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, Administrative Specialist; 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, Administrative Specialist

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 Administrative Specialist, 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.


Tamara Austin, Director, Womxn's Hub

tcaustin@uci.edu

Tamara Austin is an East Coast transplant to the Golden State. She has been at the university since 2011 in various roles that support students. Before becoming the Director of the Womxn's Hub, she was Associate Director for the Student Outreach and Retention (SOAR) Center. Tamara recognizes the desire of all students to be the best that they can be and works with them to engage in open dialogue that can assist them during their time here at UCI. Tamara completed her undergraduate education at Temple University and received an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She previously served as Director of Counseling Services for the Penn State University School of Law.  

Section 2


Student Staff


Gemo Antonio, Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Gema Antonio

Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Saul Avelleira, Umbrella Organizations Liason

Saul Avelleira

Umbrella Organizations Liason

Brandon Casas, Front Desk Assistant

Brandon Casas

Front Desk Assistant

Julianna Cressman, REACH Program Co-Coordinator

Julianna Cressman

REACH Program Co-Coordinator

Dominique Duong, Administrative Intern

Dominique Duong

Administrative Intern (Professional Development)

Irene Ear, Administrative Intern

Irene Ear

Administrative Intern (Marketing & Outreach)

Tarriq Elmahadi, Cultural Wellness Intern

Taariq Elmahadi

Cultural Wellness Intern

Jennifer Lima, Front Desk Assistant

Jennifer Lima

Front Desk Assistant

Vito Perez, Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Vito Perez

Community Outreach & Programs Intern

Vania Ramirez, REACH Program Co-Coordinator

Vania Ramirez

REACH Program Co-Coordinator

Andion Regala, Front Desk Assistant

Andion Regala

Front Desk Assistant

Carissa Singh, Womxn's Hub Intern

Carissa Singh

Womxn's Hub Intern

Chynah Thomas, Womxn's Hub Intern

Chynah Thomas

Womxn's Hub Intern

Jenny Tseng, Volunteer Program Coordinator

Jenny Tseng

Volunteer Program Coordinator

Cayla Zhang, Graphic Design Intern

Cayla Zhang

Graphic Design Intern