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Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement

Staff & Faculty

We are a collaborative team of staff and student leaders committed to your success. We know your success depends on making strong connections with the community, so we’ve designed this retreat to give you a unique opportunity to do so. 




cbCecilia Benenati 
Instructor of Spanish 

Hometown: Mendoza, Argentina; Portland, OR since 1991
Advice to Incoming Students: I always give my students three words to remember throughout the semester: PATIENCE (unfortunately a language cannot be learned perfectly from one day to the next, so don’t get frustrated and keep trying, even if it’s hard.), DISCIPLINE (Have the discipline to practice and study every day. Think of musicians and athletes.), PERSEVERANCE (Have the determination/persistence to do things over and over, as many times as you need to improve, don’t give up no matter how difficult it gets.)
You Can Talk To Me About: growing up in one culture and adjusting to another, movies, horses, books, traveling, cooking, arts and crafts, … anything!





abAngela Buck
Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement

Planning Committee Member

Hometown: Torrance, CA
Advice to Incoming Students: Take advantage of all the free stuff on campus!
You Can Talk To Me About: College life, celebrity gossip, social media, my dog Sia, understanding your identity, social justice, Bruno Mars, being biracial/mixed race, Filipino food, 2000s music, and growing up in Los Angeles









Dominique Gardnerdg 
Assistant Director of Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement and International Students & Scholars

 Planning Committee Member

Hometown: Eureka, CA
Advice to Incoming Students: Step out of your comfort zone once in a while. Go to that sporting event. Join that club. Smile and wave at people as you walk by them on-campus. It could change your life!
You Can Talk To Me About: Being multi-racial, school, STEM, pre-veterinary medicine, animals, coffee, Shonda Thursdays, working at a dairy, sports, karaoke, marriage, being a mom, anything you want! 




kbJoe-Barry Gardner
Assistant Director for Campus Living


Hometown: Tampa, FL
Advice to Incoming Students: Enjoy your time and push yourself to do things you might have never considered. Eat something you have never tried before, study abroad, talk to someone with a different background than your own, explore the greater Portland area because you do not want to look back on your time here and regret not pushing past being uncomfortable! I am always someone you can come and talk to no matter what is going on in your life!
You Can Talk To Me About: sports, Marvel movies, anime, Southern cooking, Florida, being Black in this society, ANYTHING you personal are excited about, religion, vulnerability, food, higher education, Netflix shows to binge, my baby girl, your personal life journey!




tlTori Leder
Assistant Director & Executive Assistant for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion


Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Advice to Incoming Students: Try out some new things and challenge yourself. Learn what you like and what you do not. Do not feel bad about saying no to something once you find out it’s not for you. Saying no is a great act of self care. Be intentional with your time and the activities, academics, and people you invest it in! Also being able to ask for help when you need it is an important skill and college is a great time to start developing it. There are so many people and resources at Lewis & Clark all wanting to help you succeed, myself included. You will always have people willing to help you with anything college and life throws at you, be sure to reach out and utilize these resources.
You Can Talk To Me About: Growing up in San Francisco/the Bay Area, Real Housewives of [Any City], being multi-racial, community/non profit organizations in Portland, nonprofit work, anything related to equity, diversity, & inclusion, food/great places for cheap eats in Portland, any feedback or feelings you have about diversity & inclusion at Lewis & Clark, ANYTHING about yourself or any ways you might want some support! 


d leonardDiana Leonard
Assistant Professor of Psychology


Hometown: New York City, NY
Advice to Incoming Students: Go to office hours and meet your professors early on so that if you have questions or concerns come up you will have already established an in-person connection.
You Can Talk To Me About: Games, archery, knitting, nerdy TV and movies





kayleighKayleigh McCauley
Associate Dean of Students, Director of Student Support Services

 Planning Committee Member

Hometown: Born and raised in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Have also called North Providence, RI, East Stroudsburg, PA, Corpus Christi, TX, and Portland, OR home.
Advice to Incoming Students:  Find your resources on campus, figure out who and what will help you reach your goals.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You shouldn’t know the answers to all of your questions, that’s why they are questions.  Ask your professors, ask a staff member, ask a peer, just don’t be afraid to ask the questions.  This is a learning process, not just in the classroom, but out of the classroom as well.  
You Can Talk To Me About: Cats, Gardening, Hiking, Sports, Books, Netflix, First Generation College Student, Small Business Owner, Twitter Chats, Using Internships for Career Success, Academic Support



kmKatie McFaddin
Assistant Dean of Student Success and Retention, Managing Director of the College Advising Center


Hometown: Bryan, Ohio (home of Dum-Dum suckers and Etch-a-Sketch!)
Advice to Incoming Students: Prioritize getting good sleep, because everything is more manageable when you’re not exhausted
You Can Talk To Me About: All kinds of DIY stuff (especially knitting), the Midwest, bike-commuting, dogs, late 90’s hip-hop, majoring in the arts when you don’t necessarily want to be an “artist”….and anything you want to teach me about where you’ve lived, since I love geography/maps and learning about different places



kpKrystle Perkins
College Advisor, College Advising Center


Hometown: Coushatta, LA
Advice to Incoming Students: Go to office hours! Making those personal connections with faculty will make your years here and beyond so much more fulfilling. Say hi to everyone - you never know who your best friend might be. And give yourself permission to not have it all figured out yet. None of us do and we’re all making it just fine. ;) (I have a lot of advice…guess that’s why I’m an advisor. Ha!)
You Can Talk To Me About: dogs, roller derby, cheese, coffee, tacos, travel, camping, football (Saints fan here), the KU Jayhawks (I guess I’ll even talk to you if you’re a Duke or UK fan too), dancing, languages, books, immigration rights and human rights organizations and movements, crafting, and bad puns (which are so good!).


magaliMagali Rabasa
Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies, Department of World Languages & Literatures.

I am also part of the faculty in Ethnic Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender Studies 

Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Advice to Incoming Students: It’s so key to have a solid crew of folks to support you in college, because solidarity and mutual aid are essential! Get to know your professors (go to office hours! even just to chat about life!) as well as staff members. Get to know other new students, not only in your res hall, but also in your classes, and find ways to connect with students who have been at LC for a while (join a student union group or a club!). And whenever you can, get off campus to connect with folks in the Portland community! This is an incredible city full of exciting cultural, social, and political spaces and events. Find a volunteer opportunity or an internship, or even just an off-campus hang out (PSU is just down the hill!), and connect early with community off-campus.
You Can Talk To Me About: activism & social justice, travel & study abroad, food & cooking, forests & rivers, and books & alternative media of all kinds! Come by my office and check out my poster collection! I’m the daughter of immigrants (from Mexico and France), I have five siblings, I grew up in four different states, and I’ve lived in four different countries. I’d love to chat about any of this and more!