Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman
On July 1, 2001, Dr. James K. Duah-Agyeman (a.k.a. Dr. D.) began a new chapter in his administrative career at Syracuse University when he was appointed director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). Since 2006, he has served as the chief diversity officer for the Division of Student Affairs, and on behalf of former Chancellor Nancy Cantor, represented the University on the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education of which Syracuse University is a Founding/Charter Member. In 2012, his role of chief diversity officer was enhanced and brought into alignment with University initiatives, particularly as it relates to the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion, and Resolution Services.
Dr. Duah-Agyeman holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education and is an adjunct assistant professor of Cultural Foundations of Education and teaches the Intergroup Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity course [SOC/WSP 230], which is part of the national Multiversity Intergroup Research Project. He has been at Syracuse University since 1982, assuming a full-time position in 1986 as assistant director and counselor of the Office of Supportive Services. He was subsequently named director of the Center for Academic Achievement, and interim associate vice president and director of the Division of Student Support and Development, which included the Summer Institute for Incoming First0year Students, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, Learning Disability Services, University-wide Tutoring Center, Higher Education Opportunity (HEOP) and Student Support Services Program (SSSP).
Dr. D's favorite proverb is: "All things come to the person who is modest and kind in a high position" (I. Ching). With that in mind, he aspires to create a healthy working environment for his staff and a safe and welcoming environment for all students. "OMA,” he says, "is our students’ home-away-from-home.
Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs & the Kessler 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". As of fall 2020, Huey also assists with supporting the Disability Cultural Center, and he served as the interim director in 2019.
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.
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.
Cedric T. Bolton, M.S.Ed.
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.
Marissa L. Willingham
Program Associate for Budgets and Operations
Marissa Willingham joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) in October 2006. As Program Associate for Budgets and Operations, Marissa 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.
Willingham attended Onondaga Community College, where she took classes in computer information systems. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at Syracuse University.
Graduate Assistant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Keyshawn Blakes was born and raised in Syracuse, and serves as the Graduate Assistant for the WellsLink Leadership Program. Keyshawn is in his second year as a Master’s student in the Higher Education program.
Keyshawn recently graduated from Buffalo State College with a Bachelors in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Sociology. During his undergraduate years he was appointed to the Presidents Council for Equity and Diversity and chair of student welfare on the College Senate. He also has experience mentoring students of color from being President of a student organization called African American Male Empowerment Network and being a counselor for the Fresh Air Fund.
Keyshawn is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Keyshawn is interested in doing research on exploring the socio-historical factors that influence the educational outcomes of African American males. Specifically, I would like to research the efforts to increase enrollment and retention rates of African American males at the collegiate level. This aligns with his passion for helping students and promoting the importance of Black excellence, showing students they can achieve anything. Keyshawn aspires to become a Chief Diversity Officer at a college to help create policy and programs to raise retention rates for African American students. Keyshawn is excited to be working in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and studying at Syracuse University.
Antonia Monique Roach
Graduate Assistant, Native Student Program
Antonia Roach serves as the graduate assistant for the Native Student Program. She is from Easton, Pennsylvania and is working towards her Master’s Degree in the School of Education.
Antonia recently graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological Sciences along with minors in African American Studies, English, and Global Studies. During her undergraduate career, Antonia was involved with the Honors College Mentor and Diversity initiatives programs, the Black Voices of Inspiration Choir, Residential Life, and Psychology and Sociology Research. Antonia was also heavily involved in BoilerTracks, an organization that worked with the Office of Admissions to increase the population of underrepresented minority students on campus. Antonia’s interests in working with students were fostered through developing and hosting visit days for prospective students and working on driving change towards a more inclusive campus climate.
Antonia is interested in initiatives that focus on creating an environment that celebrates every culture and efforts that make every student feel that they belong. In her free time, Antonia enjoys spending time with friends, family, and her pets, Charlie, Roman, and Juno. She also enjoys hiking, trying new vegan recipes, and refinishing old furniture.
Graduate Assistant, 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.
Alonzo D. Turner
Graduate Assistant, 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.
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Cassaundra Caudillo (a.k.a Cassie) is a graduate student in the School of Education, working to get her Master’s in Cultural Foundations of Education. She is from Los Angeles, CA and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at Humboldt State University in Northern California. During her time there she was a student staff member in the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion where she took part in putting together equity-minded learning sessions both on and off-campus, as well as lending her voice on the President’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council and student government. She also was a part of a grant-funded pilot program for first year, low income students who could benefit from having a peer mentor to ease their transition into a college atmosphere. Within the community she was a part of an organization whose mission it was to bring racial bias and targeting to the forefront of the city’s agenda in order to recognize and minimize it. Cassie is particularly interested in the retention rates of students of color in higher education and making sure that all students feel a sense of belonging here. When she’s not in class she enjoys cooking, working out, and spending time with her two dogs, a Great Pyrenees and a corgi.
