Multicultural Center

Meet the GBCC Staff!

Photo of Rocio Ayard Ochoa  Rocio  Ayard Ochoa

Pronouns | She, Her, Hers

Director - Multicultural Center

r-ayardochoa@wiu.edu

In her role as the Director of the Multicultural Center, Rocio (Row-see-o) is passionate about social justice, intersectionality, and developing students through education, engagement and leadership. She ensures the MCC provides a unique and empowering space for students to experience college life. It is also important that the MCC is a space on campus that offers a holistic learning experience allowing students to explore ethnic identity development, engage in social justice, community outreach, cultural expression, social and professional networking so they can become the best version of themselves. Herfavorite place to travel is Rome, Italy. Her favorite movies are "Finding Nemo" & "Hidden Figures". One of her goals for this year is  to meet as many new students as possible!

 

Her favorite quote is 

 Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? 

- Frida Kahlo


 Carl Ervin headshot Carl Ervin

Pronouns | He, Him, His

Associate Director - Multicultural Center

cw-ervin@wiu.edu

Carl serves as the Associate Director of the  Multicultural Center. He assists students and the MCC in a commitment to growth, development, success and excellence. One of   his   goals for the year is to make each day a great day for someone. One of   his   favorite places to travel in the summer is Toronto, Canada. One of   his   favorite movies is Black Panther, and one of   his   favorite books is Dune by Frank Herbert. 

 

Degrees:  B.S. in Political Science from Illinois State University & M.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

His favorite quote is 

 I don't know the key to success, but I do know that the key to failure is trying to please everyone  - John Wooden, Hall of Fame basketball coach who led UCLA to ten consecutive Division I Basketball championship titles

 

Freesia McKee

Pronouns | She, Her, Hers

Assistant Director - Multicultural Center

fw-mckee@wiu.edu

Freesia (FREE-zshuh) is the Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center. She has been a community organizer of artists for over a decade and has worked professionally as a professor, editor, event planner, grant writer, and mentor. She's passionate about creating spaces where each person can practice living as a leader and cultivating their voice. In addition to her work in the Multicultural Center, Freesia also loves writing, reading, bicycling, running, gardening, flaneusing, and over-the-top marathon cooking sessions.

Degrees:  BA in Gender and Women's Studies from Warren Wilson College & MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry from Florida International University

Her favorite quote is 

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Photo of Kwyn Townsend Riley Kwyn Townsend Riley

Pronouns | She, Her, Hers

Graduate Assistant - Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center

k-townsendriley@wiu.edu

Kwyn is a Southside native, from Chicago. She graduated from the University of Dayton in Ohio in 2016 where she pledged the illustrious sorority Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She was also involved on her campus as the Director of Campus Unity for SGA, NPHC President and was an RA! After graduating, Kwyn worked for a few Communication firms and youth centers such as the Gary Comer Youth Center and then worked as a Resource Coordinator for Doolittle Elementary School. Kwyn is the founder of The Underrep'd an LLC which serves black college students who attend predominantly white institutions. She is a national spoken word artist and has performed all over the world - including Germany! Kwyn believes in liberation for all black folx and organizes with BYP100 through a black queer feminist lens. She is honored to be on the MCC team and excited to work with everyone! One of her goals this year is for everyone to know more about Gwendolyn Brooks and why Black Lives Matter.

Degree: B.A. in Communications from University of Dayton

Her favorite quote is

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

- Philippians 4:13


Photo of Brian Jackson Jr. Brian Jackson

Pronouns | He, Him, His

Graduate Assistant - Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center

b-jackson3@wiu.edu

Brian will be working this semester as a graduate assistant in the GBCC. He is a proud alumnus of Western. As an undergraduate Brian was very involved with various organizations including BSA, PGS and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Currently, Brian is obtaining his Master of Science in RPTA. Brian wants to pursue a career as an event director and entrepreneur. He is from the South Side of Chicago and grew up playing sports and staying active. His favorite movie is Drumline and TV show is Prison Break. He is a Chicago sports fan for all teams EXCEPT the Cubs. He is very excited to work with the GBCC and everyone who encounters the MCC! His goal for the year is to encourage more students to join student organizations and attain leadership positions. 

Degree: Bachelor of Business in Management from Western Illinios University

My favorite quote is

Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. -- Bruce Lee