As campus policies are put into motion to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA) is operating at limited capacity on Tuesday through Thursday at 10 am - 3 pm with virtual hours on Monday and Friday at 9 am - 5 pm. Please call (801-581-8151) the center prior to your visit in order to verify there is space to maintain physical distancing. Outside of these times, the CESA's staff and advisors are available remotely and can be contacted through their information below.

The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs (CESA) provides support to students of color and promotes an environment of acceptance that honors all forms of diversity. Our center is committed to providing programming that assists students in navigating cultural, economic, social, and institutional barriers in order to achieve academic excellence. To ensure the success of our students, we provide resources and academic advising in admissions, registration, financial aid/scholarships, student involvement, and leadership opportunities.

Groups & Associations

Asian American Student Association (AASA)

The mission of the Asian American Student Association is to unite students with an interest in Asian American issues through social, educational, cultural, and political events; to negotiate with the academic administration to provide course designed to develop an understanding of the situation of Asian Americas in America’s society; to create a social atmosphere that will generate cohesiveness among members of the Association; to maintain and provide an organization with high standards to fulfill the above purpose and to represent the needs of its members. The Association shall be an advocate for all Asian Americans within the state and will strive for equality in the areas of employment, housing, education, and all other social and economical areas of the community.

Black Student Union (BSU)

The Mission of BSU is to foster a sense of community among all students of the African Diaspora at the University of Utah. Our goal is to simulate the intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth of all Utah students. We seek to educate ourselves and the larger Utah community, in hopes that awareness will spark action and ignite change in our communities. In addition, the Black Student Union shall serve as a resource to all other groups on campus, no matter sex, creed, age, and sexual identity.

Crimson Transfer Honor Society

Crimson Transfer Honor Society strives to recognize the academic excellence attained by transfer students during their first semester at the University of Utah. Eligibility is determined by both your first semester GPA and attendance of Transfer Tuesdays events during your first semester. It is a transfer student honor society that is not a fraternity or sorority.

Inter-Tribal Student Association (ITSA)

“We Native American students at the University of Utah, in order to promote greater unity and understanding among ourselves, and the community; to further our own academic achievements; and to strengthen our unique cultural roots, do hereby organize ourselves as the Inter-Tribal Student Association” ITSA is the primary American Indian Student Group. Along with weekly meeting they sponsor the American Indian High School Conference and the Annual Honoring Our Traditions Pow Wow. If you would like more information about meetings and how to become involved please contact the ITSA officers using the email link above.

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.)

Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan is a national organization formed in 1969 on the heels of the civil rights movement, the University of Utah chapter formed in 1993. M.E.Ch.A. is committed to social justice through education, community action, and political organizing. Annual events include celebrating The Day of Dead, Annual Youth Leadership High School Conference, and Chicanx Latinx Awareness Week. MEChA is a training ground for leadership. Through participating and coordinating MEChA events, one can gain invaluable leadership skills. MEChistAs also have the privilege of helping fellow students and their community in addition to finding a sense of identity and self-empowerment. It is a learning and fulfilling experience that helps develop a political consciousness and provides a sense of familia.

Pacific Islanders Student Association (PISA)

The Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA) is an organization created for Pacific Islander and underrepresented students to aid in the enhancement of their academic, mental, personal, and social progression. PISA seeks to provide a space for its members to articulate their experiences and share their individual cultures with each other and the larger university and community populations. Which in turn, will serve as an avenue to promote and establish cultural solidarity, diversity, tolerance, and respect. PISA believes that advocating and focusing on the empowerment of students will become the catalyst for building future leaders in our respective communities.

Queer & Trans Students of Color (QTSOC)

The purpose of the Queer & Trans Students of Color student group is to provide a space for voices of intersecting identities of gender, sexuality and ethnicity. We promote a fluid development of our many intersecting identities through social justice, community building, critical thinking, creative expression and social justice.”

SOMOS Dreamers

SOMOS Dreamers is an organization who focuses on empowering and advocating for undocumented students through scholarships, workshops & community engagement.

