The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) provides the necessary support and guidance needed to encourage students to become members of a community respectful of differences. OMA assists students to grow into individuals willing to take a proactive stance against oppression in all its forms. OMA offers one-on-one support for students of color at Syracuse University. OMA reaches out to all students who are struggling with mixed messages they may receive in dealing with the issues of race and diversity in their own communities.
To support and promote the academic achievement, multicultural competence, social development, civic engagement, and retention of students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups at Syracuse University.
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) a part of the Inclusion, Community, and Citizenship portfolio in the Division of Student Affairs. Since 2006, he has served as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Division of Student Affairs and on behalf of the Chancellor and President, 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 for the Division 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. degree in Mathematics Education and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cultural Foundations of Education and teaches Intergroup Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity [SOC/WSP 230] which is part of the national Multiversity Intergroup Research Project. He has been at Syracuse University since 1982 assuming a fulltime employment position in 1986 as assistant director/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 Summer Institute for Incoming First year Students, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, Learning Disability Services, the 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.
Huey Hsiao provides leadership and direction on programming that enriches Syracuse University's diverse campus culture and results in students' academic, social and personal success - in particular, The WellsLink Leadership Program, The Multicultural Empowerment Network (as a University Advisor), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month programming. He brings a commitment to diversity and inclusion to the position, as well as ten years of higher education program management, international education, student advising, enrollment, recruiting and student services experience.
From 2006-2011, he served as Assistant Director of Student Services for MBA and MS programs at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. He is a founding member of the Syracuse University affinity group, Orange Asian Pacific Americans (APA), which strives to foster an inclusive and supportive environment for APA faculty, staff and students. Prior to joining Syracuse University, he held multiple positions with the Council on International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE) (1999-2004), including Program Advisor, 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).
Hsiao 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. degree from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.
Assistant Director, Native Student Program
Regina A. Jones is a member of the Oneida Nation. The Oneida Nation is part of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. The Iroquois are located in and around New York State and include the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora tribes. She resides and grew up on the Onondaga Nation territory located south of Syracuse.
Regina received her Bachelors of Science degree in Child and Family Studies in the College of Human Services and Health Professions from Syracuse University. Jones has been with the Office of Multicultural Affairs since July of 2000 and also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Native American Studies and The Consortium for Children's Services, Inc. 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 will help Native students transition into college and remain connected with their heritage, which is key to the retention of Native students in higher education. The Native Student Program will exist with the same home-away-from-home theme that is central to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She is a single parent of four and grandmother of seven.
Cedric T. Bolton
Coordinator of Student Engagement
Cedric T. Bolton joins the Office of Multicultural Affairs from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he was an Educational Specialist in the African American Learning Resource Center. He chairs the Black History Month committee, instructs the spoken word poetry program Verbal Blend, and facilitates the Black Men's and Women's Think Tank.
Cedric was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi and was raised in Paterson, New Jersey. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University. He is a published poet with a chapbook of poems and a CD both entitled, The State of the Ghetto Address. Cedric values and understands the importance of active community involvement and created the community organization, Poetic Black Fusion, as a way of connecting published and unpublished poets to literary resources. His works have been published in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder and the Minnesota Saint Cloud Times.
Jerrel A. Burgo
Coordinator of Mentoring Programs
Jerrel A. Burgo joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs in January 2014 as the Coordinator of Mentoring Programs. In this position, he will help coordinate the fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program and oversee the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP).
Jerrel was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. A graduate of Roger Williams University (RWU), located in Bristol, Rhode Island, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Anthropology/Sociology in 2010. He joins Syracuse University from Falls Church, Virginia where he worked as an Information Security Specialist for CACI, Inc.
Throughout his years at RWU, Jerrel was involved in many aspects of student affairs including the Multicultural Student Union (MSU) – for which he served as President – and the Department of Student Programs and Leadership (SP&L). Through his work with MSU and SP&L, Jerrel’s passion for multiculturalism and leadership development grew. His commitment has lasted long after his graduation. He still has strong ties to his alma mater, where he has taken on a mentoring role with MSU. He also keeps in close contact with his student affairs advisors from RWU and is still committed to the growth and prosperity of students of color.
