WSU College of Nursing Welcomes New DEI Advocates

DEI Advocates: Jose Pares-Avila and Brad Schwartz

The Washington State University College of Nursing is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advocates: José Parés-Avila and Brad Schwartz. These distinguished professionals bring a wealth of experience and dedication to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment within the College of Nursing. 

José Parés-Avila
Dr. José Parés-Avila, WSU College of Nursing, Interim Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Dr. José Parés-Avila, who serves as the Interim Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, is a Clinical Professor with an extensive career in nursing and public health. Parés-Avila’s journey began over 35 years ago as an AIDS activist in Boston, where he provided crucial services to communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community. He later transitioned into nursing, earning BSN, MN, and DNP degrees from the University of Washington. 

Throughout his career, Parés-Avila has specialized in HIV care, notably serving as an HIV Nurse Practitioner at a California VA system. He has been recognized for his leadership and scholarly contributions to nursing education and HIV care, including being inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Nursing. 

His research and mentorship have focused on LGBTQ+ health, HIV, and substance abuse, with numerous funded projects and published works to his name. Parés-Avila is committed to advancing health equity and will play a pivotal role in enhancing community engagement and DEI initiatives at WSU College of Nursing. 

Brad Schwartz, WSU College of Nursing, Web Coordinator

Brad Schwartz, Web Coordinator for the College of Nursing, has been influential in DEI initiatives at the College of Nursing, having co-chaired the DEI Advisory Council for the 2023-2024 academic year alongside Dr. Connie Nguyen-Truong. Schwartz’s leadership and commitment to diversity were recognized with the prestigious Excellence in Diversity Award for 2024 at the recent All College meeting on May 9, 2024. 

 As a DEI Advocate, Schwartz will continue to champion initiatives that promote inclusivity and support for all students, faculty, and staff. He will continue to work closely with the college community and support college-wide strategies that address the diverse needs of its members, ensuring a supportive and equitable environment for learning and professional growth. 

For more information about the WSU College of Nursing and its DEI initiatives, please visit