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Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence

Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence Staff

Cindy Armijo - Coordinator of Student Engagement

Phone: 612-625-8334
Office: 180 Appleby Hall

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Cindy Armijo is originally from Minneapolis, but lived in the Southwest for many years before returning to Minnesota in 1993. She is the coordinator of Student Engagement at the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and serves on the planning committee for the CASA SOL Living Learning Community.

Lourdes Cancel Rodriguez - Coordinator of Scholarship Support for Wallin Scholarship and PDFMP (President's Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Program)

Phone: 612-625-8524
Office: 154 Appleby Hall

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Lourdes I Cancel has worked at the U for almost 7 years. She is originally from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and came to Minnesota in 1994 as a participant of the National Student Exchange (NSE) Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in American Indian Studies, M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and is currently currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration - Higher Education. She coordinates the President's Distinguished Faculty Mentor Program (PDFMP) and the Wallin Education Partners program at the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence.

Kamarrie Davis - Coordinator of Assessment and Evaluation

Phone: 612-626-9671
Office: 176 Appleby Hall

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Kamarrie has been with MCAE for about 1 year to support the evaluation of programs. She is a former Golden Gopher, playing volleyball! While attending the University of Minnesota Kamarrie earned a bachelor of arts degree and completed a masters degree in public policy with an emphasis in advanced policy analysis methods from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Crystal Flint - Assistant to the Coordinator of Scholarship Administration for MEP (Multicultural Excellence Program)

Phone: 612-625-8845
Office: 152 Appleby Hall

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Crystal Flint has been at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus for all but three of the last 21 years. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She came to Minnesota on a women's basketball scholarship and received a Bachelors Degree from the University of Minnesota in 1994 in Sociology, Women's Studies, and African American Studies.

Percilla Garrigan - Coordinator of American Indian Support Programs at the Circle of Indigenous Nations

Phone: 612-624-0295
Office: 125 Fraser Hall

Jody Gray - Diversity Outreach Librarian

Phone: 612-624-0564
Office: 125 Fraser Hall

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Jody has worked at the University of Minnesota for 6 years. She is originally from Ridgeview, SD and is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Jody works for both the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE) and the University of Minnesota Libraries. She works directly with the Circle of Indigenous Nations and the American Indian Cultural House.

Peggy Hampton - Coordinator of Scholarship Administration for MEP (Multicultural Excellence Program)

Phone: 612-625-4833
Office: 182 Appleby Hall

Peggy Hampton has worked at the University of Minnesota for 11 years. Peggy is originally from Kentucky, where she completed he BA and MA degrees in Social Work - University of Kentucky.

Annette Kavanaugh - Coordinator of the Instructional Center

Phone: 612-624-4131
Office: 156 Appleby Hall

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Annette Kavanaugh is the Coordinator of the MCAE Instructional Center. Her educational background is in mathematics and philosophy (MS Mathematics, University of Minnesota; BA Mathematics, University of Chicago). She worked for the College of Biological sciences for seven years as a tutor (Education Specialist) for students of color in biological and physical sciences, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Catherine, Minneapolis and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She recently returned to the University of Minnesota after twelve years in consulting for evaluation of public health initiatives.

Cathy Kipper - Assistant Director for Academic Support Programs

Phone: 612-626-7152
Office: 146 Appleby Hall


Catherina Kipper has worked at the University of Minnesota for 20 years. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from the College of Biological Sciences, M.A. in policy analysis from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration.

Juavah Lee - Assistant Director for K-12 Outreach and Civic Engagement

Phone: 612-624-9577
Office: 158 Appleby Hall

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Tex Ostvig - Coordinator of U Connects

Phone: 612-624-3958
Office: 166 Appleby Hall


Tex Ostvig coordinates a youth outreach program know as U Connects/Kids on Campus. This program has served more that 6,000 youth and averages over 40 school visits per semester. He is a graduate from the University of Minnesota, a past student-athlete with the University of Minnesota Wrestling Team and is currently finishing his Masters Degree in Youth Development. He as been a instructor for the SEAM class Business and Leadership Development for the last 9 years.

Tex is a father of four, loves sports and has coached youth wrestling, youth football and youth soccer for 18 years and has over 4,900 hours of coaching experience. He loves family and friends mixed with lots of fun.

Jillian Rowan - Coordinator of American Indian Outreach and Special Programs

Phone: 612-626-0733
Office: 160 Appleby Hall

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Jillian has been working at the University of Minnesota for 11 years and is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe. She works for both the Office of Admissions and the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence. She coordinates the Ethel Curry American Indian Scholarship, the Gertrude Watts American Indian Scholarship, the American Indian Cultural House Living Learning Community and the American Indian Townhouse. She is originally from Grantsburg, Wisconsin.

Starr Sage - Post-Doctorate Fellow

Phone: 612-625-8845
Office: 160 Appleby Hall


Jean Strommer - Coordinator of Community Mentoring and Grant Initiatives

Phone: 612-625-5503
Office: 148 Appleby Hall

Patrick Troup - Director

Phone: 612-624-5253
Office: 174 Appleby Hall

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Ah Vang-Lo - Coordinator Academic Support Initiatives, St. Paul Campus

Phone: 612-626-3780
Office: 207 St. Paul Student Center


Ah received her Masters of Education in December 2007 and Bachelor of Science in elementary education in May of 2004 from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

While coordinating the MCAE-St. Paul office, Ah advises students in the Multicultural Civic Engagement Program (MCEP) as well as first year students in the Multicultural Excellence Program (MEP). Ah restarted a Hmong Women's Group (HWG) as part of MCAE's student support group programs on campus, which have been bringing in a successful wave of Hmong college women together in forms of networking and support.

In her free time, Ah enjoys the warmth and humor from her family and friends. Ah and her husband enjoys various outdoor sports ranging from snowboarding in the winter to camping, fishing, hiking, and running during the other three seasons.