““The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Jamie patton (he/him/his)
Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs (D&I)
Dr. Jamie Patton is responsible for developing, implementing and managing new programs and initiatives that advance diversity and inclusion at Cal Poly. As a division-wide leader and diversity officer, he provides direction and consultation for services and policies to ensure inclusive practices across all Student Affairs departments. In addition, he helps provide campus-wide support for diversity and inclusion efforts in partnership with the Office of University Diversity and Inclusivity.
A native of north Philadelphia, Dr. Patton is a first-generation college graduate with more than 15 years of experience as a higher education administrator. Prior to Cal Poly, he served as the Assistant Dean of Students for Ohio University, where he directed the Parent and Family Program, co-initiated programming to increase graduation and retention rates among African-American male students, and implemented social justice development workshops for Student Affairs staff. Dr. Patton found his passion for a career in Student Affairs at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, where he held student leadership roles as Vice President of the Student Cooperative Council, President of the Black Student Union and founder of the Distinguished Gentlemen. He later served in several positions during a nine-year period at Northern Arizona University, including Director of the Student Learning Centers and Director of Inclusion and Multicultural Services.
Doctor of Education- Northern Arizona University
Master of Education- Northern Arizona University
Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
“It is not our differences that divide us.
It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” - Audre Lorde
BeYA MAKEKAU (She/hER/hERs)
Director of Student Diversity & Belonging
Beya is here to ensure that Cal Poly continues to have events and programs that serve diversity, equity, and inclusion. Beya works to support, advocate, and develop students in any way that she can. She is a resource for students and her work is a celebration of the culture they bring to Cal Poly.
Master of Arts- San Francisco State University
Bachelor of Arts - University of Oregon
“The better we understand how identities and power work together from one context to another, the less likely our movements for change are to fracture.” - Kimberle W. Crenshaw
kristine a. guzman (She/hER/hERs)
As a first-generation college graduate and Latinx woman of color, Kristine’s lived experiences developed a nuanced understanding of marginalization and other systems of oppression and created in her a focused passion to protect, educate and uplift others that share these experiences. Kristine
serves the Cal Poly community, through Student Diversity and Belonging (SDAB), in fostering an environment that is centered on inclusivity and community-building for all students navigating their intersectional identities and to have a strong sense of belonging. Kristine comes to Cal Poly from the Capital Region of NY where she worked
at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) as the Assistant Dean of Students and served as Chair for the Bias Assessment and Response Team (BART).
Kristine’s time at RPI focused on student intervention and support,
advisement of identity-based student organizations, and policy-making for the Dean of Students to strengthen inclusion and accountability.
Masters in Public Affairs & Administration- Rutgers University-Newark
Bachelors in Social Work - Rutgers University-Newark
“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud”
- Dr. Maya Angelou
Samuel Neil Byrd (ANY PRONOUNS)
Lead Coordinator for LGBTQ Campus Life
Samuel is a Gender & Sexuality educator, consultant, and national board-certified counselor originally from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. As a first-gen professional, Samuel works to expand access to public education, to support students mental health & wellbeing, and to dismantle systems of oppression. Over the years Samuel has served as a public school teacher, college lecturer and counselor, interfaith chaplain, and community activist.
Whether in the halls of Vatican City, Moral Marches on the state capital, or in the classroom, Samuel advocates for underrepresented students and promotes communities that celebrate a radical and enthusiastic practice of inclusion. Samuel coordinates LGBTQ Campus Life (PRIDE) at Cal Poly, serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the GALA Pride & Diversity Center, represents Cal Poly on the Police and Community Together Taskforce, the LGBTQ Advisory Council for Tenet Health Central Coast Hospitals, and the Growing Together Fund Committee at the Community Foundation; co-chairs the Interfaith Campus Council and serves as Trustee for the El Camino Real Diocese of the Episcopal Church, USA. Samuel's current research explores the intersections of Queer, Womxnist, and Postcolonial Theology.
Master of Theological Studies - Pacific School of Religion
Master of Education- North Carolina State University
Bachelor of Science- Appalachian State University
Richmond International University of Rome
Anya Booker (She/hER/hERs)
Lead Coordinator for Black Academic Excellence
Anya is the coordinator for the Black Academic Excellence Center at Cal Poly. She has devoted her life to the excellence and growth of black students in higher education.
