UCI Cross-Cultural Center

Our Staff

Section 1

art styled image of students at Celebrate UCI
Left to right: Daniel K. Park, Assistant Director; Jade M. Turner, Associate Director; Nadeeka Karunaratne, Student Development Coordinator; Jade K. Agua, Director; Kathy Dong, Office Manager; Tamara Austin, Director, Womxn's Hub

Professional Staff


Jade K. Agua, Director

jagua@uci.edu

Originally from East Side San Jose, Jade is a fourth generation Filipino Chinese American who’s family immigrated to the United States through Hawai’i.  Jade joined the Cross-Cultural Center as Director in December 2015. In this role, she is responsible for the overall management, direction, and long-term development of the Cross-Cultural Center. She is also responsible for developing departmental goals and objectives, strategic planning, and assessment of programs. Prior to coming to UCI, Jade served as the Program Director of the Office for Multicultural Learning at Santa Clara University (SCU), where she oversaw the Multicultural Center and Rainbow Resource Center. At SCU, Jade was able to implement learning outcomes based on multicultural competencies, revive the Difficult Dialogue series, and develop new diversity trainings for the campus community. Before SCU, Jade worked at the University of Southern California (USC) as a Program Coordinator and Graduate Advisor in the School of Cinematic Arts and as Assistant Director for Asian Pacific American Student Services. She also brings with her community-based, nonprofit experience where she began her career at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP). Jade earned her B.A. in Sociology and MPA at USC. She is committed to empowerment through education, holistic human development, and social justice. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and daughter, Sierra.


Jade M. Turner, Associate Director

jmturner@uci.edu

Jade graduated with a B.A. in Criminology, Law and Society from UCI and received an M.S. in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Jade has worked in admissions and outreach, academic and career advising, counseling, orientation, student life, as well as in community-based non-profits. As a student at UCI, she worked with the Center for Educational Partnerships, Criminology Outreach Program, and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. After graduating from UCI, Jade helped the City of Los Angeles secure grant funding to serve foster youth and ex-offenders. At CSULB, Jade worked with University Outreach and School Relations, Student Life and Development, Student Transition and Retention Services, Student Orientation, Advising and Registration, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee. In addition, she has worked at Loyola Marymount University’s Ethnic and Intercultural Services and Cerritos College counseling, advising, and teaching diverse students. Jade has a personal commitment to diversity, challenging power structures in pursuit of social justice, and improving campus climate for all social groups in higher education.


Daniel K. Park, Assistant Director

danielkp@uci.edu

Daniel joined the Student Life & Leadership cluster as Assistant Director of the Cross-Cultural Center in July 2016. He serves as the primary advisor to the 40+ affiliated Registered Campus Organizations and organizes our signature programs for the campus community: Community Roots Festival, Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, and Deconstruction Zone. Daniel is also responsible for the Cross-Cultural Center's strategic communications and marketing efforts, which includes website development, social media, and branding. Prior to joining the Cross-Cultural Center, he spent five and a half years in the School of Social Ecology at UCI as Founding Director of the ACCESS Social Ecology Program and an academic counselor. Since 2007, Daniel has worked professionally in functional areas within student affairs including residential life, first-year experience, student conduct, academic advising, and student retention at large public and private research universities. Daniel earned his B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from UCI and M.Ed. in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California. He is especially passionate about facilitating student engagement, promoting student success inside and outside the classroom, and mentoring students, particularly those who have an interest in pursuing a career in student affairs.


Nadeeka Karunaratne, Student Development Coordinator

nadeeka.k@uci.edu

Nadeeka joined the Cross-Cultural Center in October 2016 as the Student Development Coordinator. She is responsible for the REAL Talk program, academic and career development initiatives, cultural wellness programming, faculty-in-service opportunities, and social justice education. In her previous role as UCI’s Violence Prevention Coordinator in the CARE office, Nadeeka implemented violence prevention education and programs, developed culturally specific practices, and advised and supervised peer educators and student interns. Originally from the Bay Area, Nadeeka earned her B.S. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley and M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University (MSU). At MSU, she worked as the Undergraduate Research Office Graduate Assistant, volunteered for the Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Team, and served as the instructor for an undergraduate leadership course. Nadeeka holds a strong social justice-centered student affairs philosophy and believes in facilitating spaces that support students’ learning and understanding of their identities, privilege, and oppression, and supporting them as they navigate complex institutions of higher education to become socially conscious change agents.


Kathy Dong, Office Manager

kdong@uci.edu

Kathy Dong joined the Student Life & Leadership cluster in July 2015 as the Interim Programs Assistant for New Student & Leadership Programs and later the Programs Assistant at the Cross-Cultural Center. As the Office Manager, she processes room reservations, assists with programming logistics, and supports the Cross-Cultural Center staff in all capacities. Kathy graduated from UCI with B.A. degrees in Political Science and Sociology in June 2015. A few of her student involvements were with the Early Academic Outreach Program, Circle K International, Peer Academic Advising Program, and Administrative Intern Program. She enjoys mentoring students and helping them find their “spark” so they can more easily navigate through the challenges at the university. During her free time, Kathy loves to spend quality time with her family and friends, engage in arts and crafts, watch TV shows like Scandal and Once Upon a Time, and listen to music.

Section 2


 2017-2018 Student Staff


Vania Agama, ACTIVE Coordinator

Brandon Casas, Student Assistant

Bo Daraphant, Community Resilience Fellow

Taariq Elmahadi, Student Assistant

Joshua Erazo, Administrative Intern: Community Outreach & Marketing

Jeanine Erikat, Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Zenith Farin, Administrative Intern: Personal Development

Anam Farooqui, Cultural Wellness Intern

Heidy Guerrero, Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Samantha Herrera, Student Assistant

Helay Liang, Graphic Design Intern

Vito Perez, Umbrella Orgs Liaison

Miah Sabas, Volunteer Coordinator