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Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity staff

Ashley Allen

Ashley Allen

Interim Director, Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

Contact: ashleyallen@augustana.edu

Leticia Martinez

Leticia Martinez

Office Assistant, Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

Contact: leticiamartinez@augustana.edu

Student staff 2020-2021

Walid Alzein
Walid Alzein

Walid Alzein

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
Year: Junior
Majors: Biology and neuroscience
Campus Involvement: Rho Nu Delta Fraternity, club soccer - Vice President

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? During my first day at PACE, I met my closest friends who are now my roommates. College would be really boring if I never met them.

Kira Banks
Kira Banks

Kira Banks

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Biology and public health
Campus Involvement: Black Student Union - Fundraising Chair,  Latinx Unidos - Fundraising Chair, Ladies of Vital Essence - Secretary, Tribo Phillipino, Dat Poetry Lounge 

Why did you choose to become a mentor? PACE helped me a lot with adjusting. Without this program, I wouldn’t have the confidence to be me and try new things. PACE gave me a space to be me and talk about the adjustment to a predominately white institution. Without it, I don’t know if I would still be at Augie. I want to give back and hopefully help students that may be in a similar position to what I was in.

Bernice Campos
Bernice Campos

Berenice Campos

Hometown: Depue, lll.
Year: Junior
Majors: Business management and marketing and Spanish for professional use
Campus Involvement: Student ambassador, Greek life, Búhos, Latinx Unidos, Tertulias in the Spanish department

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? The biggest impact thus far would have to be a great group of friends I have made through the program. The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity has also encouraged us to utilize the many resources and opportunities Augustana offers, which has definitely impacted my college experience.

Marcos Carballo
Marcos Carballo

Marcos Carballo

Hometown: Wauconda, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Business administration and Spanish for professional use
Campus Involvement: Delta Omega Nu, club soccer, Latinos Unidos

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far?  PACE helped me find my core group of friends. My PACE mentors introduced me to their friends as well, and some of them were a part of a fraternity and they encouraged me to pledge for a fraternity. Now I'm part of one. The people I talk to on a day to day basis were all PACE members with me.

Stephanie Carreno

Stephanie Carreno

Hometown: Carpentersville, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: History education
Campus Involvement: Augustana Concert Chorale, Zeta Phi Kappa, Latinx Unidos

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE allowed me to become confident in my path towards college. As a first generation student, it can oftentimes be hard finding sources to help me be a better student. PACE helped me find people I can confide in when I hit a bump in the road.

Vanessa Castanon
Vanessa Castanon

Vanessa Castañon

Hometown: Rockford, Ill.
Year: Senior
Majors: Business administration and Spanish for professional use
Campus Involvement: Latinx Unidos, Black Student Union, Delta Chi Theta, Medical Scribe at Genesis Medical Center

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? It allowed me to meet my best friends who I know are going to be a part of my life forever. It has also helped me to embrace my identity and who I am.

Tavian Cervantez
Tavian Cervantez

Tavian Cervantez

Hometown: Galesburg, lll.
Year: Senior
Majors: Religion and philosophy
Campus Involvement: Rho Nu Delta Fraternity, Student Government Association, Philosophy Club, Muslim Student Association, Lives of the Mind Podcast, Black Student Union

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has provided me a core community, which has helped me gain confidence claiming my space here at Augustana. I feel like I have a right to be here and I feel like I have people I can rely on. PACE has allowed me to have more of a purpose on campus, as I have since focused a lot of my energy in my own co-curriculars towards diversity and inclusion.

gemma chavez
Gemma Chavez

Gemma Chavez

Hometown: Mundelein, Ill.
Year: Junior
Major: Biology
Campus involvement: Delta Chi Theta Sorority, Latinx Unidos, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE introduced me to some of my best friends to this day. It also opened up so many doors and connections with different people that allowed me to find so many different places I could get involved in on campus. Through the staff, I found the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, which I work for now. My Big in my sorority was one of my PACE mentors, and so many PACE mentors and mentees are in Latinx Unidos with me. All these experiences have made college the best and I have PACE to thank for that!

Jordan Cray
Jordan Cray

Jordan Cray

Hometown: Homewood, Ill.
Year: Senior
Major: Psychology
Campus Involvement: Former President of Black Student Union, Dat Poetry Lounge, works in the Office of Admissions

Why did you choose to become a PACE mentor? I chose to become a mentor because I really love PACE and everything it stands for. I also want to offer support and help to students like me.

Fatima Dominguez
Fatima Dominguez

Fatima Dominguez

Hometown: Poplar Grove, Ill.
Year: Junior
Majors: Political science and history
Campus Involvement: Former Latinx Unidos President, worked for Multicultural Programming Board, member of the Diversity Council, works in the political science department

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has been so good to me. I talk to a lot of the people I met in PACE. PACE is where I met my friends and we have gotten so close over the last 2 years. PACE helped me meet amazing people that have guided me and helped me so much. Also, PACE has allowed me to open up much more and not be so shy, which has also helped me, especially when I'm giving presentations in class. I would give PACE a 10/10 if I could, to be honest.

