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Cynthia Baron

Cynthia Baron
Director, Center for Multicultural Excellence and Inclusion


303-615-5621



baron@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230N

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

 

Cynthia is a social worker with 15+ years of experience in private and public higher education administration.  She currently serves as the Director for the Center for Multicultural Excellence and Inclusion at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.   She has a deep passion for multicultural education and developing and implementing student-centered culturally conscious programs and services that address the equity-achievement gap in higher education. In her most recent position she served as the Assistant Director, Associate Director and Acting Director of the First Year Success Program providing leadership, development, and assessment of both academic courses and co-curricular social/emotional engagement programs to incoming first-year students at the University.  Cynthia is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Leadership for Education Equity with a concentration on Latino Schools and Communities at the University of Colorado Denver with a research focus on campus climate and sense of belonging with an equity and social justice lens.  She has developed strong partnerships across campus and in the community to provide access to higher education and support to traditionally underrepresented and marginalized student populations including first-generation, low-income, students of color, and undocumented students.  Cynthia also enjoys spending time with her children and family, traveling, biking, music, and yoga. 

 



Juan Gallegos

Juan Gallegos
Assistant Director, Center for Multicultural Excellence and Inclusion


303-605-5391



jgalle94@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230R

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Juan Gallegos joined the MSU Denver team in April 2017 as the Brother2Brother program coordinator. A 5th generation Coloradan, Juan moved to Washington State and earned a B.A. in psychology and a B.A. in Spanish language from Seattle University. He continued his studies at the University of Washington Seattle where he earned an M.A. Public Affairs. His work in the high school, college, and non-profit space has focused on empowering historically underrepresented students, as well as championing the institutions that serve them well. Juan currently promotes equity and inclusion by serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Multicultural Excellence and Inclusion (CMEI). Juan enjoys spending time with his family, his dog, Luna, and in his free time enjoys all things outdoors, leatherwork, soccer, bonsai, and gardening.



Diana Garcia
Web/Graphic Designer


303-605-7020



dgarc113@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230GG

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Diana was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and was raised in different states of Mexico as she grew older. She is a sophomore Communication Design student at MSU. She plans to use her education to continue to help conveying people’s visions and use her cultural background to drive her designs. At CMEI, Diana is a Web/Graphic Designer. Her main role in the organization is to manage all web content and graphic design projects for the CMEI. She works in collaboration with the Director and Assistant Director, student staff and interns to design culturally relevant and engaging flyers, handouts, and internet content. Diana is interested in being part of a team that promotes the understanding of the unique cultural experiences and learning preferences of MSU students of marginalized/underrepresented racial backgrounds while exploring her own cultural and racial identity. She takes pride in on her cross-cultural skills as a Mexican immigrant and working with the CMEI has helped her gain more confidence in advocating for her community and navigating the dominant culture effectively. Diana loves films, learning about cultures and languages as well as anything related to art or design.



Grace Baclao
Web/Graphic Designer


303-605-7020



mbaclao@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230GG

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Grace Baclao was born in the Philippines and raised in Maryland.

She is a sophomore Communication Design student at MSU. Grace chose this area because she would like to contribute to the community using her design skills. She plans to work at a Tech Company to use her education to continue to improve the technology world we live in when she gets her degree.

At CMEI, Grace is a Web and Graphic Designer. Her main role in the organization is to manage all web content and graphic design projects. She works in collaboration with the Director and Assistant Director, student staff and interns to design culturally relevant and engaging flyers, handouts, and internet content.

She is interested in being part of a team that promotes the understanding of the unique cultural experiences and learning preferences of MSU students of marginalized/underrepresented racial backgrounds. Exploring her own cultural and racial identity was helpful to her own growth and she wants to support other MSU students do the same. She values an environment that affirms her identity. Her work has helped her understand her own cultural background. She takes pride in her cross-cultural skills as a Filipino. This knowledge has helped her gain confidence and acceptance in their Filipino community and navigate the dominant culture effectively.

Grace enjoys creating crafty things and learning more about designs, spending time with loved ones and friends, going on bike ride adventures, trying different types of food, music, camping, hiking, and traveling in her free time.

 



Lonni Woodruff
Intern


303-605-7022



jperez63@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230GG

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Lonni Woodruff was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, with a family that has roots all throughout the Caribbean.

Lonni is currently a senior in the Bachelors of Science in Social Work program at MSU Denver. She chose to go into social work due to her passion for advocating for those in vulnerable positions. She intends on applying to graduate school with a concentration in education, and continue serving minoritized groups in the community once she obtains her degree.

