• Six Multicultural Affairs for Students staff sitting in front of the WMU seal.
  • 14 Multicultural Affairs for Students staff standing in the hallway of Sangren Hall.

Our Team

(All photos on this page taken by Daniela De La Cruz or Rodney Coleman-Robinson.)

Melissa Holman

Melissa Holman (she/her/hers)

Director

Connectedness, Restorative, Activator, Communication, Individualization

Melissa Holman

What I do at WMU: 
I make sure students have what they need to develop, discover, and thrive during their time at WMU. Through working with a wonderful team who provides services to students through a number of grants and programs, I support student's holistic success.

Why I love working here: 
I love seeing students win!

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 

  • Ferris State University, communication with a concentration in multicultural relations in the United States
  • Western Michigan University, educational leadership: higher education student affairs
  • Certifications: Gallup CliftonStrengths, life coaching with guidelines that follow the International Federation of Coaches protocol

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
Hanging out with friends. I love movies. I love laughing.

A few things about me:
I'm left handed. :) I love having natural hair. Summer is my favorite season.

Ashley Bravo

Ashley Bravo (she/her/hers)

Associate Director, Director of CAMP

Empathy, Relator, Developer, Learner, Responsibility

Ashley Bravo

What I do at WMU: 
At WMU, I ensure that students are well-prepared academically and personally to build a strong foundation for themselves. I do this by connecting students to resources on campus and serving as an advocate for them when they are unsure how to navigate all that comes with transitioning into university life. I also help students set goals for themselves as leaders and professionals. In addition, I prepare reports and monitor student retention and persistence towards degree attainment. I am here for students to know that they have someone who understands their challenges and that they are not alone at the university. I am here to help eliminate any barriers that may stand in the way of graduation.

Why I love working here: 
I love working here because I know what I do makes a difference in the lives of the students. Oftentimes students see higher education as something far from their reach, but I love knowing that what I do helps them get an education and makes their time here a little bit easier because they have someone to turn to when in need.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo is that there are a lot of things to do and many places are open late. I also like that Kalamazoo has options in the surrounding areas, such as the beach. It also reminds me of my hometown in Illinois, so I feel at home.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
My alma mater is Western Michigan University. Here I earned a bachelor's degree in science and majored in biomedical sciences with a minor in chemistry. I am currently working on obtaining my Master of Public Health.

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
At the gym, outside, at a cafe/bookstore or the library working on homework, or at the beach/pool with a good book.

A few things about me:
I am Mexican-American and my family is from Michoacan, Mexico. I enjoy watching movies and crafting! I have been to Mexico, Ireland, and Portugal.

Vun Doubblestein

Dr. Vun Doubblestein 邱文欣 (she/her/hers)

Associate Director, Director of Mentoring for Success Program

Input, Connectedness, Intellection, Learner, Relator

Vun Doubblestein

What I do at WMU: 
I oversee a state grant-funded peer mentoring program in Multicultural Affairs for Students. As the director of the Mentoring for Success Program, I develop, plan, and implement programs and services for students in our target populations. I also recruit, select, train, and supervise a staff that includes program assistants, budget analyst, academic mentors, office assistants, and graduate interns. In addition to my role as program director, I manage our department's websites and social media accounts. I am the advisor of the Asian Pacific American Student Association at WMU, and have been since 2007, when it was known as the Asian Pacific Islander Network and later Asian Pacific Student Association.

Why I love working here: 
The small but tight-knit Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) student population on campus. My student employees.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
Kalamazoo gives off small-town vibes but is close enough to big cities like Chicago and Detroit when you're looking for more things to do. There is a small but growing list of local restaurants here with vegan options.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
I am a three-time WMU graduate! I earned the following degrees from WMU:

  • Ph.D. in educational leadership: higher education
  • M.A. in counselor education: administration of college student affairs
  • B.A. in communication, cum laude

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
At home, spending time alone to recharge.

My community connections:
I serve on the board of directors of the Kalamazoo Chinese Academy (KCA), a local nonprofit educational organization that provides Chinese language and cultural experiences to youth from all cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds in the greater Kalamazoo area. I am also a team member of KCA's STARTALK federal grant program funded by the National Security Agency and administered by the National Foreign Language Center. This year, I was part of the planning committee for the Kalamazoo Public Library's (KPL) Reading Together initiative.

A few things about me:
I am an introvert and I do not enjoy crowds, but I do love traveling and connecting with people on my own terms. I am vegan for the animals. I love reading, particularly legal thrillers and books about the Asian American experience. I enjoy music in any language, from any era, and in any genre or style. If you stumble upon my playlist, you might be very confused. I speak conversational Chinese (Cantonese, Hakka, and Mandarin) but am only semi-literate in written Chinese. I also speak rudimentary Malay. I am a first-generation college student and a first-generation immigrant. I am a walking encyclopedia of random facts but am not good at playing trivia.

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson (he/him/his)

Navigation Specialist

Strategic, Restorative, Responsibility, Developer, Connectedness

Jordan Johnson

What I do at WMU: 
I ensure that students are provided resources to assist them in navigating their educational and social career at WMU. By collaborating with various departments and organizations on campus, I am able to connect students with appropriate services and tools to help them achieve goals.