Academic Consultant, Dimensions Mentoring Program
Zuleyka (Zuley) Contreras serves as the Academic Consultant for the Dimensions Mentoring Program. She was born and raised in Guayama, Puerto Rico, and is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Higher Education. Zuley recently graduated from Westfield State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management along with minors in Marketing and Commercial Recreations and Tourism. During her undergraduate career, Zuley was involved with Residential Life, Model United Nations, the Latino Association For Empowerment, Women in Business, Community Services Leaders, and many other clubs and organizations. Zuley is a low-income and first-generation college student passionate about supporting and empowering young minds.
She is interested in initiatives that focus on identity development, culture, and languages. In her spare time, Zuley enjoys listening to music, watching Netflix and/or Ted talks, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys having play dates with her Goddaughter and Godsons, playing Bingo with her grandmother, and eating seafood.
Academic Consultant, Kessler Program
Brandi Efiom was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and moved to Evanston, Illinois in high school.She graduated from Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at Maxwell, Syracuse’s school of Public Administration & International Affairs. Over the years, Brandi has developed an understanding of the importance of student advocacy and has worked to acquire knowledge on how to best support students.
Throughout her experience at Western Illinois University, she served as an Inter Hall Council representative, advocating for the students in her residence hall. She also served a Resident Assistant, developing programming for students. Additionally, Brandi was the Director of Student Services as well as the Honors’ College Representative.
She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated, and she served as the scholarship chair for her undergraduate chapter. Through this work, she was able to build relationships with students to help them achieve their goals.
Brandi was the lead representative for the mayor’s Anti Violence Task Force and was appointed to chair the youth programming committee. While in college, she continued to work with the City of Evanston’s Youth and Young Adult Department and the Children’s Defense Fund, serving youth in the Evanston community. After college, Brandi began working with a non-profit organization where she designed and oversaw the implementation of after-school programming to close the opportunity gap. Brandi was recently appointed to serve a second term as a board member and chair of the equity committee for Mudlark Theater.
In her free time, Brandi loves traveling, shopping, spending time with her friends and family, reading, and going on adventures. She is passionate about understanding the external factors that contribute to discrimination in education and being an ally to students as they advocate for themselves more readily than previous generations.
Academic Consultant, Men of Color Initiative
My name is D'Andre Henderson and I'm a BDJ graduate student at Newhouse. I received your email to become an Academic Consultant for the Men of Color Initiative and I wanted to express my profound interest in this opportunity. This is the exact type of work that I want to do. Putting my time and effort into something that I care so deeply about. I have been a mentor for boys and young men in various programs for several years and in my fraternity we have a program called Kappa League where we mentor high school boys to be stand out individuals in our communities. I submitted my application through handshake but I also attached my resume and cover letter to this email for your convenience as well. I look forward to hearing back from you and I sincerely appreciate the consideration.
Academic Consultant, fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program
Carina Hendley graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick last May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice along with a minor in Political Science. Carina played soccer during her four years at Rutgers University as well as her first semester in graduate school at Syracuse University. She is currently in the Maxwell School pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on environmental justice and policy. She is excited to work with students during her time with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and learn from their experiences in order to broaden her own perspectives. She is passionate about racial issues, creating a safe space for students of color and being an ally for students in any way that she can. In her free time, Carina enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and watching Marvel or Star Wars movies.
Academic Consultant, 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.
Julius A. Moreno
Academic Consultant, Men of Color Initiative
Julius Moreno is originally from Los Angeles, California. He graduated from California State University Chico with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Julius is currently a second year Graduate Student in the Syracuse Higher Education program. He is excited to gain a new experience in a different environment as well as continue to broaden his horizons through his position as an Academic Consultant for the Men of Color Initiative. He is excited to work with and learn from students through his time with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). His passions include creating better opportunities for minoritized populations, advocating for diversity, and being a mentor for students. When he is not studying or working, Julius enjoys listening to music, playing basketball, playing video games, and watching movies.
Shakaya I. Walcott
Academic Consultant, 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.
Menger Zhu (Kristen)
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Kristen is a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in the School of Education and serves as the Academic Consultant for 1st-year students in The WellsLink Leadership Program. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology from Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai in China. Before she started her graduate program, she worked at a mental health hospital in China and focused on providing counseling services in a hospital setting. Kristen’s academic interests plus her own experiences as an international student adjusting to graduate school in the U.S. drew her to WellsLink, and she wants to help create a space for students to network and find a supportive community on campus.