Meet the Staff
Dr. Emily Monago
Dr. Emily Monago is the Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She was the Campus Affiliate Director of the National Coalition Building Institute for seven years, Chairperson for the Student Affairs Diversity Committee (2008-2011), and Co-Chair of the BGSU Inclusion Network (Spring 2012) and has also worked as adjunct faculty. She was appointed State Chair for the State of the State Ohio Diversity Conference Planning Committee in 2014 after serving as the Bowling Green Chair (2012- 2014). She is currently the Chair of Administrative Staff Council (2014-2015). Dr. Monago has worked at public universities in Ohio since 1987 and at BGSU since 1999. She has worked with diverse student populations for most of her career. In addition, students of color have been her primary focus in her research and work since coming to Bowling Green State University. She holds a Bachelor's degree in General Studies, and Master's degree in Public Administration, both from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies (Organizational Communication) from Bowling Green State University. She is a proud member of the Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honor Society, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), and an honorary member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Sorority.
Position: Graduate Coordinator for Diversity Education
Derron Borders is the Graduate Coordinator for Diversity Education. Derron assists Dr. Krishna Han in providing leadership for the OMA’s Diversity Education Program. He provides support for the various multicultural student organizations around campus and serves as a co-advisor for the Falcon Watch Program. Derron also coordinates the weekly Ethnic Student Center (ESC) Discussion series each semester as well as maintains the various outreach and social network accounts for the ESC (Facebook, Twitter, campus updates). Derron is originally from Circleville, Ohio, home of the Circleville Pumpkin Show, “The Greatest Free Show on Earth” (every 3rd Wednesday in October). Before starting his Master of Arts in College Student Personnel at BGSU, Derron completed a Master of Arts in linguistics where he investigated the effects of childhood gender socialization and sibilants on gay- and straight-sounding speech of Latter-day Saint returned missionary men. Before moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, Derron taught English in Mallorca, Spain and southern France. He holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in French and linguistics from The Ohio State University. Derron can speak English, French, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, and some Shoshoni.
Position: Associate Director
Sheila Brown is an Associate Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In this role she serves as chairman of the annual Black Issues Conference and provides leadership for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) BGSU campus affiliate. She also coordinates the annual Town and Gown Black History Month Program with the Bowling Green City Schools and the BG Stars Talent Showcase held during fall welcome week. Sheila loves working with student and advises many student organizations including Element Dance Team, Kingdom Empowerment, Black Girls Rock, The Black Graduate Student Organization and the Black Culture Club at BG High School. In addition to her office duties, she also teaches the UNIV 1310: Career and Life Planning course and group fitness classes at the BGSU Recreation Center. She has been recognized for her work on many occasions, but she is most proud of receiving the Division of Student Affairs’ Advisor of the Year Award, the BGSU Human Relations Commissions’ Miguel Ornelas Award and the Administrative Staff Councils’ most distinguished honor, the Michael R. Ferrari Award. She has three children and in her spare time enjoys sewing, DIY projects, furniture refinishing and vocal performance. She holds a B.S. in Biology from East Central University, a M.S. in Audiology from OU Health Sciences Center and a M.Ed. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Bowling Green State University.
Position: Graduate Coordinator for Retention Initatives
Matthew serves as the Graduate Coordinator for Retention Initiatives. His primary responsibilities are focused on retention, assessment, and outreach of the programs and services offered through the Office of Multicultural Affairs. He serves as a co-advisor for the Falcon Watch Program and participates on the Student Affairs Assessment committee. Matthew holds a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a masters degree in Higher Education from Loyola University, Chicago, and has previously worked with at-risk students at Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is a second year PhD student in the Higher Education Administration program.
Position: Graduate Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center
Vern Cooper serves as the Graduate Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center. Within this role Vern coordinates INTERSECTIONS, the center’s weekly sexuality and identity support group and serves as the graduate representative on the student affairs LGBT advisory board. Additionally, Vern supervises one of the center’s undergraduate student interns and together they create Queer Query, the community newsletter. Programmatically, Vern oversees Gender Awareness Days and LGBT history month initiatives. Vern is pursuing a Ph.D. in American Culture Studies at BGSU, after teaching in Rhetoric and Composition at Eastern Kentucky University for four years. Vern also completed a B.A in Creative Writing/Literature and an M.A. in English Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. Interests in Queer identities and Media Studies led to the transition from English to ACS. Vern’s dissertation will explore negotiations of identities within the Queer community, with particular emphasis on the apparent stigma attached to certain liminal genders and orientations.
