OCAT Staff

Murray Edwards, Interim Director (edward12@msu.edu)

Murray Edwards has been with the Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions for 28 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 26 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 MOSAIC Multicultural Unity Center located on the second floor of the MSU Union building.

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Carlos Fuentes, Coordinator (fuentes@msu.edu)

Carlos Fuentes is Coordinator of Intercultural Programs. 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 and Co-advisor for CRU.  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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 Emily Sorroche, Coordinator (sorroche@msu.edu)

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Emily, a member of Haudenosaunee Confederacy with the Cayuga Tribe and of Puerto Rican heritage, originates from upstate New York. When she attended MSU, she studied Music and Social Work and graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Working in the MAGIC program during her undergraduate uncovered the work she would want to pursue for a career. Emily graduated from the Higher Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) Master’s program with research interests in Educational Leadership, Multiculturalism, Inclusion and Student Retention. Previous employment includes MSU Office of Admissions, G.E.A.R. UP, H.O.P.E., and Lansing Promise Scholarship emphasizing in pre-college programming.

She has served as an Academic Advisor from Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative, is currently a Co-Director of the Indigenous Youth Empowerment Program (IYEP), and is a board member of Michigan Indian Education Council. In the fall, Emily will continue her life as a student in the Educational Leadership doctoral program studying Indigenous student populations within k-12 and higher education. Her hobbies include being a fur-baby parent to her Chihuahua, Dalia, and her cat, Daizy May, spending time with family and friends – soon to be a new auntie- traveling, and cooking. She is a beginner in bead work, learning how to make earrings. She is very excited to continue working with and learning from the MSU students!

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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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Meaghan Kozar, Ph.D., Coordinator (kozarmea@msu.edu)

Meaghan Kozar has been an OCAT Coordinator since fall of 2008. She serves as advisor for APASO (Asian Pacific American Student Organization) and coordinates Spartan Remix, an annual cultural festival. Other responsibilities include maintenance of the OCAT website and “The Cultural Connection” (OCAT’s bi-weekly e-newsletter 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 PhD 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. Meaghan received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Viterbo University, a Master of Arts in English at Iowa State University and completed her PhD 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 11-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 a coordinator for Student Success Initiatives, Annual Día de la Mujer Conference, Todos Organizados Para Cuidar Estudiantes (T.O.C.E.) Annual Scholarship, Annual Thanksgiving Day Fellowship Dinner, and Advisor to the Council of Racial Ethnic Students (C.O.R.E.S.) Culturas de las Raza Unidas (C.R.U.) Latino Student Organization. Juan Also serves as a Co-Instructor in the International Engagement in Mexico (I.E.M.) Study Abroad Spring Break program. Prior to his position in OCAT he worked for the College of Natural Science as a Preprofessional Academic Advisor. While in Graduate school, 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 Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and his Master of Arts in Clinical Social Work from Michigan State University.  He was raised in Southwest Detroit and attended MSU by way of Southwestern High School.  He enjoys traveling, meeting people of all cultures, DJing, Making 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 MOSAIC Multicultural Unity Center Secretary. If you would like to reserve space at the MOSAIC for your department or organization she is the go to person for that!

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Tiffany Gridiron Toriumi , Coordinator (gridiro1@msu.edu)

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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.