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Director's Corner

Shanelle Watkins

Greetings and welcome!

The Black Student Center provides a space where students can feel safe and brave enough to delve into their own identities, and confidently express them. The BSC a place where students can engage with their peers and express their unique voices. Everyone, including all students and community members, are warmly welcomed to come to visit our space. We are excited to have you all and look forward to supporting and celebrating you throughout your time here. You are family now!

Shanelle Watkins, M.A.
Assistant Director


About Our Director

Shanelle Watkins serves as the Assistant Director at the Black Student Center. Prior to this role, she served as the inaugural Coordinator of Black Student Success Initiatives at CSUSM. As the first in her family to attend college, she is deeply committed to ensuring that students from underrepresented groups have the necessary resources to navigate college successfully and maintain a balanced student life. A native of southeast San Diego, Shanelle completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology at California State University San Marcos. She later obtained her master's degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of San Diego. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of California, San Diego, and was a 2022 Chrispeels fellow. With more than a decade of experience in education, Shanelle has been crucial in developing and implementing a variety of programs to boost the self-confidence and leadership abilities of Black students at the high school, community college, and university levels. Her expertise lies in working with and advocating for students with special learning needs, first-generation students, student parents/guardians, formely incarcerated students, and former foster youth. Shanelle is a member of NASPA, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She also co-founded The Shine Academy, a college preparatory program for first-generation Black girls. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones,  listening to podcasts, and cheering on her 11 year old son at his sporting events.