Staff

Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman Profile Picture

Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman

(Pronouns: he/his/him)

Director

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.

Huey Hsiao Profile Picture

Huey Hsiao

(Pronouns: he/his/him)

Associate Director, Multicultural Affairs and the Kessler Scholars Program

Huey Hsiao serves as the associate director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program. In his role, he provides leadership and direction on programming that enriches Syracuse University's diverse campus culture and results in students' academic, social and personal success.

First established at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and Arts, the Kessler Scholars Program has grown into a network of colleges and universities.  As the leading scholarship program for first-generation students, the program is distinct in that it provides comprehensive support through wrap-around, multi-tiered services to ensure students’ success from the moment they enroll to after graduation.  Syracuse University welcomed its first cohort of Kessler Presidential Scholars in fall 2020.

In addition, Huey leads the nationally recognized WellsLink Leadership Program, and coordinates the University’s annual celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  Huey also serves on the Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual and Relationship Violence and the Chancellor’s Ad Hoc Committee on DACA/Undocumented Students; and he is the Student Liaison for DACA/Undocumented students and students with "mixed-status families".

Huey has nearly two decades of experience in higher education in roles spanning diversity and inclusion, student success, international education, advising, enrollment and recruiting.  From 2006 to 2011, he served as assistant director of student services for M.B.A. and M.S. programs at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.  Prior to joining the University, he held multiple positions with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) (1999-2004), including program advisor and program officer and enrollment officer, in addition to a semester abroad as assistant resident director at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan.  He also taught English-as-a-Second-Language at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, through the Colorado China Council (1997-1998).

Huey was born and raised in North Haven, CT.  He received a bachelor's degree in biology and an Asian studies certificate from the University of Rochester.  He earned an M.B.A. from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

Regina Jones Profile Picture

Regina Jones

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Assistant Director, Native Student Program

Regina A. Jones is a member of the Oneida Nation, Turtle Clan. The Oneida Nation is part of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy or Haudenosaunee. The Haudenosaunee are located in and around New York State and include the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora Nations. She grew up and still resides on the Onondaga Nation territory located just a few miles south of Syracuse University.

Regina received her Bachelor of Science degree in child and family studies from the Syracuse University College of Human Services and Health Professions (now the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics). Regina has been with the Office of Multicultural Affairs since July of 2000. She began her tenure at Syracuse University in 1989. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Native American Studies, the Consortium for Children’s Services, Inc., the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, and the Manlius Pebble Hill School.

It is with honor and respect that Regina directs the Native Student Program. She looks forward to working with Native students, faculty, staff, and families on new and existing initiatives that help Indigenous students transition into college and remain connected with their heritage, which is key to the retention of Indigenous students in higher education. The Native Student Program exists with the same home-away-from-home theme that is central to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She is a single parent of four, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of three.

Marissa L. Willingham Profile Picture

Marissa L. Willingham

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Manager of Intercultural Collective & Program Associate for Budgets and Operations

Marissa Willingham joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in October 2006. Currently she serves as the Manager of Intercultural Collective where she supports high-level administrative and operational functions of the Disability Cultural Center, LGBTQ Resource Center and Multicultural Affairs. Marissa also is the Program Associate for Budgets and Operations for OMA where she is responsible for maintaining the office budget, supervising student employees, event planning, and assisting the director and staff.

A native of Syracuse NY with close connections in the Syracuse community, Marissa has served on many committees and has worked on countless projects and initiatives whose emphasis focused on celebrating culture, constructing inclusive spaces, building and maintaining relationships, community engagement, and social justice awareness. Marissa describes herself as a mother of three, and very passionate about the work she does to enrich the lives of people.

Cedric T. Bolton, M.S.Ed. Profile Picture

Cedric T. Bolton, M.S.Ed.

(Pronouns: he/his/him)

Coordinator of Student Engagement

Cedric T. Bolton joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs in August 2004 as the Coordinator of Student Engagement. He was previously employed at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he was an Educational Specialist in the African American Learning Resource Center.  While at Syracuse University, he has designed the spoken word poetry program Verbal Blend, ECLISPE Dialogues, Poetry for the People, Black Men & Women’s Think Tank, Poets Learning Community, and coordinated efforts for Black History Month each year.  He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University and Master’s Degree in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.

Cedric is an adjunct instructor with Renée Crown University Honors Program and the College of Arts and Sciences.  He is a published poet and his poetry can be found in Stone Canoe, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Minnesota Saint Cloud Times, and the Post Standard. He has recorded two spoken-word poetry CDs, and published a chap book entitled The State of the Ghetto Address. He has mentored students, staff, faculty and community writers to be confident in their voice and writing for twenty years.  His writer’s workshops are the embodiment of community, family, and the continuing presence of “One Mic, One Voice.”

He was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and was raised in Paterson, New Jersey.  Cedric values and understands the importance of active community involvement and participate on few committees in the greater-Syracuse community.

