Meet the CADSS Staff


Photo of Director Dionica Bell

Dionica Bell (She/They/Sis)

  • Director
  • Center for African Diaspora Student Success

Hi y’all! I’m Dionica(She/They/Sis) I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the campus community as the Director of the Center. My work is centered on removing the barriers that impede the success of our Diaspora students. The center is designed  to create a space where students find community that recognizes their personhood and celebrates all aspects of their identities. Here, we elevate the diversity of Blackness with the Diaspora. 

I identify as a Black Texafornian, melomanic and educator. My happy place is at concerts and music festivals, and I love connecting over who your new favorite music artist is and all things purple. I’m originally from Dallas,Texas, and both of my parents were also educators who left me a legacy of service and commitment to ensuring folks have the skills and social capital to navigate complex educational systems. I’m especially interested in racial equity work, Black identity development and intersectional models of social identity. I earned my Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University-Commerce in Communications and my Master of Arts in Post Secondary Education from San Diego State University. My prior university experiences include work in advancement, government and community relations, pre and post collegiate pipeline programs, and research on underrepresented groups in the community college. I’ve been honored to work at several institutions including UCLA, San Diego State and the University of Houston. I've been a member of the UC Davis community since 2014.


Maya Bell

  • Associate Director
  • Center for African Diaspora Student Success

I’m honored to serve as the Associate Director of the Center for African Diaspora Student Success. I’m a proud first-generation college graduate of the University of California! As an undergraduate, I attended UC San Diego, where I studied and graduated with a bachelor's of arts in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Biology.  I enjoyed the many jobs I had as a student and decided to work with college students right after college … and that turned into a career. I worked at UC San Diego supporting students at Thurgood Marshall College and later our Summer Bridge program. I earned my master’s degree from the Community-Based Block Program in multicultural counseling and social justice education from San Diego State University.

Alongside all the student and professional staff at CADSS, my role is to make sure that all students of the African Diaspora have the tools and resources they need to be their best selves at UC Davis and to graduate with a degree. Please let me know how I can partner with you. As a staff, my goal is to help you feel understood, connected, and supported, and to make the institution accessible to support your academic and co-curricular endeavors. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and baking, reading, playing board games, and connecting with friends and loved ones.

Jon De Paul

Jon De Paul Dunbar, LCSW

  • CAN Community Counselor
  • UC Davis Student Health & Counseling Services
  • 530-752-9123
  • Limited in-person availability. Please email to set up a virtual appointment.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I meet each person where they are at. I work to encourage and empower individuals to visualize and work towards the fulfillment of their lives. I use evidence-based approaches that fit with the individual instead of sticking with one modality. I work to empower individuals through a strength-based approach that sees the strengths in each individual, while also incorporating multicultural and ecological frameworks. I work collaboratively with each student to create a relationship of support, empowerment, self-discovery, and personal growth that meets their needs. I am passionate in my advocacy, empathy, and supportive approaches.

 My experience comes from years of work with the Air Force, Community Mental Health agencies working with underserved, underrepresented populations, and working with Foster Care and Adoption Agency.

Picture of Barbara Rogers

Barbara Rogers (she/her/hers)

  • Office Coordinator

As the Office Coordinator, my role is to support CADSS with administrative tasks and assist with facilities. I manage the Director's calendar, order & manage office supplies, monitor the front desk and author the Habari Gani, our bi-weekly newsletter. I am an alumni of California State University, Chico, with a degree in Communication Studies, and a minor in Managing Diversity in Organizations. During my college career, I was heavily involved with the campus community and Chico community. I was a Resident Advisor for University Housing, an intern for the Multicultural and Gender Studies Department, and a Brand Ambassador for Kohl’s Clothing Store. After graduating, I began my professional career in retail management, but quickly missed working in higher education.

In January 2020, I began my UC Davis career journey with the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs as an Administrative Assistant. I transitioned to a temporary Judicial Officer in September 2020, enforcing Campus COVID-19 policies. In 2022, I chose to follow my true passion of supporting African Diaspora students. I am honored to join the CADSS team to continue the mission of providing academic services, and a community uniting in support of UC Davis students. In my spare time I enjoy reading, eating yummy food with my husband and going to the beach.