Position: Administrative Assistant
Yolanda Flores serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. She monitors all program budgets and oversees the operation of the department. She is a member of the National Coalition Building Institute in participation in Welcoming Diversity Prejudice Reduction training. She serves on the Latino Issues Conference Planning committee, and as a BGSU rep for the Diamante Planning committee. In addition, she is the Greek Faculty Chapter Advisor for Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority and Co-Advisor for Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity. One the many responsibilities of advising these groups in assisting students in the planning of upcoming cultural diversity and academic events. She received the 2011 Favorite Professor/Mentor Award.
Position: Assistant Director for Diversity Education Programs
Krishna Han is the Assistant Director for Diversity Education Programs. Krishna provides leadership for Diversity Peer Educator Program, the Mosaic Series and oversees Ethnic Student Center in which he also provides leadership for both Native American Heritage Week and Asian American Heritage Week Programs among others. Krishna co-lead NCBI and Safe Zone workshop, and also provides support for multicultural student organizations, Enrollment Management Programs, SOAR, and Multicultural Cultural Advisory Board. In addition, he teaches Diversity and Inclusion Course (UNIV 4100) each semester. Krishna came to BGSU after working in the Bonner Center for Service and Learning at Oberlin College. Originally from Cambodia, Krishna earned his undergraduate degree in Education from Royal University of Phnom Penh. After completing his master degree in Community Forestry at Shinshu University, Japan; Krishna pursued and earned his Ph.D. in Regional Environmental Resources Management at Hokkaido University, Japan. He studied the impacts of economic development policy on the livelihood of Indigenous people in the northeastern part of Cambodia and traditional farming system. Krishna is also passionate about and advocate for global and multicultural education, cross-cultural communication, social justice, and student’s academic achievement and retention. Beside his native Khmer, Krishna speaks fluently English, Japanese, Thai and some French. He travels extensively to over forty countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and North and Central America. While working full-time, Krishna was pursuing another graduate degree in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University. He graduated from the program in May 2013.
Position: Associate Director
Ray Plaza serves as an Associate Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. In this role, he oversees both the retention and assessment efforts of the Office, serves as the coordinator of the annual Latino Issues conference and oversees Latino outreach efforts. Originally from Hialeah, Florida; Ray holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English and a Master’s degree in Student Personnel and Counseling from the University of Florida. Ray is currently working on his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining the staff at BGSU, Ray spent almost fifteen years at Virginia Tech, working in different roles in Residence Life, Multicultural Affairs and Academic Affairs. He also brings experience in the International Affairs area as he developed and coordinated a study abroad program that marked its fifth anniversary in Summer 2012. He hopes to bring this opportunity to BGSU in Summer 2014. Ray is active within ACPA and serves on the Directorate of the Latin@ Network as well as the Commission on Global Dimensions in Higher Education.
Position: Assistant Director for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Programs
Tobias Spears serves as the Assistant Director for LGBT Programs. This means he works largely with BGSU’s growing population of queer identifying students and also faculty and staff. Tobias leads the campus’s Safe Zone initiative, a training program designed to foster inclusion for and increase allies to BGSU’s LGBT community. Also in his role, Tobias chairs the student affairs LGBT Advisory Board and further, works to sustain and nurture an open campus atmosphere through programmatic events such as Big Gay Welcome, Coming Out Week, Gender Awareness Days, Rainbow Days and weekly support groups like INTERSECTIONS, which is a joint venture between the resource center and counseling center. Tobias frequently works in conjunction with student organizations and serves as advisor to Vision (LGBTQIQA), Grad Pride, and co-advisor to the Black Student Union. Tobias also supervises the Graduate Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center. More broadly, Tobias is part of the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion (PACODI) and is a member of the university’s Strategic Prevention Framework Grant, which programs around curtailing alcohol and drug use. Within the larger community, Tobias serves as board member and secretary to Equality Toledo, northwest Ohio’s only LGBT community advocacy and policy group. Born and raised in from Brooklyn, NY, Tobias holds a bachelors from Binghamton University in history and a masters from the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. In addition to being fulltime staff, Tobias is a third year PhD student in BGSU’s School of Cultural and Critical Studies, he is interested in theorizing Black queer geographies.
Position: Coordinator for Multicultural Programs
Connie Weaver is Coordinator for Multicultural Programs. She is responsible for coordinating the Champions Programs, alumni and community outreach. She provides support for SOAR, Admissions recruitment, Marketing and Communication updates and updating the website. Prior to joining the staff, she worked on campus in the Technology Resource Center and in the Office of Student Financial Aid. She is a member of the Latino Networking Alliance and the Latino Issues Conference Planning Committee. Connie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from BGSU.