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Speaker Bios

About The Speakers

2019 Speaker Bios 

 Dr. Mohamed Abumaye

Mohamed Abumaye

Mohamed Abumaye, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, San Marcos. His work centers on the intersections between military and police violence. He investigates the San Diego police department’s unit of counter-terrorism and U.S. military drone attacks in Somalia as the transnational circuits of violence that shape Somali refugee flight. What distinguishes his project from other works on police is that he focuses on the militarized aspects of policing, and does so with an emphasis on the refugee. He centers the role of      Somali youth activists in exposing the relationship between U.S. militarism in Somalia and hyper-policing in City Heights, San Diego. Mohamed’s work interrogates City Heights as a translocal space by interweaving the fields of Black Studies, Critical Refugee Studies, and Carceral Studies. 

 Dr. Rafael Hernandez

Rafael Hernández

Rafael Hernández, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development, teaches Multiculturalism, Diversity, and Social Justice. He has published research on student persistence in higher education and strategies for dealing with institutional and interpersonal racism experienced as microaggressions. His scholarship also engages community cultural wealth and Indigenous knowledge to promote critical consciousness, college-going culture, and creative expression for local multicultural youth. 

 Dr. Kelsey M. Jones

Kelsey M. Jones

Dr. Kelsey M. Jones received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship working with the Racial Empowerment Collaborative and the department of Human Development and Quantitative Methods. She holds bachelor of arts degrees in Psychology and English from Williams College and a master's degree in Childhood Special Education from Long Island University.  As a former special education teacher, Kelsey pursues participatory and qualitative scholarship that focuses on dis/ability and giftedness in the narratives of and about Black and Brown youth, the racialized school-to-prison pipeline, and racial literacy education as healing for children and adults in stressful teaching and learning environments.  Her current research focuses on the development of accessible racial literacy materials for children, adolescents, families, and educators under the Preparing Educators to Address Racial Literacy and Stress (PEARLS) Program.

 Floyd Lai

Floyd Lai 

Floyd Lai is the Associate Director of the Cross-Cultural Center at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Since coming to CSUSM in 2011, Floyd directs the center to focus on four key programmatic areas: advocacy and activism, developing multicultural competency, critical engagement across social identity groups, and the retention of students from underrepresented/underserved backgrounds. He facilitates several workshops and trainings on diversity as well as supports cultural student organizations on campus. He has worked in higher education for almost 20 years, first at Alliant International University and later at his alma mater, the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He received his Master of Education in the Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs (PASA) program at the University of Southern California and his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering at UCI. As the first-born son of Chinese immigrants, he chose a different path from the one that was planned for him and went into higher education. An active member of NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, he is committed to the success of the next generation of students interested in pursuing a career in the field of student affairs. 

 Dr. Joe-Joe McManus

Joe-Joe McManus

Dr. Joe-Joe McManus serves as the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). He began addressing racism and other forms of oppression as a student activist in high school and college, which led to a career focused on educational access, equity, and inclusion. Dr. McManus’ experience includes faculty, staff and administration roles, having served at an HBCU, an Ivy League institution, a major urban university system, a religious college, and an international university. An educational innovator, Dr. McManus has lectured, served on panels, presented, and consulted in the U.S. and internationally for nearly three decades. Notably, Dr. McManus, was a member of the inaugural cohort of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Standards of Professional Practice Institute, and is currently serving on the NADOHE President’s Task Group on Charlottesville. A first generation college student, McManus earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida A&M University. His current Board service includes the Diversity Collegium and E3: Education, Excellence & Equity. He also serves as an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks (GDIB), and as a member of the Diversity Community Exchange (DiCE) Group for which he edited the book, The Diversity Calling.

 Dr. Raj Pillai

Rajnandini Pillai

 Dr. Rajnandini “Raj” Pillai is a Professor of Management at CSUSM. She received her doctorate in 1994 from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Organizational Behavior. Her dissertation focused on the contextual factors that facilitate or retard the emergence of charismatic leadership. Her areas of teaching and research interest are leadership, organizational justice, and cross-cultural management.

 Tyler Rolling

Tyler Rolling

Tyler Rolling is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. She works as a Health Educator specializing in nutrition and sexual violence prevention. She received her Bachelor's in Nutrition and Dietetics from Florida State University and completed her Masters in Nutrition Science from San Diego State University. Tyler is passionate about facilitating positive behavior change and motivating students to take charge of their health. She helps design and implement nutrition programming on campus, including the, “Live Well Aztecs Approved” food labeling initiative, which aims to make healthy food choices easier for students. She provides one-on-one nutrition education sessions and hosts hands on cooking classes, utilizing Mobi, The Mobile Demonstration Kitchen (for which she wrote and received the Aztec Parents grant for). Tyler also works alongside the Trader Joe’s store on campus to provide grocery store tours for students and trains our Peer Health Educators (PHEs) in nutrition basics and intuitive eating. In addition, Tyler facilitates the SISSTER Training Course (Sororities Invested In Survivor Support Training and Ending Rape Culture), which aims to train sorority women to be successful leaders in sexual violence awareness, prevention, intervention, and survivor support. Fun fact: When she’s not working with the SDSU community, you will find her in the pool performing synchronized swimming for the Aqualillies, an LA-based water entertainment company!

 Donna San Miguel

Donna San Miguel

Donna San Miguel is the Associate Dean of California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) at Temecula. As the associate dean, she advocates for higher education in the Temecula Valley. She is responsible for the oversight of the two campuses in Temecula, program development, community and business relationship development, as well as oversees a team dedicated to student services. She has been in higher education for over fifteen years, with twelve of those years at CSUSM. Donna enjoys working with students and helping them reach their academic goals. She is always looking for a way to help students connect to the local community whether it be for an internship, volunteer work or get their career started. Donna earned her Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary studies from Arizona State University, the first in her family to attend college. She later went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Education from San Diego State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego. She currently serves on the Board of Director for the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC). She is also the Education Chair for Valley Young Professionals, a division of TVCC. She is responsible for creating educational series for the future leaders of the Temecula Valley. Donna is also the Treasurer/ Secretary for the Temecula Education Foundation and is the newest addition to the JDS Creative Academy Board of Directors.  Donna is a thoughtful advocate for students, a courageous change leader and catalyst for promoting excellence in the field of education.

 Dr. Theresa Suarez

Theresa Suarez

Dr. Theresa C. Suarez is an Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University San Marcos. Professor Suarez earned a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego in 2008, and an MA in Asian American Studies from UCLA in 1997.  Dr. Suarez’s research is broadly concentrated on the racialized militarization of gender, family, and migration in the Pacific. Her academic specializations include:

  • Asian American Studies
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Filipino American Studies
  • Gender, Family, & Migration
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Transnational Studies
  • U.S. Militarization in the Pacific

At CSUSM, Dr. Suarez teaches courses focused on Inequalities, Qualitative Methods, Race & Ethnic Relations, Race & Identity and Advanced Seminars in Sociological Research and Community Service.

 Adrienne Tucker

Adrienne Tucker

Adrienne Tucker is a Business Intelligence Analyst at CSUSM.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2018 from Southern New Hampshire University in Computer Information Technology. Throughout her career, Adrienne has received awards for customer service, management, and operational results, most notably for managing a $3 million flagship store for Starbucks in New York City’s Times Square. As a Campus Connect alumni, SAND committee member, and former LGBTQ FSA board member she is highly engaged with the campus community. She is also passionate about teaching others and has facilitated training in many areas including skills to successfully transition across industry roles.

 

Catherine Wong  (Keynote)

Bio Coming Soon!