Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman
I am originally from Ghana, West Africa, and a member of the Ashanti tribe. I came to Syracuse in 1982 to pursue my PhD in Mathematics Education. I am currently serving as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience. My interest in the student affairs profession is advancing student retention through mentoring, leadership development, civic engagement, and academic achievement. I am committed to educating the whole person to become a global citizen. For my own professional development, I have been trained in couple diversity education models and continue to take certification courses on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among such courses is “Designing and Building Institutional Antiracist Spaces (D-BIAS) through Coursera, and Cornell’s Certification Program on Diversity and Inclusion. I believe in community engagement through programming and serving on boards of community-based organizations. On campus, I have served on various search committees for administrative positions and am currently serving as chair of the Senate Committee on Race, Equity, Ethnicity, and Inclusion as well as the Associate University Marshall for commencements and convocations. I am a Lead Instructor for the First Year Seminar (FYS 101) and CARE facilitator. I enjoy discussions around all aspects of diversity advancing the notion that “diversity is the differences that make us unique.” And unless we talk to each other, we will never come to know and appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.
Program Coordinator, Native Student Program
Bailey Tlachac is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Bear Clan. She is a graduate student in the School of Education, Higher Education program. She is from Forestville, Wisconsin and is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay with a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies with a Psychology minor. During her time there, she was the Cultural Resource Specialist in the Education Center for First Nations Studies. She also held multiple leadership positions in Intertribal Student Council where she helped raise awareness about indigenous communities and issues on campus. She was one of the organizers for the installation of Wisconsin’s 12 tribal nations’ flags. Bailey is honored to be working with the Native Student Program in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography, learning languages and listening to music!
Breana Nieves Vergara
Coordinator of Mentoring Programs
Breana Nieves Vergara joined Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in July 2021. As Coordinator of Mentoring Programs, Breana is responsible for maintaining both the fullCIRCLE, and Dimensions mentoring programs, as well as leading Latinx Hispanic Heritage Month and supporting the Kessler Scholars Program.
Breana Nieves Vergara received her Bachelor’s in Sociology with minors in Latinx Studies and Education Studies from Ithaca College. During her time at Ithaca College, she was a part of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network, which provided her with the opportunity to pursue a year-long Helen Gurley Brown fellowship post-graduation. As a Syracuse native, who was previously an On Point for College student herself, Breana worked for the organization and served as the Programming Fellow; where she created and coordinated their mentorship program.
Breana is interested in initiatives that focus on guiding students on their academic journeys, as well as creating an environment that encourages identity development and fosters community. In her free time, Breana enjoys spending time with her wife, and their cats, Fernando and Oliver. She also enjoys exploring waterfalls, trying new recipes, and reading ethnographies.
Graduate Assistant, Native Student Program
Nicole Smoke, (Mohawk, Wolf Clan of Akwesasne) is an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. She is a first-generation college student who graduated from Syracuse University in 2017 with her B.S. in Human Development and Family Sciences and a minor in Native American Studies. After graduating, Nicole spent a few years working in fields of prevention, community health and wellness, and education. Nicole is now a graduate student in the Higher Education M.S. Program and has recently taken on the role as Graduate Assistant for the Native Student Program here at Syracuse University.
During Nicole's time as an undergrad at SU, she was involved in the Native Student Program and Indigenous Students at Syracuse. She interned at NSP during her senior year and left her mark at SU by creating NSP’s Ionkerihonnien:ni Mentor Program for Indigenous freshman and transfer students.
“I am thrilled to be back on campus working with our Indigenous Students. NSP was my home away from home when I was an undergraduate student here at SU. Being a part of this community had such a positive impact on my time here. I am hoping I can give back to the Indigenous students here by providing a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment using the knowledge that I will gain through the Higher Education M.S. Program.”
