OCAT Staff

Murray Edwards, Interim Director (edward12@msu.edu)Murray Edwards has been with the Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions for 27 years and has served in various leadership roles at Michigan State University for over 30 years. He began his career as a Minority Aide for the Minority Aide Program (now Intercultural Aide Program) and as a Graduate Assistant for Residence Life. He has been involved in numerous programs centered on student retention and success founding such programs as MAGIC (Maximizing Academic Growth in College), the Black Male Initiative, and the FOCUS (Foundations of College Undergraduate Success) Conference.
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Maggie Chen Hernandez, Associate Director (chenma@msu.edu) Maggie Chen Hernandez has been with the Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions for 25 years and has served in various leadership roles at Michigan State University for over 30 years. As an undergraduate student she was an RA for Residence Life and was one of the founding members of APASO (Asian Pacific American Student Organization). She currently is the Senior Coordinator for the Intercultural Aide Program and the Coordinator for the Multicultural Center located in the basement of the MSU Union building.
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Carlos Fuentes, Assistant Director, Internationalizing Student Experience (fuentes@msu.edu) Carlos Fuentes is Assistant Director, Internationalizing the Student Experience at Michigan State University. In this role, he develops and implements educational support to enhance students’ global competencies and global citizenship.  These programs embrace intercultural and cross-cultural understanding and development for MSU students.  Carlos is the advisor to the MSU student organizations:  International Volunteer Action Corps (IVAC), MSU Breakdance Club, Latinos on the Move!, Locals, and the Lambda Theta Phi fraternity.  He previously worked for 13 years at the MSU Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement office where he was the advisor for Alternate Breaks, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Into the Streets, Community Projects and many more service-learning programs offered at MSU.  He has traveled extensively to 32 countries in 4 continents.  Carlos received his Bachelor of Science in Earth Science and Geography at Central Michigan University and his Master of Arts at MSU in College and University Administration.  He served 22 years in the US Army and the Michigan Army National Guard.  He enjoys traveling, meeting people of all cultures, singing, playing guitar, hiking, biking, World War II history, speaking Spanish, dancing, and helping students and inspiring them to be all that they can be.
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Pat Dyer-Deckrow, Coordinator (patdyer@msu.edu) Pat Dyer-Deckrow has been an Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions Coordinator at MSU since 1995. Prior to 1995 she was an MSU Admissions Officer. Pat is the North American Indigenous Student Organization, (NAISO) Advisor and helps administratively with the annual NAISO Student Pow-wow.  She works on Student of Color retention and matriculation initiatives such as M.A.G.I.C. and F.O.C.U.S and Study Abroad initiatives and does Native American cultural programming throughout the academic year.  Pat has a background in American History with an emphasis on Michigan Odawa History and is currently working on a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, (LTBB), and is the Vice President of the Northern Shores Loan Fund (a Native American community development financial institution). She serves on the MSU Native American Institute Advisory Board and is the former Educating Anishnabe: Giving, Learning, Empowering, EAGLE President (American Indian faculty and staff association), has been involved as a leader in Indian Country and social justice issues for over 30 years. Pat is dedicated in helping the next seven generations and looks forward to meeting, assisting and working with students to achieve academic success while at MSU.
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Rob Biddle, Coordinator (biddler@msu.edu) Rob Biddle is the advisor for MSU’s NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) and the AASMP (African American Student Mentoring Program). He also helps to coordinate many of OCAT’s academic and retention initiatives including MAGIC and the FOCUS conference.