Tristyn Escobedo
Tristyn Escobedo

Tristyn Escobedo

Hometown: Willowbrook, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Biology
Campus Involvement: Latinx Unidos - Vice President, EMERGE Leadership Program - Mentor, Omicron Sigma Omicron Fraternity, Boundless Health and Wellness Club - Mentor

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? I would literally and figuratively not be where and who I am today if it wasn't for PACE and the people within the program. In PACE, I met my friend group that I am still close to today. Also, the program made me feel even more comfortable with who I am and my various cultures. Lastly, both the mentors and the staff of the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity helped me grow as a student and person. Their guidance throughout my first year will never be forgotten.

ketsia faraja
Ketsia Faraja

Ketsia Faraja

Hometown: South Kivu Congo Drc.

Year: Junior

Major: International business

Campus Involvement: Black Student Union, French Club, Business Club, African Student Association, Chi Omega Gamma Sorority, Sierra Club, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

Why did you choose to become a PACE mentor? My first, best experience in college was from my mentor. My first friend was my mentor and some of the best advice and guidance I received was from my mentor. Having someone to talk to and show you that everything will be fine the first day you step out of college all alone with no "daddy or mommy" is so special. And that's the experience I want to give and share with new students.

Nashaun Lee
Nashaun Lee

Nashaun Lee

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Chemistry
Campus Involvement: Black Student Union

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has allowed me to build long lasting relationships with peers and staff members.

talayah lemon
Talayah Lemon

Talayah Lemon

Hometown: Matteson, Ill.
Major: Sociology
Year: Senior
Campus involvement: Black Student Union, Sisterhood of Unique Ladies, Dat Poetry Lounge, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has allowed me to meet the people I am still friends with today. I think if I didn’t join PACE I wouldn’t be close to other people who look like me. As a leader of PACE, it has impacted my experience as well because I am able to have an impact and that is very important to me.

Robert Martin
Robert Martin

Robert Martin

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Year: Junior
Major: Elementary education
Campus Involvement: Augie Democrats - Vice President; Relay For Life - Fundraising Committee 

Why did you choose to become a mentor? I chose to become a mentor because I heard the testimonies of my peers who participated in PACE and I wanted to be a part of making people of color coming to campus feel comfortable and safe. I understand how scary and uncomfortable it can be trying to get to know people in college and PACE is a way to alleviate some of that stress.

jacqueline massat
Jacqueline Massat

Jacqueline Massat

Hometown: Crystal Lake, Ill.
Year: Senior
Major: History education
Campus Involvement: Sigma Pi Delta Sorority, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

Why did you choose to become a mentor? My freshman year, I wasn’t involved in PACE, but I had a friend that was and introduced me to a lot of wonderful people and programs from the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity. This made me want to work for the office and become a mentor myself!

Joyce Matanguihan
Joyce Matanguihan

Joyce Matanguihan

Hometown: Skokie, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Elementary education
Campus Involvement: Augustana Symphony Orchestra- Harpist, Asian Student Organization- Recruitment Chair, Filipino Student Organization - fundraising, NAMI - Treasurer, Chi Omega Gamma - Public Relations, Sing Chair, works in the Office of Admissions

Why did you choose to become a PACE mentor? I chose to become a mentor because I wanted to be able to support and guide people similar to me or who have had similar experiences as me through the transition into college. I could not have had a smoother and less nerve-wracking transition into my first year of college if it weren't for PACE.

Katherine Maxwell
Katherine Maxwell

Katherine Maxwell

Hometown: East Moline, Ill.
Year: Senior
Majors: Biology
Campus Involvement: Asian Student Organization - Recruitment Co-Chair, UNYK Multicultural Dance Group - Secretary Co-Chair, Honor Council - Vice Chair,  National Alliance on Mental Health

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has really made me feel that I have a support system, no matter the circumstances. Every time I needed support or encouragement, a PACE member was always there to help me along the way. PACE members sent their prayers to me and my family during my grandma's life saving surgery, and PACE members were there when I was stressed out during finals’ week. For me, the impact of PACE is beyond my college experience and it is inexplicable how much this program has impacted me.

