Meet Our Staff
Director, Center for Multicultural Equity & Access
Executive Director, 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 programs within the Center for Social Justice. A sociology major, she went on to earn a Master in Social Work 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 focused on college and career readiness for students and families in the District of Columbia. She was named director of CMEA in 2014, assuming 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 students within secondary, post secondary and graduate education, her goal is to also foster their growth as responsible world citizens. Charlene has developed and led numerous students and staff to Latin America and Africa.
Associate Director of Academic & Student Support Services
Director, Community Scholars Program
Devita joined the CMEA family in July 2015. She currently serves as the Director of the Community Scholars Program and Associate Director of Academic & Student Support Services in CMEA. Her work focuses on increasing educational equity, access, and success for historically marginalized communities within higher education. Her current research includes retention for first-generation college student success and cultivating critical hope within leadership. She graduated with an Executive Masters in Leadership from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown in May 2019. She also graduated with her M.Ed. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, and earned her B.A. from Goucher College. Outside of work, Devita enjoys cheering on Washington DC sport teams, cooking, being outdoors, salsa dancing, and playing fantasy football.
Assistant Director of Academic Success
Daelyn Moon is the newest member to the Georgetown community where she will support the Community Scholars Program. Although new to the team, she is familiar with the program having served as the resident director in the summer of 2018. Much of her professional experience has been rooted in the promotion of social justice, equity, and access for historically marginalized students. Thus far, Daelyn has worked in student activities, academic advising, student leadership, multicultural affairs and more across the country. Having navigated post-secondary education as a first-generation college student, Daelyn’s mission is to create a ripple effect of empowerment for college students and help them reach their fullest potential as they prepare for next steps in their personal and professional lives. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University and earned her Master of Education in higher education at Loyola University Chicago. Outside of work, Daelyn enjoys walking in nature, dancing salsa and bachata, game nights with friends, and listening to podcasts!
Academic Director, Community Scholars Program
Alis was born in Washington, DC and raised in P.G. County, Maryland. After a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Alis earned a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland. She was a fellow at both institutions and her work appears in journals such as Massachusetts Review, Southeast Review, Fourth Genre, as well as online magazines like The Rumpus, The Millions, and LitHub. Her work has always involved the written word and social uplift, including teaching at Howard University, consulting with the nonprofit Books@Work, and editing for the hip-hop journal Words, Beats, and Life. She is excited to continue by contributing to the academic and intellectual scaffolding the Community Scholars Program provides. When she is not reading, she enjoys sports, science, and not using her motorcycle license.
Associate Director for Undocumented Student Services, Center for Multicultural Equity & Access
Director of Group Initiatives, Division of Student Affairs
Jennifer Crewalk joined our CMEA team in February 2020. She joins the Georgetown community with ten years of experience working with undocumented and first-generation college students. Jenn is of Costa Rican, Hungarian and Irish heritage and the second oldest of 8 siblings. Her values of family, holistic health and conscience community ground her advocacy and inspire her racial and social justice work. She believes that community healing can ease activist burnout and supports students to find this balance. In her own care practices, Jenn teaches meditation and yoga and has developed somatic workshops to bring diverse communities together. Jennifer has put herself through school, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Education in intercultural communications from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in educational psychology from George Mason University. Outside of work and writing, Jenn refuels by hiking in the woods, cooking, dinner parties, and playing with her beloved nephews and nieces.
Assistant Director for School Partnership & Community Engagement for Pre-College Programs
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 Bachelor of Arts 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 led discussion sessions with teenage moms. Outside of work, Nikki is very compensative and loves cheering on her favorite football and basketball team.
Charlie Lewin-Smith (he/him/his) is joining CMEA after completing a Master of Arts in Higher Education – Diversity & Social Justice at the University of Michigan. He is a community oriented leader who emphasizes meeting people where they are, and using communal and cultural knowledge to find resolutions. While in Ann Arbor, he worked at the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach and the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs. In these positions he gained valuable experience in student and organization advising, event planning, feedback analysis, workshop curriculum building, and more. He attended Loyola University Maryland for his undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Information Systems. He was closely associated with the multicultural center at Loyola University Maryland and was a student activist and community organizer. He is originally from Rockville, MD and identifies as Asian American.
Outside of his work, he loves cooking, rugby, and his pet fish.
Senior Academic Advisor, Pre-College Programs
English Professor Velez, an Alabama native, has been a mainstay of the Community Scholars Program for more than two decades. She retired from that position a year ago and currently works with the ICP program as faculty adviser. She continues to teach in the English Department and in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
Graduate Assistant for CMEA
Katelyn Carroll is the CMEA Graduate Assistant and a Masters student in the Linguistics Department at Georgetown studying Language and Communication. She is originally from Michigan, and it was at U of M that she received a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish, with a teaching certification from the School of Education. For the past two years, she taught high school English and Journalism (much of which occurred in a virtual setting) and assisted students in her free time with the college application process. She loves baking, sudoku puzzles, and spending time outdoors.
Niasia Kennedy, Summer Graduate Assistant & Resident Director
Niasia is joining CMEA this summer as a Graduate Assistant & Resident Director for the Community Scholars Program. Niasia is a Masters student at Rutgers University receiving her Ed. M with a concentration in College Student Affairs. She is from New Jersey and received her Bachelor’s degree in Africana World Studies from William Paterson University. Currently, she works as a Resident Director for Rutgers University- Newark. Prior to entering her master’s program, Niasia worked for AmeriCorps as a teaching fellowship at a charter school in Newark, NJ. Niasia has a strong drive and love for serving her community. In her spare time, she loves traveling and practicing self-care.
Graduate Assistant for CMEA
Yihui Liu is a new Graduate Assistant for CMEA! She is an international student from Tianjin, China majoring in Data Science and Analytics. As a teaching assistant for the DSAN program, she is really fond of helping people out. She also holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Hunan University with a major in Materials Science and Engineering and is very excited to contribute herself to CMEA.