Why I love working here: 
WMU provides such a welcoming environment and being able to work here allows me to pour the same love I received back into the students and employees.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
I love the small-town sense of community.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
B.A, M.A., and Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) all from WMU.

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
At the farmers market. I am a local business owner and have a booth at the local market.

My community connections:
Boy's and Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sisters

A few things about me:
I am from Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Kalamazoo in 2012 to attend WMU, where I received my B.A. in interpersonal communications and M.A. in communications. I love R&B music a lot. I am also very much into anime (my favorite is Naruto).

Alexander Long

Alexander Long (he/him/his)

Graduate Assistant, Community Mentoring Program

 

What I do at WMU: 
Graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration. Currently a graduate assistant in the office of Multicultural Affairs for Students coordinating for the Community Mentoring Program.

Why I love working here: 
The welcoming atmosphere within our office and on campus is something I greatly enjoy about working here. Being able to work hands-on with students of color is fulfilling and provides a sense of purpose.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
The beautiful experience of all four seasons and the vibrancy of the city.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
Bachelor of Arts in public health

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
Working on music, connecting with friends, or cooking a new dish.

My community connections:
Young Black Male Support Network, Enrollment Management, Edison Neighborhood Association, Black Arts and Cultural Center

A few things about me:
Born and raised in Detroit. My passions are music, people, and health. I love to draw and create art.

Jose Alexis Mejia

Jose Alexis Mejia (he/him/his)

Navigation Specialist

Restorative, Individualization, Connectedness, Ideation, Arranger

Jose Alexis Mejia

What I do at WMU: 
I currently work with the CAMP program serving our scholars.

Why I love working here: 
I love getting to meet new students and hearing their stories! As a first-generation college student, I share so many similarities to the responsibility we carry. I am a WMU alum and I also recently started grad school.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
The different towns you can see and culture from each town! I was raised in Hartford, Mich.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
Bachelor of Science in public health from Western Michigan University. Currently pursuing my Master of Arts in youth and community development.

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
With the Guille Records Family! And with my nephews and family.

My community connections:
El Concilio, Migrant Resource Council, and Guille Records.

A few things about me:
I love music; I love playing the piano and song writing. They call me the King of FIFA and I love to watch sports!

Lisbeth Morales

Lisbeth Morales (she/her/hers)

Recruiter, CAMP

Restorative, Responsibility, Developer, Intellection, Achiever

What I do at WMU: 

At WMU I serve as a recruiter for CAMP seeking future WMU Broncos who have a seasonal and/or migrant background.

Why I love working here: 
I love seeing students convert their challenges into motivation to reach their goals! I love being a part of a supporting team that is making an impact that will help shape the students' lives even after graduation.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
...is its diversity and opportunities to succeed! I'm born and raised from Kalamazoo (KC alum!) and still feel like I'm discovering something new! My favorite place to explore in the city is downtown but you'll also catch me exploring its parks. :)

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
I'm a proud WMU alumnae with a bachelor's degree in science with a concentration in occupational therapy and a master's degree in occupational therapy.

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
...baking, reading, shopping or simply catching a break relaxing.

A few things about me:
I am a first-generation Latina graduate. My zodiac sign is Virgo.

Mark Orbe

Dr. Mark Orbe (he/him/his)

Faculty Liaison, Kalamazoo Promise

Achiever, Strategic, Learner, Connectedness, Input

Mark Orbe

What I do at WMU:
Currently, I hold three positions simultaneously at WMU: professor of communication and diversity in the School of Communication, faculty fellow in the Office of Institutional Equity, and faculty lead for Kalamazoo Promise scholars in Multicultural Affairs for Students. Within these contexts (which I would like to think align together seamlessly), I teach, engage in various research and writing projects, and diligently serve others through different organizations, committees, initiatives, and community events.

Why I love working here:
I love working at WMU because it provides infinite possibilities to work together with amazing people - students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni - in a community where we can teach and learn, challenge and be challenged, and inspire and be inspired.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan:
I am a East Coast native and Kalamazoo has been home for my family and me for the past 25+ years. My favorite thing about living in Southwest Michigan is the huge community support for young people, education, and cultural diversity.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications:

  • Ph.D., Ohio University (intercultural communication)
  • M.A., University of Connecticut (higher educational leadership)
  • B.S., Ohio University (organizational communication)

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
...You won't! I'm typically on the go, constantly motion, and when I'm not I'm hibernating at home out of reach.

My community connections:
On campus, I serve as faculty advisor for the Eta Epsilon chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc; the Beta Rho chapter of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc.; and the Kalamazoo Promise scholars of WMU. In the larger Kalamazoo community, I'm connected to multiple cultural, educational, political and civic-minded groups of people.

A few things about me:
I am a first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college; I'm a marathon runner; I've never had a cup of coffee; I've been in all 50 US states and 5 continents.