SOMOS Dreamers es una organización que se enfoca en empedrar y abogar por los estudiantes indocumentados por el medio de becas, tallares, y participación en la comunidad.

Vietnamese American Student Association

As a group, we would like to promote our Vietnamese culture and traditions to others as well as preserve them for future generation Vietnamese Americans. By doing this, we hope to bridge the gap between the generation of Vietnamese immigrants and Vietnamese Americans.

Programs & Events

First Year Diversity Scholars

The First Year Diversity Scholars Program supports students through a personalized campus orientation, regular interactions with faculty and staff of color, academic advising, multiple mentoring relationships, and off-campus community engagement opportunities. Most notably, the program is implemented as a cohort model that includes traditional admitted students, sponsored students, and scholarship students.

Second Year Experience

The Second Year Experience Program supports students by reflecting on their first-year experience and conducting a deeper self-exploration of their identity, values, and life goals. Students will develop a graduation life plan through engaging in workshops, cohort meetings, and networking opportunities with graduate and alumni from historically underrepresented backgrounds. The program helps students in selecting a major, preparing for a career path, and developing their ideal future self.

Leaders of Resilience, Diversity and Excellence (LORDE) Scholars

The Leaders of Resilience, Diversity and Excellence (LORDE) Scholars Program is named after the great author, scholar of color, and activist for social justice and LGBTQ rights – Audre Lorde. The program connects students to resources and opportunities across campus while building students up to be successful academically and allows students to increase their leadership development, be mentored, and have space to have critical dialogues about things that matter to people from historically underrepresented backgrounds and identities.

Transfer Scholars

Our Transfer Scholars Program’s goal is to help with successfully transferring to and navigating the U of U. We provide services, resources, and community to help accomplish your goals and further your education.

Our Team

Tricia Sugiyama

Director of the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs
Union 235
801-587-9568
t.sugiyama@utah.edu

Paul Fisk

Transfer Coordinator & Advisor
Union 235
801-581-3328
paul.fisk@utah.edu

David (Tevita) Kinikini

Retention Programs Coordinator & Advisor
Union 235
801-581-8151
d.kinikini@utah.edu

Anthony Shirley

Scholarship & Financial Resources Coordinator
Union 235
801-585-6458
a.shirley@utah.edu

Giulia Soto

Second Year Program Coordinator & Advisor
Union 235
801-581-8151
giulia.soto@utah.edu

Martha Hernandez

Outreach Program Coordinator & Advisor
Union 235
801-581-4378
martha.hernandez@utah.edu

Shavauna Munster

Black Student Union Advisor
Union 235

shavauna.munster@utah.edu

Diana Chacón

M.E.Ch.A. Advisor
Union 235
801-581-8151
diana.chacon@utah.edu

Chelsea Estrella

Transfer Program Graduate Assistant
Union 235
801-581-8151
chelsea.manza@gmail.com

Julia Kingsdale

First Year Experience Graduate Assistant
Union 235
801-581-8151
j.kingsdale@utah.edu

Kenny Taboada

Engagement & Retention Graduate Assistant
Union 235

KTaboada@sa.utah.edu

Wendy Vazquez

Office Assistant
Union 235
801-581-8151
u1116261@utah.edu

Selena Williams

Transfer Program Peer Mentor
Union 235
801-581-8151
williamspselena@gmail.com

Carlos Gonzales

SYE Peer Mentor
Union 235
801-581-8151
carlos.gonzales0406@gmail.com

Paola Cervantes

SYE Peer Mentor
Union 235
801-581-8151
pcervantes592@gmail.com

Olga Rodriguez

SYE Peer Mentor
Union 235
801-581-8151
olgaalexr@gmail.com

Susma Gurung

Marketing Intern
Union 235
801-581-8151
gsusma4@gmail.com

Tiffany Do

Alumni Relations Intern
Union 235
801-581-8151
tif.do.2000@gmail.com

Center for Ethnic Student Affairs

The Center for Ethnic Student Affairs is committed to providing programming that assists students in navigating cultural, economic, social, and institutional barriers in order to achieve academic excellence and develop advocacy skills.