At CMEI Lonni works on using her personal experience and social work skills to serve students based on their needs, prepare projects, and manage events. She does this all while learning from her community and surroundings. Lonni will be interning with CMEI during the 2019/20 school year, in which she will work towards implementing multicultural awareness.

Some of Lonni’s greatest values include diversity, education, cultural humility, and community. She strives to bring these values together to diligently serve the students of MSU Denver.



Chris

Chris Way
Community Leader


303-605-7019



cway2@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230GG

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Chrysanctus is a Mechanical Engineer Student. At CMEI, Chrys is a Community Leader. His main role in the organization is to assist in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of CMEI events and retention efforts. Currently, Chrys is supporting in the outreach and growth of the program Brother 2 Brother. This program has been successful in creating a space for men of color in campus that supports their academic success. Chrys became a peer mentor because he wants to contribute to close the gap in education achievement for marginalized students at MSU. He's interested in being part of a team that promotes the understanding of the unique cultural experiences and learning preferences of MSU students of marginalized/underrepresented racial backgrounds. Exploring his own cultural and racial identity was helpful to his own growth and he wants to support other MSU students to do the same. In his free time, Chrys enjoys playing video games, such as NBA Live, Call of Duty, and Halo. He also enjoys playing basketball with his brother and cousin. 



Lakeitha

LaKeitha Johnson
Graduate Student Intern


303-605-7022



oceanandsun71@gmail.com

Position Role:
Intern

Office Location:
JSSB

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

LaKeitha began her career as a teacher and has garnered over twenty-seven years of teaching experience working with children between 0-6 years old. As a teacher, LaKeitha has encountered individuals and families from all walks of life. LaKeitha delights in knowing that her acceptance and instruction of others, particularly individuals at a cultural, physical, cognitive and financial disadvantage attributes to her diverse nature. While working with children in a preschool setting, LaKeitha began to see a push to strengthen the family unit. Recognizing the need for stability and strong familial foundations, LaKeitha began volunteering at Volunteers of America to work with young and adult victims of abuse. Her work expanded by volunteering at a crisis shelter for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. LaKeitha also completed courses to earn a CAC1 (Certified Addictions Counseling 1) to help both women and men overcome substance abuse. After contemplating earning a Master’s in clinical mental health, LaKeitha sought social work as a profession that would impact individuals on a more personal level. LaKeitha believes her involvement in social work will break barriers that prohibit individual and familial growth by positively impacting individuals in need. LaKeitha will begin her foundation year field experience in August 2018 as a graduate intern at CMEI and looks forward to working with other professionals that participate in the encouragement and empowerment of others within the community. LaKeitha enjoys traveling, painting, and minor furniture restorations.



Darlene Castro
Front Desk


303-605-7019



dcastr14@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
JSSB 237

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Darlene was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She is a senior Integrative Healthcare student at MSU. Darlene chose this area because she values an environment that affirms her identity. She thinks that other MSU students may benefit from doing the same. She worked in a refugee clinic, helping patients receive the healthcare they needed when they arrived to the United States. She plans to apply to graduate school to further her career in Integrative Healthcare and helping people in third world countries who don’t have access to healthcare. Darlene enjoys photography, music, traveling, and spending time with family in her free time.



Front Desk Staff: Brigitte Thompson

Brigitte Thompson
Front Desk


303-605-7019



bthomp45@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
JSSB 237

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Brigitte Thompson works the Front Desk at CMEI. Her main role is to welcome students into CMEI and to ensure that they feel comfortable and free to express themselves. As an artist, self-expression is of outmost importance to her, and CMEI’s mission to create an environment that fosters individuality, growth and connections among those with diverse cultural backgrounds aligns with her own. Brigitte is an artist first and foremost and sees art as way to heal and connect with others. She has spent the last few years exploring her racial and cultural identity through art and has seen how pivotal art can be for personal growth and interpersonal communication. Art can bridge gaps and bring communities together, which is something that is imperative in a society where racially charged and bigoted rhetoric is a part of everyday life. 



Ferhod Abuzar
Community Leader


303-605-7019



fabuzar1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Office Location:
JSSB

Office Number:
230 GG

Campus Box Number:
62

Directory Profile

Bio:

Ferhod Abuzar was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Ferhod is a Psychology major and a junior at MSU. He chose this area of study because he potentially wants to be a school psychologist and is a part time teacher for a non-profit organization. Ferhod plans to apply to graduate school and use his education to continue to serve underrepresented students 

At CMEI, Ferhod is a Community Leader. His main role in the organization is to assist in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of CMEI events and retention efforts. Currently, Ferhod is supporting in the outreach and growth of the program Brother 2 Brother.  



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