Hannah Powless

Hannah Powless (he/him/his)

Program Coordinator, Mentoring for Success 

Learner, Intellection, Input, Context, Discipline 

Hannah Powless

What I do at WMU: 
I serve as a program coordinator in the Mentoring for Success Program. I work with student employees to help deliver mentoring and tutoring to students in our target populations. I also work extensively on our grant reporting documentation.

Why I love working here: 
The people you meet are so kind and welcoming. Each program is important and that gives real meaning and weight to the work. 

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
I love the Kalamazoo Public Library! Moving here from a small town made me star stuck for the resources that a large library system can offer. I try to visit every weekend.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
My alma mater is Western Michigan University! I have my B.A. in gender and women’s studies and communication studies. 

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
At summer camp! I am a lifelong camper at a youth summer camp in Van Buren County where I now serve as the assistant director. 

A few things about me:
I am a very big reader with a special interest in middle grade youth literature. My honor’s thesis for undergrad included completing a manuscript of a contemporary middle grade novel. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy spending time building complicated Lego sets or crocheting while watching the same three shows on repeat. I love listening to live choral and instrumental music and I have been a member of many bands and choirs throughout the years.

Jessica Rocha-Garcia

Jessica Rocha-Garcia (she/her/hers)

Coordinator of Student Services, CAMP

Harmony, Empathy, Restorative, Responsibility, Discipline

Jessica Rocha-Garcia

What I do at WMU: 
I provide academic guidance and social and emotional support to all students in the CAMP program. My job is to coach students to make the best of their first year at WMU, so I find ways to help cultivate a sense of community and belonging to the scholars.

Why I love working here: 
I love working here because I am encouraged to succeed by being given the tools, mentorship, and resources to grow professionally and personally. I also enjoy being able to assist students in discovering what their passions are and seeing them make their dreams a reality. There is no greater feeling than being able to help out and give back to your community.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
My favorite thing about Kalamazoo is how diverse the restaurants are. There are many kinds of restaurants from different cultures, so there is always something new to try.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
Western Michigan University is my alma mater! I graduated with my Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) in 2022 with a minor in addiction studies. I am currently pursuing my Master in Social Work (MSW) with a clinical concentration and certification of Trauma Across the Lifespan (TALS)

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
Trying to motivate myself to go to the gym, with my family and friends back in Zeeland, or at home binge watching some new show I found on Netflix. 

A few things about me:
I was raised in Zeeland, Mich. but I was born in South Haven, Mich. I hope to graduate with my MSW in spring of 2024 and be the first in my family to have a master's degree. I absolutely love traveling to any place that is warm and sunny. I also do photography for fun! I enjoy taking pictures of other people and making them feel comfortable around a camera.  

Tim Smolenski

Tim Smolenski (he/him/his)

Navigation Specialist

Positivity, Includer, Woo, Developer, Empathy

Tim Smolenski

What I do at WMU: 
I am an advocate for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) and Native American students and connect them with services and programs throughout WMU.

Why I love working here: 
The opportunity to be a difference maker and make an impact on a student's life.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
So. Many. Activities! I am an outdoor enthusiast and I love that we have parks, trails, nature centers, lakes, rivers, campgrounds, disc golf courses, a fish hatchery, and even a zoo to name a few! And let's not forget about Lake Michigan!

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications: 
My alma mater is Western Michigan University. I earned a bachelor's degree in arts and majored in sociology with a minor in marketing.

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
Spending time with my family.

A few things about me:
I am a Korean adoptee. I am an extrovert who gets my energy from being around others. I love playing disc golf, making maple syrup in the springtime and playing music. I also love playing hockey and try to use GIFs as much as possible. I once appeared on a Wendy's restaurant coupon and have won over 20 prizes from calling into radio stations, one of which includes a personalized platinum record!

Navia Walker

Kendall Walker (he/him/his)

Financial Wellbeing and Outreach Specialist, Kalamazoo Promise 

 Harmony, Communication, Includer, Analytical, Connectedness

What I do at WMU: 
I engage with current and future Kalamazoo Promise students and inform them of rudimentary financial wellbeing information. I also process/implement Kalamazoo Promise awards for continuing and new Kalamazoo Promise scholars planning to attend Western.

Why I love working here: 
I enjoy working with students as well as learning new processes and collaborating with my colleagues on a variety of events.

My favorite thing about living in Kalamazoo or Southwest Michigan: 
Spring Valley Park on the east side of Kalamazoo. I could walk through there for hours just relaxing and pondering. I also love the quaint scene of downtown and the Kalamazoo Public Library. I've had a lot of growth, maturity, and memories here in my city.

My alma mater, degrees, and certifications:
Associate degree from Lake Michigan College

When I'm not at work, you'll find me...
At home probably playing Final Fantasy VII for the 100th time, spending time with my godfather, or out for coffee with friends.

A few things about me:

  • My fav TV show is Gilmore Girls.
  • My fav Music Artist is Lianne LaHavas.
  • I enjoy knitting.
  • I enjoy conversing in Portuguese or Spanish.
  • Me and Lauryn Hill have the same birthday.