The primary goal of the MultiRacial Network (MRN) is to raise consciousness and awareness of multiracial issues in higher education
The Multiracial Network (MRN), one of four (4) networks within the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs (CMA), strives to help create and foster inclusive spaces within ACPA and postsecondary education with and for students, staff, and professionals who identify as multiracial, multiethnic, transracial adoptees, and with fluid racial identities. This will be accomplished through developing intentional educational initiatives, engaging in critical dialogue and community building, and supporting institutional change through advocacy on our campuses and within the larger ACPA organization. The Multiracial Network (MRN) seeks to be inclusive and welcomes everyone who is interested in advancing the organization's goals.
2019-2021 Leadership Team
Laura Carroll (She/her/hers)
Laura is a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA and identifies as multiracial, African American and Scotch Irish. Currently, she is an Academic Program Coordinator for Student Support Services (SSS) at the University of Delaware. She received her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University and her B.S. in Business Administration from Slippery Rock University. Her professional experience surrounds the areas of diversity and inclusion, equity and access, academic advising, and retention. An active member of ACPA for the past 8 years, Laura is excited to serve on the MRN Leadership Team as the current Chair. Through her involvement with MRN, she has had the opportunity to facilitate presentations, coordinate social events, and meet some amazing folks! She believes that MRN provides a safe space for multiracial educators and allies to engage in critical dialogue and shared experiences. Favorite quote: “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -Audre Lorde
Kelli Campa (She/her/hers)
Kelli is excited to be the incoming co-chair for the Multiracial Network this year! She has been involved in MRN for 4 years. She currently works at William Paterson University as the Coordinator for Student Conduct and Special Programs and serves as one of the university's Title IX Investigators. Originally a California native, she received her Bachelors in Communications from California Lutheran University and her Masters in Higher Education from Iowa State University. In her free time, she loves to travel (both domestically and internationally), is an avid Netflixer, plays trivia with her partner, and enjoys hanging out with friends.
Lisa Combs (She/her/hers)
Lisa received her B.A. in Political Science and English from The Ohio State University. She also received her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She currently serves as a Program Coordinator in the Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office for Loyola University Chicago . She identifies as a biracial Filipina woman and her research interests include multiraciality, leadership self-efficacy, and identity development.
Michael Dixon (He/him/his)
Immediate Past Co-Chair
Michael serves as the Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer at Susquehanna University (Pennslyvania). He has worked in higher education since 2004 in a variety of departments (intramurals, residential life, multicultural affairs, student activities, admissions, career development & international student support services) at 10 different institutions. He is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Administration at Indiana State University. Michael’s research interests include diversity, equity, inclusion, intersectionality, multiculturalism, interculturalism, and multicultural greek organizations (NPHC, NAFLO, MGC). His father is from Jamaica and his mother is from the Philippines.
Rob Kunicki (He/him/his)
Immediate Past Co-Chair
Rob was born and raised in New York City to a second-generation New Yorker and an Ecuadorian immigrant. A first-generation college student, Rob holds a BSEd in Adolescence Education with a concentration in Mathematics and a MSEd in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from St. John’s University as well as an MA in Higher Education Administration from Stony Brook University. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He has experience working in New Student Orientation, First Year Seminar Peer Mentoring, and Fraternity and Sorority Life. Currently, Rob serves as the Assistant Director for Student Success, Assessment, & Enrollment Initiatives at Baruch College of the City University of New York where he has been able to translate his experience in student life to his work with retention and graduation initiatives in Enrollment Management. Rob is driven by his passions for education, exploring cultural identities, leadership development, and equal opportunity and access. He is a self-proclaimed data nerd who works diligently to support his Division to improve the student experience and meet strategic priorities.
Lakia Shavon Lightner- Padgett (She/her/hers)
Lakia Shavon Lightner- Padgett was born in Connecticut. She's a certified National Women’s Business Enterprise for: Mixed Chicks Sorority Incorporated, Mix Race Love Magazine, Mixed Television Network and Mixed Race Museum. Over the years she’s contributed to countless books and other projects. At the Women’s Leadership Institute and University of Saint Joseph. Lakia majored in Women’s Leadership and Women's Studies. Lakia produces plus host the show; Hartford Community Leaders Developmental Corporation. She will receive her PhD in Women Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Additionally, she’s in charge of Women’s Leadership at two churches. Lakia is the eldest of eight plus an aunt to one nephew. Lakia’s mother is a Connecticut and New York teacher. Both run an organization called 6K Kids Can't Wait which advocates for equal education for inner city students and teachers. A special thanks goes out to her husband Donald E. Padgett for all the love and support.
