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LSSO Features New Latina/o/x student support staff

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Jallissa Elias

Jallissa is a first-generation graduate. She received her A.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in science from Northeastern Junior College. Then received her B.A. in Africana Studies and Psychology and M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to coming to Cornell, Jallissa worked in cultural services as the Program Coordinator for the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center, a member of a Multicultural Greek letter sorority, Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority Incorporated, hosts workshops on identity, goal setting, activism, and the mensural cycle.

Currently, her role at Cornell is the Residence Hall Director (RHD) for the Townhouse Community, a first-year community on Cornell's North Campus. Jallissa's passion is to develop and create ways for students who hold marginalized identities to have positive experiences in higher education through access, retention, and policy.

Cindy Mosqueda

Cindy Mosqueda was born and raised in Los Angeles. She earned her B.A. in Chicana/o Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. As an undergraduate, Cindy was heavily involved in MEChA de UCLA and student government.

Cindy has dedicated her career to serving underrepresented students in higher education, specifically in STEM fields. Following college, she served as the Cihuacoatl (Director) of MEChA Calmecac, a student-initiated and student-run retention program serving Chicana/o and Latina/o students at UCLA. This cemented a desire to effect change on a broader level and go back to graduate school. Cindy earned a M.A. in Education with a focus on Higher Education and Organizational Change from the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. As a graduate student, she studied issues of diversity and access in STEM fields.

Prior to joining Diversity Programs in Engineering as the Associate Director, she coordinated academic support and research programs for underrepresented students at the UCLA Undergraduate Research Center-Sciences. In her current role at DPE, she directs the LSAMP Scholars Program and CU-LSAMP Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates, the Engineering Summer Math Institute, the CURIE and CATALYST Academies for high school students, and advises the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and National Society of Black Engineers.

Cindy is passionate about issues of access to higher education, broadening participation in STEM fields and creating an inclusive campus atmosphere for traditionally underrepresented students. When not working, she enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family and adjusting to life in Ithaca.

Evelyn Ambriz

Evelyn Ambriz is a first generation college graduate. She received her B.S. in Development Sociology and her MPA in Social Policy focusing on policy evaluation, and diversity and inclusion within higher education along with a minor in Latinx Studies from Cornell University in 2011 and 2015, respectively. As a student at Cornell, she held numerous leadership positions within ΛΘΑ, the Multicultural Greek Letter Council, the Cornell Latin America Student Society, and was an advisor for Building Ourselves through Sisterhood and Service (B.O.S.S). Prior to her role as Assistant Dean of Students for Student Development Diversity Initiatives (SDDI), Evelyn has worked in the financial services industry, within career services, and as an advisor to graduate students. In addition to her role in the office of the Dean of Students, she continues to conduct research on community formation and inclusion and diversity best practices. She is passionate about supporting all students in their collegiate environments, particularly predominantly white institutions (PWIs), and strives to develop and provide inclusive, revolutionary, & additive spaces of empowerment.

Catherine Ramirez

Catherine Ramírez was born and raised in New Jersey. She obtained her Bachelor's in both Psychology and Spanish and her Master of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. As an undergraduate student she was a research assistant for the Graduate School of Education, an orientation leader, and served on the state board for an international volunteer organization. Catherine has previous experience advising student organizations, creating workshops for first-generation college students,  planning large-scale community service events, and teaching a seminar for transfer students.  Catherine joined Cornell in 2015 as the Residence Hall Director for the Latino Living Center.

Angélica Keen

Angélica Keen is originally from a border-town called Laredo, TX. She obtained both her Bachelor's in Public Administration and Spanish and Masters of Education at Texas State University-San Marcos. Angelica has worked with a variety of communities through being a TRIO student herself, a member of a Multicultural Greek letter sorority (Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc), served on an MGLC executive board during her undergraduate career, advised and educated multiple sorority chapters throughout Texas and NY, and as a professional served on a Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee at Stony Brook University.

Angélica came to Cornell in June 2012 as the Residential Hall Director for Clara Dickson Hall and Multicultural Living Learning Unit and coordinated a variety of programs, bus trips, and led the community in re-establishing McLLUnity Nights for Fall 2013. In Summer 2013, she stepped in as the Residence Hall Director for the Latino Living Center and Residential Programs Liaison for the Prefreshmen Summer Program. During her time at Cornell, Angélica worked and served on multiple committees in many areas of student services including advising student organizations, First Year Parent's Weekend and is a co-founder of MOVEMENT: Professional Development Institute. Further, Angélica received recognition for her commitment to supporting underrepresented students by being honored with the "Rosa Dorada Award" from La Unidad Latina –Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, INC, Residence Hall Director of the Year 2014 & 2015, and the Tomas Bautista Mapúa Award for being an Outstanding OADI Staff Partner.

Angélica currently serves as the Assistant Director for Diversity Programs in Engineering since March 2015 where she advises the Society for Hispanic and Professional Engineers, works with the Robert L Ryan Scholars Program, CUEMPower Mentoring program, the Engineering Summer Scholars Program, and the Cornell University Engineering Success Program.

Florencia (Flor) Ardon

Florencia (Flor) Ardon was born in the heart of Mexico, in a beautiful colonial city, Queretaro, which was honored as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. She studied Animal Science in her hometown, but after a few years working in the private sector she moved to Germany for graduate school, where she specialized in animal reproduction. Flor's dissertation earned her the annual "Joachim und Irene Hahn Young Researcher Award."While in Germany, she met and married her husband, who is originally from Oklahoma, and after her PhD they went to live in Mexico for five years as Flor worked first on a postdoc in a very rainy city in central Mexico, and then as a university professor in a city located in the desert, on the border with California. They moved to Ithaca in 2010 with their two children where Flor started her career at Cornell as a researcher, working as a postdoc at the College of Veterinary Medicine for four years. As a researcher, Flor published several peer-reviewed articles, was a member of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, and was inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2014. However, since Flor really enjoys interacting with students on a daily basis, and believes her skills and life experience can be useful to Cornell undergrads, she decided to transfer to a position outside research, and has been working as the advisor for the Office of Internal Transfer and Concurrent Degrees since October of 2014.In addition to her current position, Flor participates in outreach by volunteering as a Spanish translator for the project "Celebrate Urban Birds" at the Lab of Ornithology, blogging about human reproduction and autism, taking part in different activities as a member of the Latino Civic Association and of the Ithaca Special Education PTA. Flor enjoys walking through our gorges, trails and parks with her family and feels right at home in Ithaca.