Who We Are (OID)

Sumun (Sumi) Pendakur

Sumi Pendakur
Sumi Pendakur

Sumun Pendakur EdD is associate dean for institutional diversity at Harvey Mudd College. She is a member of the president’s cabinet and serves as the co-chief diversity officer, partnering with the Office of Academic Affairs to focus on campus-wide efforts related to access, equity, campus climate and inclusion. She also directs the College’s social justice education center, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID). Pendakur serves as a consultant, speaker and facilitator regionally and nationally, helping campuses, nonprofits and other organizations build capacity for cultural competence, social justice and equitable practices. She is a scholar-practitioner whose research interests include critical race theory, Asian American and Pacific Islander students and institutional transformation.

Prior to Harvey Mudd College, Pendakur spent more than seven years at the University of Southern California, where she served as the director for Asian Pacific American Student Services. In 2011, she won the USC Remarkable Women Award and the USC Rossier School of Education Dissertation of the Year Award. In 2014, she won the Outstanding Mid-Level Professional Award from the NASPA Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community.

Pendakur has held leadership positions and presented her original research at NASPA, ACPA, NADOHE, NCORE and ASHE. In addition, she is an Asian American and Pacific Islander Research Coalition Fellow, the 2014–2016 co-chair of NASPA Southern California, the 2015 co-chair for the NASPA Western Regional Conference Research Institute, as well as a 2014–2015 NADOHE Chief Diversity Officer’s Fellow.

Pendakur is a graduate of Northwestern University with a double major in women’s studies and history and a minor in Spanish. She holds an M.A. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan and received her doctorate in higher education leadership from the USC Rossier School of Education.
 Pendakur is married to actor Sunil Malhotra and is the proud (and permanently tired) mommy of toddler Shashi Veer Pendakur Malhotra.

Sumi’s Publications

Pendakur, S.L. (2016). Empowerment agents: Developing staff and faculty support students at the margins. In Pendakur, V. (Ed.), Closing the opportunity gap: Identity-conscious strategies for retention and student success. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Pendakur, S.L. (2014). Going against the grain: Higher education practitioners countering neoliberalism and postracial ideology. In Kumashiro, K. & Ngo, B. (Eds.), Six lenses for anti-oppressive education (2nd edition). New York: Peter Lang.

Lee-Nichols, M., Pendakur, S.L., & Uy, P. (2014). Complicating the complications: A conversation. In Kumashiro, K. & Ngo, B. (Eds.), Six lenses for anti-oppressive education (2nd edition). New York: Peter Lang.

Pendakur, S. & Pendakur, V. (2012). Let’s get radical: The theory and praxis of being a practitioner-ally for Asian Pacific Islander American college students. In D.M. Ching & A. Agbayani (Eds.), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education: Research and perspectives on identity, leadership, and success (pp. 31–50). Washington, D.C.: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Contact Sumi

Sumun L. Pendakur

Jennifer Rodil

Jen RodilJennifer Rodil joined the dean of students staff in January 2014. As the graduate intern for the Office of Institutional Diversity, she developed and facilitated the office’s first cultural competency and communication program: “Building Bridges: Pathways to Action.” Jennifer also serves as the social media & assessment & evaluation coordinator for the office.

Jennifer is currently pursuing her master’s in higher education at California State University, Fullerton, where she also completed her bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development & human services. Jennifer has a strong passion and focus on student leadership, social justice education, and assessment. She strongly encourages you all to visit the office to come “kick it” with her as she enjoys the warm company of tough and intelligent Mudders.

Student Team

The 2014–2015 OID student team members serve as social justice ambassadors for the Harvey Mudd campus! Stop by to say hello and find out what’s happening through OID.

Robin Bendiak

Bendiak_RobinI am currently a junior physics major at Harvey Mudd. I am from Denver, Colorado and enjoy reading, knitting, and dancing when time permits. I love working at the Office of Institutional Diversity because it allows me to make meaningful connections with incredible people. It also constantly helps me think about my worldview and reevaluate how I see myself as a member of a global community.

Eddie Gonzales

Eddie GonzalesEddie Gonzales is a junior engineering major from Azusa, California. He enjoys playing tuba, playing tennis and watching movies. Fun fact: He has traveled and performed across the country three times with Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps.

Jonathan Ueki

Jonathan UekiMy name is Jon Ueki, Class of 2017 at Harvey Mudd College. I’m currently a computer science major with a focus on economics. I’m originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, where I like to catch waves at the beach, go on bike adventures with friends and hike to the tops of mountains.

Paul Jolly

Paul JollyMy name is Paul Jolly, and I’m an engineer in the Class of 2016. I went to high school in Bangalore, India, but I live in Wilmington, Delaware. I’ve actually moved back and forth between the two countries, but essentially I’ve had the same house in Delaware throughout. I’m interested in a bunch of things, from learning a new language to learning about an unfamiliar culture, all the way to playing soccer and watching movies!

Jean Sung

Jean Sung is a junior computer science major, linguistics concentration and chemistry enthusiast. In her free time, she likes to run with the school’s Hash House Harriers, do a bit of gymnastics and watch Netflix (currently Gilmore Girls).

Kathleen Kohl

Kathleen KohlKathleen Kohl is a sophomore physics major from Portland, OR. When she’s not working in the OID, Kathleen loves to play her baritone ukulele, cook, and watch copious amounts of Netflix. She also loves cats and avocados on toast.

Izzy Lee

Izzy LeeI’m Izzy Lee, a chemistry major and Asian studies concentration in the Class of 2016. I am originally from Thousand Oaks, CA. Besides working at OID, I also work as a caller for Harvey Mudd Phonathon, am the internal vice president for EPAIC (Exploring Pan-Asian Identity and Culture), and am the vice president of service for the Claremont Colleges Circle K Club. In my free time, I enjoy practicing archery, playing tennis, making costumes, playing video games, and cooking.