Liv Parks (They/them/theirs)
Coalition for Sexuality & Gender Identities (CSGI) Liaison:
Nicole Belisle (She/her/hers)
Nicole has a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Education from UC Santa Cruz. After taking some time to work with elementary youth in the Bay Area, she went on to pursue her M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Sociology and Education with an emphasis in Education Policy. Nicole identifies as Multiracial and Multiethnic and has dedicated much of her higher education studies to supporting Multiracial identity development and promoting diversity through multicultural education. Her ethnic background consists of Jamaican, Chinese, Belizean, French and Mayan roots. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program at San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University in Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Nicole works as an Equity Analyst for San Diego State’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Mark Dawson (He/him/his)
Coordinator, Scholarship & Resources
Mark was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Currently he serves as a Diversity Education Specialist in the Department of Multicultural Services at Texas A&M University. Mark coordinates the Race, Identity, and Social Equity (RISE) Initiative, a year-long undergraduate research program and conference. He oversees the Diversity Certificate Program in the College of Liberal Arts, and teaches a course that focuses on Multicultural Leadership. Mark currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from San Diego State University, and is currently working on his doctoral degree in Sociology. His main research areas are race, class, gender and the Sociology of Education.
Secretary & Historian
Caitlin Lindsay serves as the Associate Director of Student Activities and Greek Life at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA. She identifies as biracial - Sri Lankan and African-American. Her higher education journey began at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she earned Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Social Work. Following completion of her bachelor degree, she traveled to St. Cloud State University to complete a MS in Higher Education Administration. She has experience in admissions, diversity and college access, conduct, fraternity and sorority life, student involvement, and union operations. Although Caitlin has been involved with ACPA in a variety of forms (Ambassadors Program, 2018 and 2019 Convention Planning Team - Programming Team, and Commission for Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness Directorate member), this will be her first role with MRN.
Mitchell Foster (they/them/theirs)
Coordinator, Social Events
Mitchell Foster is currently a Coordinator for Residence Education for University Housing at the University of Arkansas. They supervise Holcombe and Futrall Halls, 15 Resident Assistants and 1 Graduate Assistant. They are a new professional who graduated with a Master’s in Public Administration and a certificate in Sexual Diversity Studies from California State University, Chico in May 2018. They identify as bi-racial, Filipinx-white. Mitchell has completed research in the areas of bi-raciality, non-binary gender identity, and intersectionality. Through their research, they ultimately want to inform college curricula by highlighting the importance of using an intersectional framework in dismantling interlocking systems of oppression.
Jazzmine Brooks (She/her/hers)
Coordinator, Social Media
Jazzmine Brooks was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, however, calls Las Vegas, Nevada home. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism: Public Relations and Advertising from the University of Nevada, Reno. Jazzmine also received her Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the Violence Prevention and Green Dot Coordinator at Iowa State University. She is responsible for developing, facilitating and collaborating with faculty, staff and students on violence prevention efforts; and developing and implementing educational outreach and programming that addresses issues of sexual misconduct and other forms of power-based personal violence. Jazzmine is also the owner of Jai Olive, LLC a wellness community for womxn of color that provides support services including coaching, communication, reproductive justice and community advocacy. She identifies as multi-ethnic with family roots from Belize. Jazzmine is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She is an advocate for social change, and believes in creating space to discuss and resolve social justice issues.
Caitlyn LoMonte (She/her/hers)
Coordinator, Sponsored Programs
Caitlyn was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Florida where she was a part of the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program, a scholarship program for first generation, low-income college students. She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the University of Florida providing resources, support, and outreach to first generation college students and high risk high school students before moving to Chicago, IL to pursue a Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from DePaul University. She currently serves as the Assistant Director for Social Justice Programs for the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Caitlyn identifies as a Multiracial Black Woman and is passionate about social change, identity development, education, and empowerment.
Paige Thomas (She/her/hers)
Paige Thomas is an Indianapolis, Indiana native and two-time graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington. Prior to entering Higher Education and Student Affairs, she taught second-grade for three years in a metropolitan school district in Indianapolis. She currently serves as a Coordinator for Residence Life at UNC-Greensboro and is involved in professional staff recruitment/retention/recognition, residential curriculum, and social justice initiatives. She attributes much of the salience of her multiracial identity to her parents, Frank and Tammy, whom have been together since they were sixteen years old (only years after Virginia v. Loving was passed) and always celebrated the bothness of her identity as Black (African-American) and White woman. This will be Paige’s first role on the Multiracial Network leadership team.
Victoria K. Malaney Brown, Ph.D. (She/her/hers)
Victoria K. Malaney Brown, Ph.D. research interests focus on multiracial college students, intergroup dialogue, critical consciousness, critical race theory/MultiCrit, and student activism. These research interests stem from her multiracial identity, first-generation college, and graduate student experiences. Victoria identifies as an Indo-Caribbean (Trinidadian), Spanish, and White (Irish) multiracial woman. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College and her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from UMass Amherst. Currently, Victoria is the inaugural Director of Academic Integrity at Columbia University for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering
Rachel Luna (She/her/hers)
Rachel has been connected to MRN since 2010 and joined MRN as a graduate student and immediately found a professional and personal home. She stays involved with this community of scholars because she continues to learn with and from our members. Through her involvement with MRN, she has presented at conferences, hosted webinars, enjoyed socials, read articles, and chatted on social media with some really great folks. She spends her days in Career and Employment Services at Diablo Valley College in CA. Most nights and weekends, she is wearing her other hat as a doctoral student in Higher Ed Leadership through Colorado State University. Her research explores multiraciality, digital technologies, and inclusivity.