Breana Nieves Vergara Profile Picture

Breana Nieves Vergara

(Pronouns: she/her/ella)

Coordinator of Mentoring Programs

Breana Nieves Vergara joined the Office of 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 Presidential 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 partner, and their cats, Fernando and Oliver.  She also enjoys exploring waterfalls, trying new recipes, and reading ethnographies.

Aaron Knighton Profile Picture

Aaron Knighton

Academic Adviser

Aaron Knighton is an academic adviser in the Newhouse Undergraduate Advising Office and will be working as the coordinator of the Men of Color Initiative in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.  Prior to his role in Newhouse Aaron served as associate director of recreation at Syracuse University, where he worked closely with the OMA staff to create recreational and wellness programming serving OMA students. As an adviser Aaron works with a group of 400 undergraduates on degree progress and requirements for graduation. Aaron also works with students to explore academic interests, identify campus resources, and develop individual academic plans based on the student’s goals, interests and degree requirements.

Aaron received is bachelor degree in Childhood Education from Canisius college and his Masters in higher education administration from Canisius as well. Aaron has served in various roles in higher education including residence life, student activities, recreation and wellness, academic advising, and Diversity Equity, and Inclusion.  Aaron has a passion for building relationships with students, specifically providing mentorship for students of color and aiding them in their success on campus.

Aaron is a native of Syracuse, NY and is excited to continue working and serving the Syracuse University community within the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In his free time he enjoys any sport related activity, watching movies, and being with his family.


Graduate Assistants

Alonzo D. Turner Profile Picture

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.

Bailey Tlachac Profile Picture

Bailey Tlachac

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 and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography, learning languages and listening to music!

Elaine Lu Profile Picture

Elaine Lu

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.

Robin Maxile Profile Picture

Robin Maxile

Conversation About Race and Ethnicity (C.A.R.E.)

Robin Maxile is a Ph.D. student in the School of Education’s Cultural Foundation program at Syracuse University and serves as the Academic Consultant for C.A.R.E.. She also works as a Graduate Assistant in the Higher Education Department and is the Events Coordinator for the Black Graduate Student Association. Robin is originally from Louisiana where she completed her Bachelor’s degree at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and later went on to obtain her Master’s in General Counseling Psychology from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles. She served two years in AmeriCorps, a national service program dedicated to addressing and improving the critical needs of residents in underprivileged communities. During her time in AmeriCorps, Robin worked as a college and career advisor, advocating for resources that address student needs both emotionally and academically.

As Robin continued to work with her students, she began to notice a disconnect between school policies and student needs. Using her own background as a low-income, first-generation student, along with her AmeriCorps experience, Robin’s interest in the matter peaked and led to her current research into chronic absenteeism among students in underserved communities. Through the Cultural Foundations program, Robin is exploring the connections between chronic absenteeism, marginalized communities, and school policies.

From Natchitoches to Los Angeles to Syracuse, Robin is passionate about empowering students of color, encouraging them to think outside the box and exhaust all their resources. Rejections are only redirections to something greater.


Academic Consultants

Semaj Imane Campbell Profile Picture

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.

Cassaundra V. Guzman Profile Picture

Cassaundra V. Guzman

Academic Consultant for WellsLink Leadership Program

Cassaundra Guzman (aka Cassie) is a PhD student in Cultural Foundations of Education. While working on her dissertation focusing on critically analyzing retention rate data of Latinx students, she has worked with the WellsLink Leadership Program since starting graduate school. Outside of the program she also works as a Teaching Assistant in the School of Education and FYS 101 Lead Instructor. When she is not doing work, she is visiting state parks with her two dogs or running a 10K somewhere in Central NY.

Tyler James Kerr Profile Picture

Tyler James Kerr

Academic Consultant for WellsLink Leadership Program

Tyler Kerr recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Textual Studies with a minor in Education Studies from Syracuse University and has begun to pursue his masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During his undergraduate career Tyler participated in several different organizations on campus such as the Filipino Student Association. Tyler is also a brother of the Syracuse University Associate Chapter of Sigma Beta Rho Multicultural Fraternity Inc., where he's served in a variety of roles such as New Member Educator, Vice President, Rush Chair, Events Chair, and Secretary. He was also heavily involved in his Greek council, the Multicultural Greek Council, having been the President throughout his senior year. In his free time Tyler likes going to the gym, going for runs, or tinkering with his computer. He also likes working with his friends and brothers to create comedy sketch videos when they can all get together.

Shakaya Iman Walcott Profile Picture

Shakaya Iman Walcott

Academic Consultant for Native Student Program

Shakaya Walcott is from Waterbury, Connecticut and attended Southern Connecticut State University where she earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work. During her undergraduate collegiate journey, she became a very involved student holding several leadership positions such as Peer mentor, Resident Advisor, Peer Academic Success Coach, Orientation Ambassador, and President of her Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated. She is currently in the Higher Education program here at Syracuse University and is very excited to begin connecting with students on campus.

