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Staff

 

Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman

Dr. James K Duah-Agyeman

Director

Email: dagyeman@syr.edu

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.


Huey Hsiao

Huey Hsiao

Associate Director

Email: huhsiao@syr.edu

Huey Hsiao serves as the associate director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs and 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, Huey leads and directs mentoring programs, including 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".  He 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

Regina Jones

Assistant Director, Native Student Program

Email: rajones@syr.edu

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 resides and grew up on the Onondaga Nation territory located south of Syracuse.

Regina received her Bachelor of Science 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 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 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, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of one.


Cedric T. Bolton, M.S.Ed.

Cedric T. Bolton, M.S.Ed.

Coordinator of Student Engagement

Email: ctbolton@syr.edu

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.


Julissa Pabon

Julissa Pabon

Coordinator Mentoring Programs

Email: jupabon@syr.edu
Julissa Pabon joined the office of Multicultural Affairs in August 2018 as the Coordinator of Mentoring Programs.  She coordinates the fullCIRCLE and Dimensions Mentoring Programs and is co-chair of the Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month planning committee.

Julissa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She graduated from Westfield State University in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Liberal Studies with concentrations in English, Education and Ethnic and Gender Studies.  She recently graduated with her Masters of Science in Counseling Education with a specialization in student development in Higher Education from Central Connecticut State University.  During this time she served as the graduate Intern at the Arthur L. Johnson Unity Wing Intercultural Center at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Julissa is also a member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated.  During her free time Julissa likes to catch up on reading, explore the city, and spend time with family and close friends.
Marissa L. Willingham

Marissa L. Willingham

Program Associate for Budgets and Operations

Email: mlwill07@syr.edu
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 wife, 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.
Shana Gelin, MA, NCC

Shana Gelin, MA, NCC

Graduate Assistant, Mentoring Program

Email: sjgelin@syr.edu

Shana Gelin serves as the graduate assistant for fullCIRCLE Mentoring Program. She is working toward earning a Ph.D. in counseling and counselor education in the School of Education. Shana received a 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 (OMA), 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, working as a bereavement facilitator at Good Grief Inc.: Princeton, New Jersey, and serving 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 OMA.


Alessa Garland-Smith

Alessa Garland-Smith

Graduate Coordinator, WellsLink Leadership Program

Email: agarland@syr.edu

Alessa Garland-Smith joined the Office of Multicultural Affairs in August 2017 as an Academic Consultant for the WellsLink Leadership Program.

Alessa was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 2014 with her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Middle East Studies, and two minors in French and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at Syracuse University in the School of Education’s Cultural Foundations of Education program. Her research interests are centered around social justice in education for marginalized youth.

Alessa currently serves as the Graduate Coordinator of the WellsLink Leadership Program. She is the Vice President of the Black Graduate Student Association. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.


Monica Miles

Monica Miles

Graduate Assistant, Conversations About Race and Ethnicity (C.A.R.E.)

Email: mnmiles@syr.edu

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. 


Kayla Wheeler

Kayla Wheeler

Academic Consultant

Email: kfwheele@syr.edu
Kayla Wheeler is a first-year Law student in the Syracuse University College of Law. Kayla joined the OMA staff in fall 2018 as the Academic Consultant for the Dimensions Mentoring Program.

Originally from Hacienda Heights, CA, Kayla graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies and a minor in Public Affairs. While at UCLA, she served as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for the Afrikan Education Project (AEP), a community organization that provided tutoring and mentorship to K-12 students in Compton, CA. Kayla is passionate about education policy and, through her work with Dimensions and her legal education, she works to promote inclusive and equitable educational environments for students of color and other underrepresented populations.