaches UGBA 156AC, Diversity in the Workplace. With over 12 years of business experience in the private and not-for-profit industries, her interest has been in higher education student services, professional development and leadership training. As a manager at INROADS/Northern California, she interacted regularly with undergraduate students and Fortune 500 employers in the professional services and other industries. She worked as Program Administrator for the Summer Youth Development Program at the McKesson Corporation and as a Project Coordinator in Community and Government Relations at the Regional Offices of Kaiser Permanente. Erika earned her BS in American Studies, with emphasis in Health & Education for Minority Youth, and MA in Educational Leadership. She is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Mills College.