Staff Photos & Profiles
Charlene Brown-McKenzie, MSW, LICSW
Institute for College Preparation
As a student at Georgetown, Ms. Brown-McKenzie was deeply engaged in several service programs such as CMEA's Peer Mentors and the Center for Social Justice's After School Kids program. A Sociology major, she went on to earn an M.S.W. degree at Columbia University before returning to the Hilltop to work in CMEA's pre-college programs. In 2004, she became Executive Director of the Institute for College Preparation (ICP) and since 2007 has also been Associate Director of CMEA, sharing in all key decisions about Center programs. She now assumes full responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Center. And as an alumna, she also has a keen interest in expanding CMEA's connections with generations of Hoyas. In addition to focusing on the access and success of our students in post secondary and graduate education, her goal is to also foster their growth as responsible world citizens. Charlene has developed and lead numerous students and staff to Latin America and Africa.
Jessica A. Perrilliat, M.A.
Jessica is responsible for all special events and CMEA services. She coordinates CMEA’s new student welcome event “Pangaea," serves as the Advisor for Hoya Saxa Weekend, supervises the CMEA Student Interns, is the representative for all university resource fairs/diversity sessions, and coordinates the Alumni Reunion Multicultural Recepetion. In addition, Jessica manages the Bias Reporting System, all CMEA affiliated websites/social media pages, and creates the marketing/outreach for all CMEA initiatives. She enjoys mentoring students of all ages and makes it a priority to ensure that students reach their full potential. Jessica was born in Newport News, Virginia and raised in Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film with a concentration in Audio Production from Howard University and her Master of Arts in Radio, Television, and Film with a Media Industry Studies concentration from the University of North Texas. Her favorite quote is “Success is the ongoing process of striving to become more.”
Cinthya Salazar, M.S.
Assistant Director, CMEA
Community Scholars Program
Cinthya is responsible for all operations of the Community Scholars Program and serves as the Advisor for the Peer Mentoring Program and Patrick Healy Fellows. In addition, she provides programming support for different CMEA initiatives and special events. She is an advocate for justice and strongly believes that every person deserves to have access to education. Cinthya is a Peruvian native, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Journalism, and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University. In her free time, Cinthya enjoys cooking and spending quality time with family and friends.
Elizabeth Velez, M.A.
Community Scholars Program
English Professor Velez, an Alabama native, has been a mainstay of the Community Scholars Program for more than two decades. As Senior Advisor, she sets the curriculum, recruits faculty, advises students and oversees the program, and also provides academic advising and support for other students through CMEA.
Dennis A. Williams, M.F.A.
Associate Dean of Students
Professor Williams is responsible for all of the operations of CMEA and also supervises the Academic Resource Center. He is the author of two published novels and teaches in the English department. Born and raised in Upstate New York, he has been at Georgetown since 1997.
John C. Wright, Ph.D.
Dr. Wright is a licensed psychologist who is originally from New Jersey. He received his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and doctorate from Florida State University. He has an interest in developing culturally sensitive, community-based interventions and providing multicultural outreach services. He has a particular interest in issues effecting men of color on campus. He provides private counseling and consultative services to students at CMEA on Thursdays.
Courtnay serves as the Advisor for Leaders in Education About Diversity (LEAD) and the Student of Color Alliance (SOCA). Courtnay is currently a second-year graduate student at University of Maryland in the Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Program (HESI) with a concentration in Student Affairs. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from George Washington University. Courtnay is passionate about diversity dialogues, identity development, and social justice. In the summer of 2013, Courtnay served as the Resident Director for the Community Scholars Program. She enjoys supporting and working with the students of Georgetown and is thankful for her Hoya and CMEA Family!
"Since entering Georgetown, the CMEA has actively helped me and other students of color transition and excel in our studies and personal lives. Through programs such as Hoya Saxa Weekend and YLEAD, the CMEA shaped my first experiences of life at Georgetown. Now as a student intern, I have the unique opportunity to work with an amazing staff and give back to the Georgetown community. The CMEA is a great space that allows students to voice their needs and feel comfortable on campus, use resources, and advance themselves academically and professionally. The CMEA is the embodiment of the Jesuit ideal of Cura Personalis, or care for the whole self, and that presence is an invaluable aid at Georgetown."
"Just like a family, the CMEA will do anything to ensure that you strive both academically and socially. As a college student, it is reassuring to know that there is a group of people on campus who genuinely care about my Georgetown experience. CMEA programs cover everything from printing services to health counseling to after-school tutoring. I encourage everyone to become acquainted with everything the CMEA has to offer. You will not regret it!"
"CMEA is the epitome of support and community, with its various resources and programs, as well as its incredibly talented and caring staff members who work hard to implement these opportunities. It is always refreshing to see the warmth and rapport among staff, interns, returning students, new students and anyone else who drops by CMEA, familiar faces or not. All that CMEA has to offer would have greatly helped me as a first year at Georgetown had I discovered it sooner; however, I am that much more excited to be here as an intern to make sure others don't miss their chance to benefit from the CMEA community."
"I view the CMEA as a warm and welcoming place for all. The staff at this department truly care about the students who come through the office and work to assist students in ever capacity possible- whether that be through hosting events outside of the office such as Pangaea or holding informal meetings. The friendly atmosphere drew me to this office, and this atmosphere is why I thoroughly enjoy working in this office."
"To me, CMEA represents one of the few places on campus that actually tries to REDUCE rather than INTENSIFYone's stress. When I come to CMEA or take part in its programming, regardless of what I have going on as far as academics, my extra-curricular activities, or my home life, I feel relaxed. I really appreciate the comforting aura of CMEA, its staff and my fellow interns. Everything about this office and its mission makes me feel good - and for me, that's priceless."
"I became interested in the CMEA when my friend introduced me to the programs that they offered such as Hoya Saxa Weekend and the CMEA Peer Mentoring Program. It was because of these programs that I saw the need of having an office such as the CMEA on campus to help students of color transition to a predominantly white institution. One of my passions is helping young men of color achieve their goals and aspirations that they have set for themselves, and I feel like that was one of the key points that the CMEA emphasizes to young men as well as young people of color on campus. It becomes a safe haven where people can talk about issues that are affecting their lives and have an open space to grow and learn about themselves as well as others. I was so grateful when I received the opportunity to intern at the CMEA because I felt like this was one of the few places where I could execute my passions while helping others to achieve theirs as well."