Beth John, Ed.D. (She/her/hers)
Beth has been working in higher education for 16 years. She is currently the Director of First Year Experience and adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education Leadership Graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Beth also serves as a Dissertation Advisor for the Edgewood College Doctoral program in Educational Leadership. Beth received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from Edgewood College (WI) and her M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. Beth’s primary areas of interest and research include multiracial identity development, diversity and inclusion, first year students, and students in transition. Beth has been actively involved with ACPA for many years and has held several leadership positions within the Commission for Student Involvement, Standing Committee for Multicultural Affairs: MultiRacial Network (MRN), and the Mid-Level Community of Practice. She has been involved with MRN since 2009 and is a past chair. Beth serves a co-advisor to the first Mixed Race Student Union (mXd) at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which was established in 2015.
Program Reviewer, Leadership Team Member: Erika Roach (She/Her/Hers)
Erika is the Assistant Director of Stanford University's Inclusion and Diversity Education (DGen) Office. In her role, she teaches courses in intergroup communication and facilitates campus-wide workshops on topics including identity, inclusion, and bias. Erika received both her M.A. in Psychology and her B.A. in Psychology & Human Biology from Stanford University. She celebrates her Black and Filipina ("Blasian") identity and as a student, was actively involved in and served as co-president of the Multiracial Identified Community (MICS). She is deeply interested in the intersection of identity, belonging, and mental health and how this impacts academic and career outcomes. In her free time she enjoys dancing, traveling, playing with dogs, and baking for friends and family. She is originally from sunny Corona, California and now resides in the Bay Area.
Call for Proposals
Book Project on Identity Analogies in Student Affairs in Higher Education.
MRN is proud to support Dr. Aeriel A. Ashlee (St. Cloud State University) and incoming MRN co-chair Lisa Combs (Loyola University), co-editors of a forthcoming book project on identity analogies in student affairs in higher education. They are soliciting chapter proposals for a book that explores the concept of identity analogies in higher education and student affairs. Identity analogies are comparisons and parallels drawn across and between different identity experiences to make meaning and explore possibilities of identity and allyship. Identity analogies do not signify sameness, but rather they build empathy across communities in ways that disrupt systems of oppression. It has been our observation that many higher education professionals use identity analogies to describe and explore social identities (e.g., transracial adoptees and multiracial students feeling like a caveat to our racial groups), but the concept of identity analogies has not yet been purposefully examined as a strategy for student development and learning. We are interested in explorations of identity analogies that demonstrate the transformative and empathetic potential of the practice. The purpose of the book is to examine identity analogies within student affairs and higher education through a framework of interconnectivity (Keating, 2013). The framing of your proposal should be related to social justice pedagogy and how identity analogies are used as a vehicle to facilitate great understanding, learning, empathy, and/or allyship. We are particularly excited to receive submissions that explore identity analogies in the following contexts: teaching, advising, mentoring, supervising, faciliating, and counseling. We are also excited to receive submissions involving the following identity experiences: interfaith/religious identity, social class identity, age, and (Dis)Ability.
Chapters might address the following questions: How and why do professionals use identity analogies in higher education and student affairs? What is empowering and educational about responsibly comparing experiences across identities? How do identity analogies serve as tools of empathy, understanding, and allyship?
We ask that all chapters follow the same structure: (1) description of a concrete story or example of an identity analogy in higher education or student affairs, (2) discussion of issues and implications related to the identity analogy, (3) aspects of transformation, kinship, insight and/or empowerment that emerged from the identity analogy and (4) concluding with any recommendations for thoughtful future practice involving similar identity analogies.
Submission Process for Abstracts
Your submission should include an abstract (no more than 250 words) and an author bio.
Abstracts should provide:
A basic overview of how you would like to contribute to the overall book project and how your proposed topic is relevant to the identity analogies in higher education and student affairs.
An indication of the social identity(ies) you plan to explore through identity analogies
We ask that abstract submissions be accompanied by brief author bios, which include your name, contact information, and a short description of your professional and/or scholarly background (not included in the 250 word limit).
Please note, chapter abstracts may be submitted in collaboration by more than one author. Please feel free to contact Aeriel A. Ashlee ([email protected]) and Lisa Combs ([email protected]) with any questions you may have regarding the abstract submission process or to work through ideas for potential submission.
Keating, A. (2013). Transformation now! Toward a post-oppositional politics of change. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.