Alonzo D. Turner
fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program
Alonzo D. Turner is a Ph.D. student in the School of Education’s Counseling and Counselor Education program at Syracuse University. He serves as a Graduate Assistant for the fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program and is the President of Counselors for Social Justice. Alonzo is originally from North Carolina where he completed his BA in Mass Communications at Winston-Salem State University and MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Ed.S. in Couples and Family Counseling form the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Upon graduating from UNC-G, Alonzo began serving at Family Services of the Piedmont where he provided individual and group counseling addressing the mental health and substance issues for clients of marginalized identities. He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in the state of NC and has several years of counseling experience. Prior to joining OMA, he has served as a Graduate Assistant in Career Services, the Counseling Center at Syracuse University and the Department of Counseling and Human Services.
A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alonzo helped coordinate the Blackballed: Lecture Series with BGSA and the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs to help address issues of implicit bias at Syracuse University. As a burgeoning counselor educator, he aspires to engage students and clients through approaches that affirm less privileged identities. As a Black feminist, his research explores the intersections of class, race/ethnicity, gender, spirituality, sexual orientation and social justice.
WellsLink Leadership Program
Elaine Lu is from Brooklyn, New York. She is a first-generation college student who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University at Buffalo. She completed three internships before she graduated with KATZ Americas, UB Blackstone LaunchPad Powered by Techstars, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Shortly after she graduated, she started working for Amazon as an Area Manager in New York City. She is now a graduate student in the School of Education at Syracuse University working on her Masters in Higher Education.
During her undergraduate career, Elaine was involved with the Residence Hall Association, Alpha Phi Omega (Community Service Fraternity), Delta Sigma Pi (Professional Business Fraternity), and the Undergraduate Management Association. She was also a Resident Advisor for two years and Community Assistant for one year. Elaine likes to go to the gym during her free time and enjoys cooking.
Semaj Imane Campbell
Academic Consultant for fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program
Semaj Campbell, originally from Syracuse, New York joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA)as the Academic Consultant for undergraduate students of color with the fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program. Semaj is currently a third year PhD student of History at Syracuse University serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry as she has various levels of experience mentoring and advising students.
Semaj obtained her Masters of Arts in Africana Studies from the University at Albany SUNY and prior to that a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from SUNY Buffalo State College. Through both her research and engagement in her community, Semaj is interested in increasing agency among girls of color so they are able to create their own narratives. She works very closely with The Image Initiative, Inc. mentoring girls of color in the Syracuse City School District. Semaj also has an extensive background of leadership positions most notably with her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. In her free time, Semaj enjoys interior decorating projects, reading, and enjoying time with loved ones.
Academic Consultant, Men of Color Initiative
Born and raised in New York City, I am a current master’s student pursuing an M.A. in Advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. As an undergrad, I received a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University with a minor in Public Communications Studies, and held various leadership positions and committee roles through the Office of Multicultural Affairs such as being a member of the inaugural Men of Color Initiative class. In my spare time, I make music and run my own clothing brand.
Academic Consultant, Native Student Program
"Rhiannon Abrams is a member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation and Six Nations Mohawk, Bear Clan. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science, and a minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is now a graduate student in Whitman’s School of Management pursuing her Master’s in Business Analytics.
During Rhiannon’s time in her undergrad, she was a member of the Native Student Program, the Indigenous Students at Syracuse organization, and the Ionkerionniéni:ni Guide Program. Eventually, she became a council member for the Indigenous Students at Syracuse org. She worked and collaborated with the other titleholders and members on projects, events, meetings, and ideas for the future of the organization. When she began working with the Ionkerionniéni:ni Guide Program, she was a Freshman and had a mentor that had a positive impact on her transition into university. Later, she became a mentor herself and wanted to also provide support for incoming and first-year students by making Syracuse University feel like home-away-from-home.
It has been a journey for Rhiannon in her undergrad, but the Indigenous student community truly helped her feel at home, welcomed, and made her feel like she could make a difference. She wants other Indigenous students who come to Syracuse to feel the same.