Shakaya is a first-generation college student and has a passion for creating spaces for minoritized students to feel empowered and welcome on their college campus. She is excited be working with the Native Student Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Miles A. Hood Profile Picture

Miles A. Hood

Academic Consultant for Men of Color Initiative (MCI)

I'm a Broadcast and Digital Journalism Student in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. I'm the Academic Consultant of the Men of Color Initiative. I am from Rochester, NY. Where I attended Rochester Institute of Technology where I graduated with a BS in Communication with minors in Anthropology & Sociology. In my time as an undergrad, I was a sports reporter, RA, I studied abroad in 4 countries and I was a commentator for women's hockey.

Outside of class, I'm a part of the Sports Media Center in Newhouse as well as Z89 Radio, WAER, Citrus TV and I currently intern at CNY Central. I love to hear and tell people stories.

I love to check out new restaurants, cook and play basketball, football, and video games.

Mamoudou Camara Profile Picture

Mamoudou Camara

Academic Consultant for Assessment

Hailing from Queens, NY, Mamoudou Camara is currently a Master’s in Public Administration Candidate at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He holds a BA from Syracuse University in Policy Studies and Political Science. Mamoudou was named a 2019-2020 Remembrance Scholar during his undergraduate career, where he represented one of the 35 Syracuse University students aboard flight Pan AM 103. In addition, Mamoudou was named a PPIA Junior Summer Institute (JSI) Fellow where at Carnegie Mellon University, he completed graduate-level courses that prepared students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in graduate schools and public service careers. Outside the classroom, Mamoudou has worked for both The Office of Government and Community Relations and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, avising how to best advance University initiatives.

He recently finished his service terms as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Napa, California, in which he conducted various service projects throughout the Bay Area. Some include a long-term food distribution project for needy families and collaborating with the Salvation Army to distribute Christmas presents to low-income families. In Queens, he hosted a back-to-school drive for students in his neighborhood and increased funding to New York opportunity programs that help low-income students attend college.

Mamoudou plans to use his MPA to pursue a career in the federal government to produce policies that increase equity, build trust, and enhance the effectiveness of public policy for all groups. In his free time, he enjoys reading, biking, and playing video games.

Pa-Zong Bina Profile Picture

Pa-Zong Bina

Academic Consultant for Dimensions Mentoring Program

Pa-Zong Bina Lee is a Hmong woman from St. Paul, MN, and a proud daughter of refugees. As a graduate student in Newhouse's Broadcast & Digital Journalism program, she aims to become a fierce media mogul in the industry to foster community through storytelling.

Bina earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication & Rhetorical Studies here at Syracuse University. During her undergraduate career, Bina was involved with the Intergroup Dialogue Program, the Syracuse Lutheran Campus Ministry’s Campus Connect organization, and served as a Resident Assistant (RA) in addition to being a Mentor in Dimensions. Through these experiences, she worked with college students on campus and youth from the greater Syracuse community as she believes it's crucial to do the work on and off-campus. Her work with the Intergroup Dialogue Program consisted of research on social identities in relation to systems of inequality and applying dialogue to address action and change forward.

Bina also holds a passion for the performing arts as she was an active member of both the Outlaws Dance Troupe and Creations Dance Company on campus.

She is excited to continue dedicating her time working with students as an RA and as the Academic Consultant for the Dimensions Program. Bina is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Victoria Munley Profile Picture

Victoria Munley

Academic Consultant for Kessler

Victoria Munley graduated from Syracuse University in May of 2021 with a Bachelor of Music in music education, and a minor in disability studies. She is currently a Master’s student in the Cultural Foundations of Education Program, within the School of Education. Throughout her undergraduate career, Syracuse University has allowed her to explore her passions in racial and disability justice, mentorship, advocacy, and empowering students of color. Through her previous involvement on campus as an Orientation Leader, a College of Visual and Performing Arts Ambassador, a University 100 tour guide, a sister of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., a Remembrance Scholar, and a performer in various choral and a cappella ensembles, Victoria continues to utilize these various experiences to inform her on how she can better positively impact her campus community, and beyond. Prior to serving as an academic consultant for the Kessler Scholars Program, Victoria has previously served on campus as a summer intern for the Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs, assisting in the planning and facilitation of Syracuse Welcome. In her free time, Victoria enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, binge-watching reality TV shows, and trying new places to eat.

Samantha Polanco Profile Picture

Samantha Polanco

Academic Consultant for WellsLink Leadership Program

My name is Samantha Polanco I am from Harlem, NY and from from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. I attended George Washington University as an undergrad where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Social Justice. During my time as an undergrad, I was a part of the university's Multicultural Student Services Center and President of my sorority (SLU). I am currently receiving my Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Data Analytics.