Master of Fine Arts- American Film Institute
Master of Fine Arts- Antioch University, Los Angeles
Bachelor of Arts - University of California, Berkeley
"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
— Aboriginal activists group, Queensland
Olivia Tran (She/hER/hERs)
Coordinator - Womxn & Gender Equity Initiatives
Olivia is committed to working for and with womxn-identified students and students of all underrepresented gender identities to affirm and celebrate existence and resistence on campus. With background in programming for LGBTQ+ and APIDA students, her work focuses on cultivating understandings of intersectionally marginalized identities and carving out spaces for students to exist in their fullest, most authentic selves.
Olivia studied history at the University of California, Los Angeles and received her M.Ed in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.
Master of Education - University of Georgia
Bachelor of Arts - University of California, Los Angeles
"[Our] responsibility, as circumstances around us change, is to speak, live, and make decisions in such a way that the horizons of possibility move towards shalom, flourishing for everyone in our sphere of influence, especially the vulnerable."
- Andy Crouch
Nick Bilich (he/him/his)
Coordinator - men & Masculinities
Born and raised in Santa Rosa, CA, Nick came to Cal Poly in 2002, graduating with a BA in English, and a minor in Communication Studies. Nick’s passion for gender-based violence prevention and masculinity topics began at Cal Poly during his service as an AmeriCorps VIP Member with Safer and the Gender Equity Center (2011-2013). Prior to being hired as the Men and Masculinity Program coordinator, Nick facilitated Safer's six-week Sexual Misconduct Training and participated as an advisor in their Respondent Advising Program. Nick and his wife Jill love living in SLO, and share a passion for their faith, people, soccer, music, the outdoors, and having guests over for dinner.
Master of Arts - Western Seminary
Bachelor of Arts - California Polytechnic State University
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” - Thích Nhất Hạnh
vania agama ramirez (She/hER/hERs)
Coordinator - Dream Center
Vania is dedicated to increasing access, resources, and retention for undocumented/DACAmented students at Cal Poly. She believes in the importance of engaging in an equity driven, culturally affirming, and inclusive practice to uplift students, disrupt oppressive systems, and create healing spaces. Her personal mission is to aid historically underrepresented students in their goals and ensure their longterm holistic success.
She recieved her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
Master of Education - University of Michigan
Bachelor of Arts- University of California, Irvine (UCI)
“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde
Audre Sminkle (She/They)
Americorps VIP Fellow - Black Academic Excellence Center
Audre Smikle is an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow serving at the Black Academic Excellence Center (BAEC) at Cal Poly. Audre is used to fighting institutional racism and antiblackness in every space she enters and uses her privilege a to create space for others like her. She realizes the importance of providing meaningful support and resources to students who need help navigating predominately white institutions and is committed to creating safe spaces for Black identifying students on Cal Poly’s campus. With her beautiful nonlinear brain Audre focuses on serving her community and pushing towards a better future.
A lover of art, poetry and creation, Audre spends her free time creating as much as possible while focusing on building a sustainable future where Black and Brown people cannot just survive, but also THRIVE. She enjoys eating tasty food, reading afro-futurism, and to be quite honest, any sci-fi or fantasy (the bar is low people). You can find her in BAEC, listening to music, talking to students or leading programs.
"Naming oppressive realities, in and of itself, has not brought about the kinds of changes for oppressed groups that it can for more privileged groups, who command a different quality of attention."- bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
Bee Porta (They/Them/Theirs)
Americorps VIP Fellow - Men & Masculinities
First a student, now an AmeriCorps VIP, Bee is a recent graduate of Cal Poly with degrees in Ethnic Studies and Political Science. As a student they were heavily involved with the queer communities at Cal Poly and served on the board of the former Queer and/or Trans* People of Color Collective as a co-chair as well as a choreographer for QTRebellion - a subgroup of dancers within the collective. They also worked as a Student Assistant in the Pride Center and the Men & Masculinities Program before graduating and beginning their AmeriCorps service term at M&M.
They originally became involved in the M&M program due to their curiosity about their own relationship to masculinity as a Latine, queer and genderless individual. Since then, they have developed a passion for exploring the myriad of ways masculinity can exist across cultures and identities and envisioning what healthy masculinity can look like outside of gendered and patriarchal norms. As an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow, they hope to encourage students, staff, and faculty to engage with the M&M Program and help cultivate space on campus for these important conversations to happen.