Tell us about your job.

I provide support to underrepresented student populations—including not just students with different ethnic backgrounds but also socio-economic status. Those groups include Asian, Native American, Latino, and African-American students. There also is a fifth category—students of multiracial backgrounds. They are not nicely placed into one of the other categories. By support, I mean overseeing several mentoring programs, providing leadership opportunities for students, including attending regional or national leadership conferences, counseling and serving as a resource for students. I also provide support for all students, regardless of their backgrounds, who have an interest in exploring the Office of Multicultural Affairs as a resource.

Pre-orientation also falls under our office. It is a program that supports the needs of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Another of my main responsibilities is chairing the Black History Month working group. It is composed of various constituencies from around campus. We started out by developing a theme—Transformation of Black Leadership—then decided what programs to offer.

How long have you been at the University?

I came to the University in September 2008.

Tell us about your educational and professional background.

I attended high school in Ecuador and started college at a community college in Guayaquil, Ecuador. It is a satellite campus of Brookdale Community College of New Jersey. I transferred to Penn State University and received a B.A. in psychology with a certification in chemical dependency counseling. I then received two master’s degrees from Penn State—in school counseling and higher education administration. I began working at Cornell University as director of the Latino Living Center, one of eight themed living and learning communities at Cornell. From there, I came to Richmond.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

In addition to working with students, it has been rewarding to see people that you wouldn’t expect getting involved. I have allies around the campus who represent groups that normally don’t do this type of work. Also, having Tina Cade as a supervisor is rewarding. There is a lot I can learn from her. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

There is so much to do in Richmond. I teach salsa dancing in private and group lessons in the greater Richmond community. I also enjoy playing basketball, particularly with other staff and faculty during lunch. It’s a nice way to network informally with colleagues around campus.