Understanding Race-Conscious Admission in Our Past, Our Present, and Our Future

DATE: February 2, 2023 from 6:00 to 7:30pm PST

We hope you enjoyed our panel!
Keep learning, stay informed

Defend Diversity
Supporting College Access and Diversity (American Council on Education)
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Resources For College Admission Counseling Professionals:
The Supreme Court and Race-Conscious Admission (National Association for College Admission Counseling)
Prepare Now for the 2023 Ruling

Oral arguments in the SFFA v. Harvard/UNC race-conscious admission cases took place on October 31, 2022. Join Castilleja School for a virtual panel discussion about the history and potential future of race-conscious admission as we prepare ourselves and our institutions for the broad ramifications of the court’s final opinion this spring. All are invited to join this robust discussion as we deepen our understanding of this important topic. Con traducción simultánea al español/Spanish interpretation will be provided.


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Neal Katyal is the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law at Georgetown University and a Partner at Hogan Lovells. He previously served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States. He has argued 48 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with his 49th coming up in a couple of months. His cases include successfully striking down the Guantanamo military tribunals, successfully defending the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, successfully defending the Peace Cross in Maryland, and a landmark personal jurisdiction win for Bristol Meyers Squibb. He has appeared on virtually every major American news program, as well as on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. In 2021, Neal was named a Trustee of Dartmouth College. In 2022, he was named a Trustee of the Whitney Museum in New York City.

Dr. Kelly E. Slay is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Slay’s work broadly explores issues of race, diversity, and equity in higher education. Drawing from her experience as a student at the University of Michigan during the 2003 Grutter and Gratz Supreme Court cases on affirmative action, one strand of Slay’s research explores recruitment and admissions policies and practices of higher education institutions in post-affirmative action contexts. She is interested in how bans on the use of race-conscious affirmative action shape the experiences of marginalized students and complicate institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Matthew McGann is the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, responsible for all aspects of access and affordability at the College. Before arriving at Amherst, McGann served as director of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received his bachelor’s degree from MIT. His master’s and doctoral degrees were completed at Northeastern University, where his research focused on the admission process for first-generation college students. Matt was present in the courtroom for the Harvard admission case both at the district court in 2018 and at the Supreme Court in 2022.

Alyson Tom has worked in education for two decades. She is the Associate Director of College Counseling at Castilleja School and Co-Leader of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Asian American & Pacific Islander Special Interest Group. Previously, she was a College Counselor at Episcopal High School of Houston and Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Rice University (TX). Alyson regularly presents at regional and national conferences, and she has been a featured speaker on panels focused on race-conscious admission and Asian Americans. Alyson holds a B.A. in Music and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration.


Nanci Kauffman is Castilleja's sixth Head of School. Prior to becoming Head on July 1, 2010, Nanci served as Associate Head of School and Dean of Faculty. A veteran teacher and administrator, Nanci has worked almost exclusively at all-girls schools. At Castilleja, she taught in the History and Social Sciences department for seven years, and served as the interim Middle School Head before becoming Assistant Head in 2006. She currently serves on the Boards of Trustees of Peninsula Bridge in Menlo Park, the Peninsula School for Boys, and on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). Originally from New York, Nanci has lived in the Bay Area since 1997. Nanci enjoys travel, concerts, theatre, tennis and golf.

Dr. Odette Harris is the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Endowed Professor of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. She is a Professor of Neurosurgery, Vice Chair, Diversity and Director of Brain Injury for Stanford University. She is the Deputy Chief of Staff, Rehabilitation at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Harris graduated from Dartmouth College and received her MD degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. She received numerous academic and research awards at both institutions. She did her internship and residency at Stanford University Medical Center. She also earned a Master of Public Health, Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Harris is a Trustee for Dartmouth College, the Castilleja School and the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Harris was appointed a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network in 2018.