Dr. Airen was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in both La Verne and Fontana, CA. He attended the University of California, Riverside (UCR) where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After receiving his degree from UCR, Dr. Airen went on to pursue his first graduate degree from the University of Southern California (USC). At USC, Dr. Airen received a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy. Following the attainment of his first graduate degree, Dr. Airen decided to continue his studies and work on a doctorate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). While at Virginia Tech, Dr. Airen became very involved in organizations such as the Graduate Student Assembly where he served as a delegate and the Black Graduate Student Organization. Prior to completing his Ph.D in Counselor Education at Virginia Tech, Dr. Airen had the opportunity of completing a Future Professoriate Certificate, receiving a Citizen Scholar Award (Awarded to a graduate student who utilizes their research to benefit the needs of the community through community-based partnership projects), and was selected to participate in the Global Perspectives Program (a Program where graduate students are selected by the Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education to visit European universities to explore graduate students, faculty, and staff roles and responsibilities in higher education from a global perspective). In addition, Dr. Airen recently completed his fourth degree, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Wayne State College. In conclusion, he is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).
Advice to Students:
1. Enjoy the college experience!
2. Make sure your studies are your first priority at SFA!
3. Choose your friends wisely because a true friend is one that lifts you up not brings you down!
4. Remember to Embrace Diversity, Study, Live Well, Get Involved, and Get a Mentor!
Amanda was born and raised in Sullivan City, Texas, which is located in the Rio Grande Valley. She attended La Joya High School where she excelled in band and was named a two-time All-State musician. She went on to graduate from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's in English, and minors in music and business. While at Texas A&M, she was involved with the University Symphonic Band, multicultural organizations, mentoring programs, and became a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. After receiving her degree she worked for the Office of Admissions at Texas A&M where she focused on international undergraduate students. After a year out of school, she decided to head up north and received her master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) from the University of Vermont (UVM). As a graduate student at UVM, she worked with the Center for Cultural Pluralism where she developed and facilitated the Social Justice Film Series, and managed the Multicultural Art Gallery. Aside from her assistantship she advised the multicultural Greek organization on campus and spear-headed various programming committees central to marginalized communities. Amanda's research interests include retention and involvement of first-generation college students, limited-income students, women, and students of color. In her spare time she likes to take nature walks and hikes with friends (yes, she has a small nature child within her). She developed a new passion for yoga and enjoys a good game of racquetball.
Advice to Students:
1. College is the place to discover who you are, so get involved, seek advice, and get connected!
2. Believe in YOU because only YOU can make a different in your life.
3. Time-management will become your new best friend, so begin getting acquainted now.
4. Remember self-care . . . Do not forget to eat and sleep.
5. Someone's door is always open if you need to talk, so don't be afraid to drop in.
6. And . . . Smile! You'll be surprised how much your day and the day of others will be brightened.
Alicia was born in Berwyn, IL and raised in San Antonio, TX. After four years of attending Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Alicia transferred to Stephen F. Austin State University. In 2002 she graduated from SFA with a Bachelor's in English and minor in Creative writing. As undergraduate Alicia had two poems published in the SFA Myriad. After graduation, Alicia went to work for an area telecommunications company, but her heart remained in SFA. Five years after graduating, Alicia came back to work as the secretary of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at SFA. After a year of working with SFA students Alicia was inspired to go back to school in pursuit of her Master's Degree. Alicia is now in her final year of Graduate school and will soon have her Master's Degree in English; emphasis in Non-Fiction Creative Writing.
As a Multicultural individual, Alicia brings a unique blend of the Hispanic Heritage and French Dutch Heritage to the OMA. Since beginning her work in the OMA Alicia has had the opportunity to be an advisor to the Organization of Latin Americans as well as a role model and confidant to the student that frequent the office.
She hopes her work with the OMA will help to break down the walls of prejudice and promote equality of all differences. If Alicia is not in office or on SFA campus you're more than likely to see her in the community participating in the American Cancer Society's Annual Relay for Life event, supporting the O'Malley the Alley Cat program, or reading her work at the Morning Glory Yoga Center's bi-monthly public readings.
Alicia's Advice to Students:
- Enjoy your time in the dorms; even if it stinks you'll make memories and friends that will last forever.
- Leave your prejudices in the past; go into each class with an open mind. You don't have to believe in everything you're taught, but you should always learn and respect it and the people who do believe.
- When you fall get up, brush yourself off and making a joke, at least, then when you're remembered you'll be remembered as the person who made everyone laugh after you fell and not as the one who just fell.
- There is nothing wrong with being unique, so just be you and not what you think everyone else wants you to be.
- Sometimes you just need to breath deeply, exhale and reboot.