Jerrel describes himself as a fun-loving person with a positive outlook on life. He is passionate and full of good energy. He is all about new experiences, life-long learning, contributing to a team, and the greater good.
Marissa L. Willingham
Program Associate for Budgets and Operations
Marissa Willingham joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs in October of 2006. Willingham is responsible for maintaining the office budget, supervising student employees, event planning, assisting the director and staff. In the Spring of 2016 she coordinate Dimensions Mentoring Program, and chair Latino/ Hispanic Heritage Month.
Before joining the University, Willingham worked with Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, a program of the InterFaith Works of Central New York for six years. Willingham coordinated the Community-wide Duck Race to End Racism and was also instrumental in facilitating dialogues on race and ethnicity and recruiting people from diverse backgrounds to participate in racial/ethnic dialogues within the Syracuse community.
A Syracuse native with close connections in the Syracuse community, Willingham's role includes identifying and developing collaborative initiatives between OMA and community-based agencies. She is a board member of Image Initiative, Inc., a Syracuse University Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration committee member, an InterFaith Works Duck Race to End Racism committee member, just to mention some of her collaborative work in the community.
Shana Gelin, MA, NCC
Graduate Assistant, Mentoring Program
Shana Gelin serves as the Graduate Assistant for fullCIRCLE and Dimensions mentoring programs. She is working toward earning her PhD in Counseling and Counselor Education in the School of Education. Shana received her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience and Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Prior to working at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Shana was a child and family therapist at Oaks Integrated Care in Lumberton, New Jersey. She also has experience mentoring young women of color in her hometown and has worked as a bereavement facilitator at Good Grief Inc.: Princeton, New Jersey and as a graduate assistant and outreach associate at Rider University Counseling Center. Shana was actively involved in Chi Sigma Iota (Counseling Honor Society), Educational Opportunity Program, and McNair Scholars Program at her previous institution.
Shana is interested in doing research about multiculturalism and how it pertains to dualistic/ relativistic thinking with students of color. With interests related to her current position, Shana is very excited to be at Syracuse University and working in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Janet Morgan is currently a doctoral student in the department of Instructional Design Development and Evaluation, and serves as the Assessment Consultant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She brings to OMA over ten years of experience creating assessment and evaluation methodologies for university-wide programs and community organizations. In addition, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the application of adult learning theory and instructional design methodologies and principles in the creation of teaching and learning solutions for online and face-to-face delivery.
Janet Morgan has developed and implemented various assessment projects of the office’s programs and services to assist in the continuous improvement of student development, learning, and retention. Activities include design and development of instruments, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, report writing and the identification of relevant solutions to ensure continuous quality.
Janet Morgan holds a B.A. in Literatures in English from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica and a Master of Science degree in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation, from the School of Education at Syracuse University.
Tevion N. Johnson
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Through the course of his undergraduate career, Tevion was active in a number of student-run organizations; serving on the Executive Board of the Student African-American Society, holding leadership roles for the Multicultural Empowerment Network for Men of Color, and being a routine supporter of Syracuse University’s National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association chapter. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2015 With a B.A. in Writing & Rhetoric and Political Science and is currently a graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Audio Arts/Music Business, a joint program between the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and The College of Visual Performing Arts.
Bridget L. Lawson
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Bridget will be serving as an Academic Consultant for 1st and 2nd year WellsLink students. She is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Education's Cultural Foundations of Education program. Bridget joins OMA with a wealth of experience supporting students' academic success in the community and in higher education. She has worked for Say Yes to Education and the Early College High School Program at Nottingham High School; and she also served as an Academic Planning Counselor for EOP students at SUNY Oswego. Bridget received her undergraduate degree from Cazenovia College (2003), majoring in Human Services and a Master of Social Work degree from Syracuse University (2008).
