Meet the CILA Team

Julie smiling at camera standing between rows of colorful tulips


Manager, Center for Intercultural Learning and Affirmation (CILA)

Julie Mercado (she/her/ella pronouns) is a Latina who immigrated from Mexico ten years ago with the goal of completing her education. As the oldest grandchild of 45 grandchildren and the first one to graduate from college in her family she is very proud of her most recent accomplishment, graduating with her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy.

Julie works with her team of Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leaders to provide student-centered and culturally inclusive workshops and programming that help cultivate an inclusive environment for students and staff from diverse cultural backgrounds. The THRIVE program, The Cultural Arts and Equity Hip-Hop series and student clubs, such as Crimson Group, are wonderful way for students to connect and find their community! Please make sure to stop by CILA!

Angel looking at camera


Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader

Hola a todos! This is Angel Figueroa, and I am excited to be part of CILA as an Intercultural Outreach & Retention Leader. A little bit about me, I am a first-generation college student in my family, and I am in my senior year in Elementary Education. I chose this career because I care about helping people and making a positive impact on their lives. I do believe that this career will allow me to do this and more. In my spare time, I like learning new languages, cooking, going for long walks, dancing, and spending time with my family and my cat, Hoffnung.

Moving to the United States was not an easy thing to do. However, having the support of my family and my community helped me succeed in this new culture. So, my job at CILA is to be here to provide support and to help others with anything they need in order to be successful.

Annoreen smiling at camera


Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader

My name is Annoreen Fitim, and I am a first-generation college student. My family originates from the islands of Micronesia. During my spare time, I like to read, watch shows, listen to music, and spend time with friends and family.

Learning and figuring out how to sign up for scholarships, FAFSA, and all the other things that come with being a college student can be challenging. Unlike other college students who have that parent or someone much older than them to look up to, I have to figure out what I can on my own. As the days go by, all the knowledge I gain can be useful to those younger than me. One of them is by being part of CILA.

CILA has brought me out of my shell and made me feel more confident in who I am. With this, I want to leave a positive impression and be a role model to others.

Faafetai smiling at camera


Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader

My name is Faafetai Brown, I use she/her pronouns, and I am a first-generation college student from the islands of Samoa. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, sports, art, music, and reading. I hope to one day become professionally involved within the graphic design field and even travel around the world.

Growing up in a low-income family and as a person of color, I have experienced (and continue to experience) first-hand struggles underserved groups face in their daily lives. As one of CILA’s Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leaders, I hope to help marginalized communities by providing various resources and opportunities that give these communities a voice that not only helps support each other now but those in the future as well. Through CILA, I am able to get involved locally within our campus and hope to make a positive impact for our fellow WSUV students and beyond. Go Cougs!

Keven smiling at camera


Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader

My name is Keven Fernandez, I use he/him pronouns, and I am a first-generation college student. I just finished my second year of college and am majoring in Digital Technology and Culture where I hope to get into the animation or graphic design field. I enjoy reading, drawing, and learning new animation and game development skills.

I’m excited to have the opportunity of being a CILA Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader and provide resources and information to the community. This is something I have been working to do, and will continue to do, through my work as a co-chair of the Collegiate LULAC club as well. I hope to also use my work here to create a strong student community at WSUV.

Lindsey smiling at camera


Intercultural Outreach and Retention Leader

Hola everyone! I’m Lindsey and I go by she/her or ella in Spanish pronouns. I’m a first-gen student, eldest daughter of padres Mexicanos. I enjoy spending time with my family, my partner and my cat. I aspire to someday become a lawyer for the community, practicing Civil Law.

Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood, and then moving to an underserved community of BIPOC folks, I’ve seen first-hand experience of systematic problems facing our communities today. Therefore my time as CILA’s Intracultural Outreach and Retention Leader, includes reaching out to communities and provide direct-action support. While simulteanously being readily available by providing cultural opportunities for our community to learn. Through CILA I am able to share my experiences and advice to other WSUV students that may resonate with me. Together, Si Se Puede.

Go Cougs!