Leanna Mazariego
Leanna Mazariego

Leanna Mazariego

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Spanish and entertainment and media
Campus Involvement: Sigma Pi Delta Sorority,  Latinx Unidos - Social Chair, HerCampus, Black Squirrel Productions, Office of Student Life Movie Committee, NAMI, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE is what helped me get comfortable to the whole college experience in general. With PACE, I was basically given a head start. I had the opportunity to adjust to a college environment and make new friends almost a week before everyone else came in and school started to begin. This helped settle my nerves and boosted my confidence.

jessica miller
Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller

Hometown: Homewood, Ill.
Year: Senior
Majors: Communication sciences and disorders
Campus Involvement: Delta Chi Theta Sorority, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has given me some of my closest friends and greatest support systems. The connections I've made through PACE are still present in my life today. Even those who I didn't get extremely close to during PACE have always been a friendly face on campus. I have so much love for PACE and can't wait to see all of the new mentees.

kirubel mognehode
Kirubel Mognehode

Kirubel Mognehode

Hometown: Addis Ababa

Year: Junior

Majors: Computer science and graphic design

Campus Involvement: EDGE Center, Global Engagement, club soccer, African Student Association, Game Developer Club

Caleb Perry
Caleb Perry

Caleb Perry

Hometown: Rockford, Ill.
Year: Sophomore 
Majors: History and political science
Campus Involvement: Black Student Union -Historian, Residential Hall Association, men's soccer, club baseball/basketball

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? I can't imagine what my first year experience would have been like had I not been a part of PACE. All the experiences I had either in PACE or with those I was in PACE with have been memorable and fun. Many of those I consider my closest friends were those I had met in PACE; I wouldn't have done it any differently. 

Alivia Phelps
Alivia Phelps

Alivia Phelps

Hometown: Mazon, Ill.
Year: Senior
Major: Vocal music education
Campus Involvement: Works in Office of Student Life, Augustana Choir, Academic Choir, Black Student Union, NAFME, ACDA, Philosophy Club, Heywire

Why did you choose to become a mentor? This program has given me people that will be friends for life, and I can only hope to help other students find this as well!

carlos ramirez
Carlos Ramirez

Carlos Ramirez

Hometown: Schiller Park, Ill.
Year: Junior
Major: Biology
Campus involvement: Camp Kesem, Latinos Unidos, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has changed my college experience greatly. Through PACE, I made friends that I am still friends with today, got exposed to connections that helped me get a job with the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, and overall created a support system for me throughout the past two years.

Jacob Reusch
Jacob Reusch

Jacob Reusch

Hometown: Aledo, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Neuroscience and psychology
Campus Involvement: Varsity baseball team

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has opened my mind about my passion for others and has helped me learn a lot about myself. I have been able to use the knowledge that PACE has given me to be proud of who I am and embrace my ethnicity as well as my identity.

Vicente Serrano
Vicente Serrano

Vicente Serrano

Hometown: Gurnee, Ill.
Year: Senior
Majors: Communication sciences and disorders and Spanish for professional use
Campus Involvement: Latinx Unidos, Delta Omega Nu, volleyball, office worker for Brodahl, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has given me a community of people that I can depend on and it has taught me how to become a leader and how to be confident in myself. Since being in PACE, I have actively participated in groups such as Student Government Association, Greek life, and the Office of Student Life.

Torian Staton
Torian Staton

Torian Staton

Hometown: Genoa, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Philosophy

Campus Involvement: Works in Office of Admissions, Augustana Concert Chorale, Greek Life, Latinx Unidos, Augustana Theatre Department

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? It's given me my family on campus, connections for jobs on and off-campus, and has grown my communication skills.

jaylin strong
Jaylin Strong

Jaylin Strong

Hometown: Homewood, Ill.
Year: Junior
Majors: Psychology and sociology
Campus Involvement: Latinx Unidos, works in the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity, student leader for Multicultural Men’s Association

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? Pace has impacted my college experience by helping me meet tons of different people and faculty here at Augustana. They have helped me forge bonds with people that I will probably keep in contact with for the rest of my life.

Gabriel Vallejo
Gabriel Vallejo

Gabriel Vallejo

Hometown: Round Lake Beach, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Computer engineering and neuroscience
Campus Involvement: Greek Life, Rugby, club soccer, Latinx Unidos, works in the Office of Admissions

Why did you choose to become a mentor? PACE impacted my college experience more than I could have ever imagined and I want to do the same for other incoming students.

William Weems
William Weems

William Weems

Hometown: Carpentersville, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Undecided
Campus Involvement: Black Student Union, Asian Student Organization, RHA, club basketball and baseball, works for the Multicultural Programming Board

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE has helped me find some of my best friends and provided a sense of comfort when attending Augustana. I truly have a family that I could depend on.

Natika Woods
Natika Woods

Natika Woods

Hometown: Rock Island, Ill.
Year: Sophomore
Major: Undecided
Campus Involvement: Emerge Leadership Program, Delta Chi Theta Sorority, Latinx Unidos, works for the Multicultural Programming Board

How has PACE impacted your college experience thus far? PACE brought me my best friends from Augie who I trust with my life. PACE also gave me a voice I did not know I had. Everyone from PACE is always willing to talk about social issues and injustices when other people try to steer away from those conversations. They helped show me how it can be difficult to have these conversations with people who are not aware of it and how I can try to help educate them. I do not know how my first year at Augustana would have turned out if I had not done PACE and I am forever grateful for this program.