Dr. Tiffany Puett, Director
Tiffany Puett is the founding Director of the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life. She has been writing, teaching, researching, developing curriculum, and leading workshops on religious diversity, inclusion and equity, and social justice for the past 15 years. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo and a master’s degree in Ethics from Boston University. Her work is inspired by the rich diversity of Texas, the power of storytelling, and her commitment to mutual liberation. She lives in Austin with her husband, two lovely children, and one energetic blue heeler.
Katherine Sánchez, Program Coordinator
Katherine is a PhD student at the University of Texas focusing on the creation of religious identity of American Muslims through popular culture. She received her MA from UT and wrote her thesis on the history of Muslim superheroes in comic books. Her first involvement with IDCL came through researching Islamophobic incidents in Texas for the 2016 White Paper on Islamophobia. As a native Texan, mapping out the incredible diversity of the state has become a passion academically and she is excited to take on a larger role at IDCL.
Meili Criezis, Research Intern
Meili Criezis is a senior at Southwestern University majoring in History and French. She first heard about the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life at a UT panel on Islamophobia where she met Dr. Tiffany Puett. She will document cases of anti-Muslim bias within the state of Texas since 2016 and will also be working on a project concerning how this anti-Muslim bias affects Texas Muslims.
Miguel Robles Marquez, Communications Intern
Miguel is a Communication Studies sophomore at the University of Texas. He was drawn into IDCL because he strongly identifies with the mission to promote more diversity and inclusion in our community. While in school, Miguel enjoys learning about conflicts and conflict resolution among nations. Outside of school, he likes to spend his time volunteering in the community.
Ramsey Al-Azem, Communications Intern
Ramsey is a senior and will be graduating in May with a Corporate Communications degree and a minor in Social Work from the University of Texas. Having family in both the United States and the Middle East, he felt connected to the IDCL mission of promoting education and diversity. Outside of school and IDCL, Ramsey enjoys going to Zilker park with his dog and playing sports with friends. He’s a firm believer in leaving the world a better place than he found it and tries to live his life in a way that reflects that belief.
Zoya Zia, Communications Intern
Zoya is an International Relations & Global Studies sophomore at the University of Texas. She has an affinity for learning languages and enjoys discussing foreign policy, and tries to educate herself on just about everything. She is also a managing editor at ORANGE Magazine. As a Pakistani-American, she never feels quite at home in either country. However, she hopes to make the world a more welcoming place for all through an undivided emphasis on human rights and social justice.