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“It is not our differences that divide us. 
It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences
. - Audre Lorde

 

mcmonter@calpoly.edu

 

 

 

BeYA MAKEKAU (She/hER/hERs)

Interim Director of the Cross Cultural Centers

 

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.

 
Before Cal Poly she worked at Portland State University in the school of business as a diversity outreach specialist, building retention programs for underrepresented minority students and creating and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies within the school of business to create a culture of inclusion and equity for all. She specializes in cultural competency, the intersections of privilege, theory informed praxis, and inclusive practices. Her mission is to disrupt systems of oppression and advocate for equity through education.
 
She has a Master’s degree in Ethnic studies from San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership and administration.

 

Educational Background

Master of Arts- San Francisco State University

Bachelor of Arts - University of Oregon

 

“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud” 

- Dr. Maya Angelou

 

sabyrd@calpoly.edu

 

 

Samuel Neil Byrd (ANY PRONOUNS)

Lead Coordinator - LGBTQ+ Initiatives

 

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 he 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+ initiatives at Cal Poly, serves on the Board of Directors for the GALA Pride & Diversity Center and the Growing Together Fund Committee at the Community Foundation, and is a 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.

 

Educational Background

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

 

"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

 

obtran@calpoly.edu

 

 

 

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.

 

Educational Background

 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

 

nbilich@calpoly.edu

 

 

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.

 

Educational Background

Master of Arts - Western Seminary

Bachelor of Arts - California Polytechnic State University

 Virtual Appointment

To be a student and not a revolutionary is a contradiction"

- Salvador Allende ​​ 

 

lctang@calpoly.edu

 

 

Lilianne Tang (she/her/hers)

Coordinator - multicultural initiatives

 

Lilianne Tang was born and raised in Chinatown of Los Angeles, CA and she earned her B.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Sociology: Social Inequalities from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). This is where she learned the bureaucratic operation of the systems and structures in place, and how they reproduce inequality for communities of color. She is passionate about educational equity and has served as a College Adviser for 2 years, directly engaging and supporting first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students in their pursuit to higher education. Because of her students, she felt empowered to go to graduate school at Loyola University Chicago. She is the first in her family and is among 5% of Cambodian Americans to receive her M.Ed. During her time in graduate school, she realized her potential as a scholar-practitioner and used theories to inform her work facilitating dialogues around identity development for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) students. Lilianne is very passionate about social justice and is committed to learning it and working towards it both personally and professionally. As one of the Social Justice and Multicultural Programs Coordinator, Lilianne provides a forum in which students can connect, grow, develop, organize, and build community with one another. She wants to help shape the next generation of leaders and scholars who will challenge the mainstream structure and discourse of higher education.

 

In Lilianne’s free time, she enjoys watching TV, painting, playing the Nintendo Switch, and struggling through 1000-piece puzzles. She believes dishwashers are a scam and has once gone viral on Twitter tweeting about birth control as healthcare. She also absolutely loves bonding and building community over food, boba, and board games.

 

Educational Background

Master of Education - Loyola University Chicago

Bachelor of Arts- University of California, San Diego

 

 

"We are all, always, becoming."

- Freire

 

bdamacio@calpoly.edu

 

bri damacio (they/them/theirs)

Coordinator - multicultural initiatives

 

Bri will be working on the development and coordination of identity based and heritage month events. They will also be working on retention initiatives to support historically underrepresented students. Additionally, their work will contribute directly to creating opportunities for students to further their understandings of power, equity and diversity. 

 

Bri received their BA in Hispanic Studies and a minor in Gender and Women's Studies from Connecticut College.

 

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts- Connecticut College

 

“My search for love led me to feminism.” 

- Bell Hooks

 

klettl@calpoly.edu

 

 

Katie Ettl (she/her/hers)

Americorps VIP Fellow

 

Katie was born and raised in Yuba City, CA and moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly in 2015. She graduated in June 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Women’s & Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies, and Media Arts, Science, and Technology. As a student, Katie was heavily involved with feminist, anti-racist, and queer activist communities creating positive change on campus. Katie worked for the Gender Equity Center, and was involved with OWN (Original Womxn’s Narratives) as a crew member and actor since its first show in 2016. She was the facilitator for Gender Equity Movement (GEM) Training, which she has continued on with in her role as a staff member. Katie aims to assist the coordinator for Womxn & Gender Equity Initiatives as well as the other Cross Cultural Center staff in building and sustaining feminist and anti-racist spaces for students to thrive, learn, and find a home in. Through her AmeriCorps service, she is developing and maintaining volunteer infrastructure for the Gender Equity Center.

 

When Katie is not in the GEC, she is doing work for her side hustle – paid research for one of her favorite professors in the Science, Technology, and Society program at Cal Poly. You can also find her riding her bike around downtown SLO.

 

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts- Cal Poly State University

 

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