 

 

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Headshot 13 1Shetina M. Jones, Coordinator (sjones@msu.edu) Shetina M. Jones is an Area Coordinator for the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions.  Shetina serves as the Black Student Alliance (BSA) and the African American Celebratory (AAC) advisor.  Shetina is the most recent addition to the OCAT Area Coordinator team.  Shetina has worked at Michigan State University for 3 years as a Community Director.  She is a faithful MSU Women’s Initiative for Leadership Development (WILD) committee member and advisor. Shetina started the MSU Sista to Sista: Sisters No Matter the Color program for women in academic transition.  Shetina is a proud Alumni of Eastern Michigan University where she received both her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She has been in the Higher Education Student Affairs field for 5 years.  In her spare time she loves to write, talk, bowl, shop and play the MJ Experience.  She loves getting involved and helping others. Shetina is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Greater Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church (Watch care), Michigan College Student Personnel Association (MCPA), and American College Student Personnel Association (ACPA).   She has had the privilege to work at several great universities such as Eastern Michigan University, Cornell University, The University of Michigan-Dearborn, The University of Michigan, and Michigan State University.

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Meaghan Kozar, Ph.D., Coordinator (kozarmea@msu.edu) Meaghan Kozar has been an OCAT Coordinator since fall of 2008. She serves as advisor for both APASO (Asian Pacific American Student Organization) and Spartan Remix. Other responsibilities include maintenance of the OCAT website and “The Cultural Connection” (OCAT’s weekly email highlighting MSU cultural and academic events). She also contributes to many of OCAT’s ongoing programs including OCAT’s iLead. iSucceed., Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration, and facilitating writing sessions for the MAGIC program. While pursuing a Ph.D. in American Studies, she taught for five years for MSU’s Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) Department teaching first-year writing courses such as “Race and Ethnicity in America” and “Women in America.” She is also MSU’s Asian Pacific American Studies Program Coordinator and is a member of their APA Studies Advisory board. She has previously served as a graduate assistant for the APA Studies Program coordinating their first two annual conferences. Meaghan received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Viterbo University, a Master of Arts in English at Iowa State University and has completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University. Her dissertation focused on the intersections of Asian American and Black American Studies specifically centering on World War II draft resistance and Japanese American incarceration narratives. Her passion is in educating about histories of Asian Americans in the U.S., racial intersectionality/coalition-building and being a mother to her 9-year old son.
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Juan Flores, Coordinator (floresj2@msu.edu) Juan Flores is a Coordinator in the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions at Michigan State University. In this role, he serves as an Area Coordinator for the OCAT Intercultural Aide Program, Coordinator for the Día de la Mujer Conference, Advisor to the Council of Racial Ethnic Students (CORES) Culturas de las Raza Unidas (CRU) Latino Student Organization.  Juan is the advisor to the MSU student organizations:  Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, MSU Dj Club, MSU Brand Club, and MSU Organization of Latino Social Workers. He previously worked for three years at MSU, one year with the College of Natural Science as a Preprofessional Academic Advisor where he was the advisor for students interested in the health care career field. He spent 2 years working for MSU Migrant Student Services where he worked as an instructor for the High School Equivalency Program and Graduate assistant for the College Assistance Migrant Program.  Juan received his Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and his Master of Arts at MSU in Clinical Social Work.  He was raised in Detroit Mexican Town and values a hard work ethic.  He enjoys traveling, meeting people of all cultures, DJing, Making Cultural Videos, Basketball, biking in the summer, Crafts, speaking Spanish, dancing, and is committed to helping students reach their full potential so they can become the best that they can be.

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Pam McFadden, MCC Secretary (mcfadd35@msu.edu) Pam McFadden has been with OCAT for the past twelve years serving specifically as the Multicultural Center (MCC) Secretary. If you would like to reserve space at the MCC for your department or organization she is the go to person for that!

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Diane Hernandez-Wojda, Budget Manager (hernan12@msu.edu) Diane Hernandez-Wojda has been with the Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions for twelve years. She is OCAT’s Budget Manager. She enjoys crafts, her kids and making jewelry.

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Leslie Hernandez-Ortiz, Secretary (galvez@vps.msu.edu) Leslie Hernandez-Ortiz has been with the Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions for eight years. As part of OCAT’s support staff she supports the office’s mission and goals often helping with logistics for OCAT’s programs. She is the one greeting you at the front desk and answering your phone calls. She is the proud mother of two grown children and has two granddaughters. Her hobbies include teaching dancing, swimming, and lifeguarding. She also just got recently married!