KC Councilor
Assistant Professor of Communication, Media and Screen Studies
Co-Host & Co-Producer

KC Councilor, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Communication, Media, and Screen Studies Department at Southern Connecticut State University. He brings his experiences as a teacher, scholar, and facilitator to Real Talk. KC has a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. KC is a cartoonist who uses comics to share stories around social justice issues inside and outside the classroom. In his graphic memoir Between You and Me: Transitional Comics, he depicts his experience navigating the world as a transgender and transitioning person. In addition, he teaches a popular course called Capturing Family Stories, where students learn to write and draw comics to tell their own stories. KC joined Real Talk as a co-host at the start of Season Two, contributing to the audio, video, and episode content production. In his free time, you’ll find him drawing comics, cooking, gardening, driving around the country to see family and friends, and hanging out with his partner Cate.

Diane Ariza
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Executive Producer

Diane Ariza, Ph.D. is Southern Connecticut State University’s first Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Diane joined in 2020 after a nationwide search. Diane brings over two decades’ experience in administrative leadership and teaching/research in social justice and ethnic studies disciplines. Diane received a B.A. in History and Spanish from Stetson University in Florida before receiving an M.A. in Anthropology from Western Michigan University. She would later receive a Ph.D. in Sociology from Western Michigan University, concentrating on ethnic and race relations. In addition, Diane served as Chief Diversity Officer at Quinnipiac University and Vice President for Community and Belonging at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. One of the founding members and first co-host of Real Talk, Diane remains active in the show. She now serves as the Executive Producer, overseeing all aspects of Real Talk’s social media, web, and show production.

Allison O’Leary
Assistant Director of Integrated Communications & Marketing at Southern Connecticut State University
Communications & Marketing Director

Allison O’Leary is the Assistant Director of Integrated Communications & Marketing through Southern Connecticut State University’s Office of Integrated Communications & Marketing. Allison started her career at Southern in 2014 after spending six years as a Public Relations Associate for Naugatuck Valley Community College. She received her B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Connecticut before earning her M.A. in English from Southern. In addition, Allison holds a certificate in Higher Education Administration through the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) and a Professional Certificate in Social Media Marketing for Higher Education. Allison has been with Real Talk since the launch of Season One in 2020, using her experience in social media, public relations, and marketing to grow the podcast’s reach in higher education. When she’s not on campus, she enjoys fitness, reading, hiking, and raising her two tiny humans.

Cindy Cardozo
Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Content Editor & Contributor

Cindy Cardozo is the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Southern Connecticut State University. Growing up as one of the few minority people in a predominantly white, suburban neighborhood, Cindy faced issues of diversity and intersectionality throughout her life. Despite these obstacles, she graduated Cum Laude from the University of Connecticut, receiving a B.A. in Psychology. Cindy has past work experience as a Marketing Coordinator for Scholastic, Advertising Coordinator for Cliggott Publishing, and a Sales and Marketing Assistant for Jewish Senior Services before working at Southern. In addition, she is a Board Member for Fairfield Center Stage and is a Development Committee Member for Sterling House Community Center. Cindy joined Real Talk in Season Three in 2021. She has since worn many hats, assisting in content development, social media, content organization, and administrative assistance.