Bridget’s scholarly interests focuses on social justice work in education as it relates to students of color experiences in urban public schools, the achievement gap, access to quality education, college access and college persistence. Bridget is a board member of Image Initiative, Inc. She is active in her community and takes on a personal commitment of mentoring youth throughout the City of Syracuse.
Academic Consultant, WellsLink Leadership Program
With numerous experiences working and facilitating student engagement both at her alma mater, The University of Iowa, and here at Syracuse University, Rebekah knows that students are the best part of any campus experience. She is eager to meet with students and collaborate with the WellsLink team. Rebekah is a 2014 graduate from the University of Iowa with a B.A. degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She is currently a second year graduate student pursuing her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in the School of Education. She is also a member of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society of and for professional counselors.
Shadayvia M. Wallace
Graduate Assistant, WellsLink Leadership Program
Shadayvia Wallace is a Syracuse native. She graduated from Keuka College with her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science/History with a minor in Communication Studies located in the Finger Lakes Region. During her undergraduate career she was heavily involved within the campus' Multicultural Affairs Office, and with the student-ran organization, Multicultural Student Association. She was also involved with her campus' President's Leadership Circle, New Student Mentoring program. Shadayvia is a second-year graduate student in the Master of Science in Higher Education at Syracuse. She will be the Graduate Assistant for The WellsLink Leadership Program in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In this capacity, she will serve as an Academic Consultant for first year WellsLink students, assist in initiatives to ensure the academic success and leadership development of WellsLink students, and support community building within WellsLink.
Anju J. Franklin
Academic Consultant, Mentoring Program
Anju Franklin is a second year graduate student in the Pan African Studies Program in the Department of African American Studies. Her research focus is on the Cuban health care system and the importance of emphasizing health as a human right throughout the African diaspora. In addition, Anju also received her Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University. As an undergraduate, she was very active on campus and was the former president of both the Student African American Society and the Pi Iota Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was also a former fullCIRCLE peer mentor. Anju will serve as the Academic Consultant for the fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program.
Academic Consultant, Dimensions Mentoring Program
Mariel Rosario is currently a 1st year graduate student in the School of Information Management working to obtain an MS in Information Management. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Children and Family Studies from Syracuse University. Prior to working at OMA, Mariel working within the Syracuse community proving tutoring and counseling services. In New York City, she held several roles within Higher Education targeted at student success and advocacy. She now serves as an Academic Consultant for Dimensions mentoring program.
Coordinator, Conversations About Race and Ethnicity (C.A.R.E.)
Monica Miles serves as the Graduate Student Coordinator for Conversations About Race and Ethnicity (C.A.R.E). Monica is a master’s student in Cultural Foundations of Education and intends to continue in this program as a doctoral student.
Monica received her Bachelor of Art degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara in Cultural Anthropology and African American Studies. During her undergraduate career Monica worked with the Office of Residence Life as a Resident Assistant for two years and then as a Resident Director for a private residential living community. Monica also served as a lab assistant in the Meso American Research Center and was involved in the Multicultural Student Union as President, African American Student Union, and served as the co-chair for the African American Graduation Ceremony 2015.
Prior to joining the team at the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Monica worked as an Instructional Assistant at the Stevenson Education Center for Student Athlete Development. Monica also currently works with Hillside Family of Agencies and provides skill building services for families and youth with histories of trauma in the Syracuse community under the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Academic Consultant for Native Student Program
Hugh Burnam (Hode’hnyahä:dye’) is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan and a Ph. D. student at Syracuse University in the Cultural Foundations of Education program. Hugh currently works with Native students at Syracuse University as the Academic Consultant in the Native Student Program, alongside Director Regina Jones (Oneida) within the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In his research, Hugh utilizes TribalCrit Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Indigenous ways of knowing to understand Haudenosaunee students’ experiences in higher education, specifically: belonging, persistence, retention, and gender.