Meet Our Staff


Charlene Brown-McKenzie

Director, Center for Multicultural Equity & Access
Executive Director, Institute for College Preparation

C Brown-McKenzie

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.


Devita Bishundat

Assistant Director of Academic & Student Support Services
Director, Community Scholars Program

Devita joined the Georgetown community in July 2015 as the Assistant Director of Academic & Student Support Services in CMEA.  In this capacity, she also serves as the Community Scholars Program Director and advisor to the Patrick Healy Fellows. Much of her past professional experiences have focused on increasing the educational equity, access and success for historically marginalized communities within higher education, as well as supporting youth leadership development initiatives for middle and high school students.Devita developed a passion for issues of social justice and educational equity as a result of her own experiences navigating post-secondary education as a first-generation college student. Devita worked and completed her M.Ed. in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago, and received her undergraduate degree in International & Intercultural Studies from Goucher College.  Outside of work, Devita enjoys salsa dancing, cheering on Washington DC sport teams, cooking, and playing fantasy football.


ARELIS PALACIOS

Associate Director for Undocumented Student Services, Center for Multicultural Equity & Access
Director of Group Initiatives, Division of Student Affairs

Arelis Palacios

Arelis joined the CMEA team in September 2017, but previously held a dual role as the Senior Associate Director of Programming and Advising within the Office of Global Education and Advisor for Undocumented students within the Division of Student Affairs. She holds a M.S. in Higher Education Administration and a B.A. in English Literature from Florida State University. Her career in education began in Miami Dade County Public Schools as a secondary English, Leadership, Journalism and Yearbook teacher and spanned across Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin. As a native Nicaraguan who grew up in Miami, Florida, the realities of immigration were ever-present in her upbringing and classroom as a formerly undocumented person herself, and helped to refine her interest in supporting immigrant and underrepresented students along secondary and tertiary education. In Texas, Arelis focused on the intersections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and education abroad policies, and worked vigorously to help students along the study abroad and international internship processes, and helped various universities implement their own policies to promote inclusion. Some of her favorite things to do are to hang out with her ferocious 6 lb. chihauhua named Pippin, explore new restaurants and watch live music. 
 


Christian Sese

Program Coordinator

Christian joined CMEA in October 2014 and serves as the Program Coordinator. He facilitates the planning and coordination of special events as well as leads the communication, marketing and outreach efforts for CMEA. He also supervises the student interns, acts as the advisor to both the Hoya Saxa Weekend and Multicultural Graduation planning committees, and provides technical support for the Georgetown Bias Reporting System. He became passionate about education while serving as a full-time volunteer in Seattle Public Schools with City Year, an AmeriCorps program that aims to lower the high school dropout rate in major U.S. cities. Christian graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio with his B.A. in Public Relations. Some of his favorite things include watching The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, country line dancing, shopping at Target, and creating Spotify playlists.


Vanice Antrum

Program Coordinator for Student Success

Vanice Antrum Program Coordinator Student SuccessVanice joined the CMEA team in December 2017 as the Program Coordinator for Student Success. In this role Vanice is supporting residential education and multicultural programming including Black House, Casa Latina and SOCA. She will also coordinate CMEA's academic support services that include book scholarship, summer housing and academic seminars, plus provide administrative support to CMEA's bridge and pre-college programs. Vanice’s passion for working with college students was sparked during her senior year of college after spending her undergraduate career involved in campus life and watching how the staff in various departments had a major impact on her and the students around her. During her graduate and professional careers thus far, Vanice has worked in multicultural affairs, student activities, student leadership, new student orientation, and more. She received her B.S. in Information Systems and M.Ed. in Post-Secondary Education from Salisbury University. Her goal is to help college students, especially students from underrepresented populations, reach their fullest potential and prepare them for the next steps in their academic, personal, and professional lives. Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, doing community service with her sorority, and binge watching the latest series on Netflix. 


Nikki Johnson

Program Coordinator for School Partnership & Community Engagement, Institute for College Preparation

Nikki joined CMEA in June 2008 and serves as the Program Coordinator for School Partnership & Community Engagement. She oversees the recruitment, programming and academic support for the middle school students to ensure they will move on to high school and college. She is a true Washingtonian, attending elementary, middle and high school in the area. Nikki graduated from the Catholic University of America with a BA in History. Being, from the DC area has made Nikki very passionate about giving back to her community and the work she does for ICP. She has spoken with residents at the local House of Ruth and lead discussion session with teenage moms. Outside of work, Nikki is very compensative and loves cheering on her favorite football and basketball team.

 


Bianca Matthew

Assistant Program Manager for High School and College Transitions, Institute for College Preparation

Bianca Matthew Assistant Program Manager ICP

Bianca joined the CMEA team in December 2017 and serves our Pre-College Programs as the Assistant Program Manager for High School and College Transitions in the Institute for College Preparation (ICP). She provides case management, advising, academic support services, and post-secondary preparatory workshop facilitation for student participants and their families. She also supports our pre-college alumni enrolled in colleges and universities nationwide. Bianca completed her M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and received her B.S. from St. John’s University. Through working with college access and success organizations in New York City, Bianca became passionate about increasing college access, readiness, and success for low-income and first-generation college students and is also dedicated to assessing and redesigning college support services for underrepresented minority students. Her research interests include college access and equity, minority student retention, and culturally responsive teaching in pre-college and postsecondary support programs. Outside of work, Bianca enjoys traveling, photography, and attending festivals.


Elizabeth Velez

Senior Academic Advisor, 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.

 

 


John C. Wright

Counselor

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.