Rhiannon is deeply honored and happy to work as an Academic Consultant for the Native Student Program and to work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
In her free time, she likes to read, bead, spend time with friends, and travel."
Lia Diaz Marrero
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
A native of Cuba, Lia recently graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of International Relations with a Minor in Political Science. During her undergrad time, she was part of various organizations like La L.U.C.H.A and the Center for Learning and Student Success and became Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the Mount Hall Council her first year. She is currently a Graduate student at the Maxwell School of Citizenship pursuing a master's in Public Administration. As she returns to campus she is thrilled to be a part of the WellsLink Leadership Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. When she is not working, she takes walks with her dogs, reads, or spends time with friends.
Academic Consultant, Dimensions Mentoring Program
Lesley Ells is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands but grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree in global studies from Lesley University. During her undergraduate career, Lesley studied abroad in Hong Kong and Mexico and later participated in the USINDO Summer Studies Fellowship in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Previously, she served as Assistant Director of Admissions at Lesley University, where she worked with diverse students through the enrollment process.
Currently, Lesley is a graduate student at Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she is pursuing a dual master’s degree in public administration and international relations. She is also a 2021 Thomas R. Pickering Fellow with the U.S. Department of State. After completing her graduate programs, she will enter the U.S. Foreign Service as a U.S. diplomat.
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Jasmine Taylor is a former WellsLink Leadership Participant and recent graduate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs with Bachelors Degrees in Economics and International Relations. She graduated with Distinction and Summa Cum Laude and is now a Graduate Student, pursuing a Masters Degree in International Relations with concentrations in International Finance, Business, and Trade. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, mentoring students, and trying new foods in Syracuse.
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Abiodun Adeoye is from Hyattsville, Maryland. He is serving as an Academic Consultant for the WellsLink Leadership Program and is currently pursuing dual master's degrees in Public Administration and International Relations (MPA/MAIR) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is a 2022 U.S. Department of State Charles B. Rangel Fellow. Upon graduating, he will join the U.S. Foreign Service as a Foreign Service Officer.
He is a 2020 graduate of Salisbury University in Maryland, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and with university honors and received bachelors degrees in History and Political Science. As an undergraduate student, Abiodun worked with his university's Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, where he planned and hosted events on the topics of race and politics. He also worked with his university's Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity to establish Salisbury University's very first undergraduate research journal, LARIDAE, and with the Office of Nationally Competitive Fellowships to recruit students to apply for fellowships such as the Fulbright, Boren, Critical Language Scholarship, and more. In 2019, he received the Boren Scholarship to study Swahili in Tanzania, and the Public Policy and International Affairs program's Junior Summer Institute Fellowship to study at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. In the summers of 2020 and 2021, he studied Swahili through the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, and from 2021-2022, he served as an English Teaching Assistant in Kyrgyzstan through the U.S. Fulbright Student Program. Abiodun's additional languages include Yoruba, and Swahili, Russian, and Kyrgyz. In his free time, he likes to read about race, politics, international affairs, and medieval and Early Modern European History.
Academic Consultant, Kessler Scholars Program
I am a Latina, first-generation graduate and am originally from Chicago, IL. I graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. I received a Bachelors in Linguistics and a minor in Spanish. Currently I am a graduate student in the School of Arts and Sciences pursuing a Speech-Language Pathology Masters with plans to become a licensed Speech-Language Therapist. I am interested in working with underrepresented communities and being able to provide preventative and early intervention Speech-Language services for low-income and marginalized families and youth.
I have taken various peer-leadership and academic couch positions during my undergraduate career. I have aimed to work and be a resource for peers that also hold a first-generation, Queer-Trans, or BIPOC Identity. I have worked as a Resident Assistant, CUBE Coach, Gender & Sexuality Residential Associate, and have worked for housing non-profits. Recently in Syracuse I have held the position as the Volunteer Coordinator at La Casita.
As an Academic Counselor with the Kessler Program, I hope to expand my professional and academic network. I am excited to be more involved with the Main Syracuse Campus and first-generation community.