Quote of the Month

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiousity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

E.E. Cummings


Meet Our Staff

Program Director

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Charles Carter 

CC Carter is a graduate of California State University, Chico and has been working at Chico State since 1980. He is married and a proud father of three boys. CC has worked in the Student Activities Office, Office of Judicial Affairs, Department of Athletics, and is currently the Director of the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center and Student Life and Leadership. CC’s passions are his family, helping students to succeed, and playing sports. His ultimate goal in life is to build a Center that creates opportunities for student to make a true impact in the lives of other students.

Program Coordinator

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Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson entered the field of student affairs with the intention to advocate for social justice, community engagement and provide a space for students to explore their identity and purpose. As a first generation college student Katie Peterson attended the University of Washington and earned a Bachelors of Arts in Geography with an emphasize in International Studies. While attending the University of Washington Katie spent much of her time traveling oversees contributing to foreign relief work and volunteering locally. While pursuing her Masters degree in College Counseling and Student Development at Azusa Pacific University, Katie worked within the Student Activities, Community Engagement Center, and Career Services and the Residence Life department. Upon graduation Katie worked as a full-time Residence Director at Pitzer College in Southern California until she served for one year as Residence Community Coordinator for Whitney Hall at Chico State. Katie is now ecstatic for the opportunity to be the Program Coordinator in the CCLC because it provides her with the ability to combine her passion for mentorship and social justice education. When Katie is not working in the CCLC, she enjoys hiking, thrift store shopping, traveling, crafting and hanging out with friends!

Assistant Program Coordinator 

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Krystle Tonga

Krystle Tonga was raised in Reno, NV and is currently a graduate student at CSU, Chico. As a student in the masters in Public Administration, Krystle is preparing to continue her work as an activist and hopes to start non-profit organization that helps advocate for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. By getting involved on campus, Krystle was able to obtain great leadership opportunities. After working with the Educational Opportunity Program, and being involved with various student organizations on campus, Krystle has continued her journey as a assistant program coordinator at the CCLC.

Inclusion Coordinator 


Esmeralda Santos 

Esmeralda Santos is from Salinas, California. She is a second year student at Chico State and majoring in Recreation Administration with a minor in Spanish. An aspiration of hers is to work for the city of Salinas with at-risk youth. Esmeralda has been involved with a variety of student organizations, which include Freshmen Leadership Opportunity (FLO) and Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE).  When she is not on campus you can catch her taking a stroll through Bidwell Park, volunteering for youth organizations, or on the highway road tripping with friends. Esmeralda loves the welcoming and warm atmosphere the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center has provided for her. She is excited to be working as an Inclusion Coordinator this year and continue the center’s legacy, a safe and inclusive place for all students. 

Inclusion Coordinator 

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Mai Sue Thao 

Mai Sue Thao is a fourth year student at Chico State from Oroville, California. She strives to do well in her academics and pursue a higher education to further nurture her love for learning and in hopes of becoming a writer. One of her goals after graduation is to help empower Hmong students everywhere. She is excited to be a part of the CCLC for this upcoming school year!

Inclusion Coordinator 


Michel Valencia 

Michel Valencia is from Stockton, California. She is a sophomore majoring in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She inspires to one day work with young women that struggle with eating disorders and low self-esteem. As one of the new Inclusion Coordinators she wants to give the new students that come into the CCLC the same experience she had. So they can find within the CCLC to be a place where they feel welcomed and accepted. 


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Deanna Jarquin

Deanna Jarquin is a third year student double majoring in psychology and women’s studies. She may call Lafayette (a small suburb of San Francisco) her home, but Chico’s scorching summers and friendly, casual atmosphere has her heart. She is delighted to be working as a para-professional this year and cannot wait to provide the same warm and inviting atmosphere that she has come to enjoy from the CCLC. Deanna is a friend to all that can appreciate the importance of inclusion, a good book and Beyoncé. Her future plans include bumming around Europe, applying to graduate school and continuing to help students find their voice at Chico State.


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Morgan Gray 

Morgan Gray is a second year student at Chico State University. She is a Business Marketing Major with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Middle Eastern Studies. Morgan’s goal as student at Chico State is to continue to expand her involvement on campus. Morgan has big goals this year for the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center as a Para-Professional!



Melody Souphilavong 

Melody is a first year student majoring in psychology with a minor in sexual diversity. Her career goal is to become a gender therapist and work closely with the LGBTQ+ community. She is originally from Southern California but Northern California has a special spot in her heart. As a Chico State student, Melody has been involved with many organizations on campus such as Freshmen Leadership Opportunity (FLO), the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC), the Queer People of Color Society (“QPOCS!”), and Pathfinders: Preparing Emerging Leaders of Color. Despite all of her involvement and responsibilities as a student, she always makes time for herself to relax whether it’s hanging out with friends or browsing through Tumblr. Melody is very excited to be one of the Para-Professionals this year and she hopes to help create unforgettable memories for other students just like the ones she has made from her time with the CCLC.



Koua Thao

Koua Jefferson Thao is from Marysville, a small town 50 minutes south of Chico. He is a third year student at Chico State and majoring in Kinesiology, Physical Education. One day he hopes to enter the education world and educate youth about the importance of being active. In Koua’s free time he enjoy playing basketball, football, and ballroom dancing. In addition, he loves to meet new people. Koua hopes to meet and gain new experiences that will help him become a better leader and motivate others to make a difference on their campus and out in the community.

Marketing Intern 


Andrea de la Cruz

Andrea de la Cruz was born and raised in San Jose, CA. She is a California State University Chico senior and honors student. Andrea is majoring in Communication Design under the Graphic Design option with a minor in Instructional Design and Technology. Her hobbies are drawing, music, and spending time with friends out in beautiful Chico. After graduation Andrea hopes to attend graduate school or begin her design career back in the Bay Area. Due to her prior work as a Resident Advisor for Chico State working with international students, she is excited to continue learning from the diverse community that Chico State provides. Her position in the CCLC as the Marketing Intern is an exciting prospect for Andrea. She hopes to use her artistic talents to attract more students to the CCLC and inspire students to learn more about the diversity that the world has to offer.