Meet Our Staff

Program Director


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.

Charles can be contacted at

Program Coordinator


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!

Kaite can be contacted at

Assistant Program Coordinator 


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.

Krystle can be contacted at

Graduate Assistant


Jovan Smith

Jovan Smith is from Sacramento, CA, and is a recent graduate of Chico State having earned his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.  Jovan is the oldest of four children in his family and currently engaged to be married. Having always been passionate about building relationships and promoting cultural diversity, he has taken on leadership roles throughout campus with the CCLC, Associated Students Government Affairs, Summer Orientation, and dozens of cultural student organizations.  Jovan is continuing his education as he pursues his masters in Social Science, as he strives to become a student affairs professional and one day a university president.

Jovan Smith can be contacted at

Inclusion Coordinator 


Esmeralda Santos 

Esmeralda Santos is from Salinas, California. She is a third 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. 

Esmi can be contacted at

Inclusion Coordinator 


Rhonda Gaynor

Rhonda Gaynor is a freshman at Chico State where she is majoring in Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship. She was born and raised in the small parish of St Mary, Jamaica, since coming to the U.S, Rhonda has been proud to call Brooklyn, New York, and San Francisco her homes. She has spent most of her adolescence in San Francisco where she has been exposed to social justice first hand. Rhonda attended High School at June Jordan School for Equity, a small college prep academy that teaches the basis of giving each student an equitable education by helping them understand communities of color. Her passion for change has pushed her to take part in notable community activism. She has been a part of the pilot program of P.O.W.E.R (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) where she was able to grasp how important it is to organize for rights. After several petitions and strikes, she and other youth in San Francisco attained free youth pass for muni. Rhonda believes that in order to help others you have to start by molding yourself into a healthy mind and soul. She enjoys baking, fashion design, and poetry. Rhonda yearns to kindle the inner confidence of others by encouraging the important and unique qualities that everyone has to ultimately make a warm community. Rhonda is delighted to use her knowledge of community and health and wellness as the Inclusion Coordinator to create an inclusive atmosphere and welcoming center for all students that take part in the CCLC.

Rhonda can be contected at

Inclusion Coordinator 


Michel Valencia 

Michel Valencia is from Stockton, California. She is a junior 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. 

Michel can be contacted at

Inclusion Coordinator


Lewis Lomugdang

 Lewis Lomugdang is from Rocklin, California and is a second year student majoring in Computer Science at Chico State. Lewis has been involved in the Filipino American Student Organization (FASO); he was also part of Community Council, which was formerly known as Hall Council during his first year, he also was an Eco Rep for Lassen Hall. On Lewis’s free time he likes to go to the gym and play basketball, run 5k’s, and tiniking (a Filipino Traditional Dance), and is a big fan of Justin Timberlake. Lewis will be our Inclusion Coordinator and is very excited to see new faces at the center and offer them a safer, caring, and an inclusive place, just how he was able to experience the same every time he came into the center. Lewis wants students to meet new people in the center through various programs we offer. Lewis looks forward to many opportunities that the CCLC will put up in the future and see the growth in others.

Lewis can be contacted at

Asian Programs Para-Professional


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!

Mai Sue can be contacted at

Cross-Cultural Community Educator


Koua Thao

Koua Jefferson Thao is from Marysville, a small town 50 minutes south of Chico. He is a fourth 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.

Koua Thao can be contacted at

Graphic Design Coordinator


Nicole Gutierrez

Nicole is from Woodland, California. She attended Butte Community College where she received her AA in Graphic Design. Nicole will be a senior at Chico State and is majoring in Communication Design with an option of Graphic Design and a minor in Photogenic Studies. Nicole is a member of the AIGA design club here on campus. Nicole’s career goals are to work for companies such as JibJab and Storybots where she can use her graphic design skills to help teach kids. Nicole’s hobbies include hiking, running, Do-It-Yourself arts and crafts, and spending time with her friends and family.

Nicole Gutierrez can be contacted at

Black Programs Intern


Dylan Gray

Dylan Gray is a sophomore at California State University Chico. He was raised in Moreno Valley and moved to Inglewood when he was in the ninth grade. He attributes his success in school and in life thus far to his involvement in programs such as the Black Male Youth Academy, the Kappa League and the LA County Fire Department Explorers Program. Although Gray isn’t sure about what he wants his career to be, he knows it is with Politics as he is going to pursue a degree in Political Science. His hope is to one day open his own business and return to his community to mentor and support young men like himself.

DylanGray can be contacted at



Samantha Bautista

Samantha Bautista is from San Diego, California. She is a second year student majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science. Samantha quickly involved herself on campus by joining the Freshman Leadership Opportunity (FLO) program and Community Council (COCO). Although, her home is many miles away from here, Chico has earned a special spot in her heart. She is grateful for her FLO family and the CCLC staff for welcoming her with open arms and hopes to do the same for incoming students. As a young Latina she wants to inspire other Latinas to pursue higher education. Samantha is thankful to have found the CCLC a place where she feels connected and respected. As a CCLC Intern she wants to impact the lives of students by helping them find their voice on campus. Creating a diverse environment for future wildcats is one of her goals that she is determined to accomplish. On her spare time she enjoys meeting new people and will not be shy to ask you on a coffee date.

Samantha Bautista can be contacted at


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Samuel Akinwande

Samuel Akinwande is a first year student from Lagos, Nigeria majoring in Psychology with a minor in Children Development. Upon graduating from Chico State he wishes to attend grad school and one day hopes to work with children. During his free time he likes to eat, sleep, cook and play soccer. He also wishes to develop into a great and effective leader to motivate and inspire others to be great.

Samuel Akinwande can be contacted at



Mia khou Thao

Maikhou Thao is from Oroville, California. She is a first year student at Chico State studying in Sociology, and is ecstatic to be a part of the CCLC family this year. She hopes to continue striving for success and making a difference on campus. With her time here at Chico State, she wishes to become involved with campus organizations, and promote the importance of diversity and empowerment. Maikhou hopes to gain experiences that will help her become a better leader in guiding others towards the changes that we wish to see in the community.

Mai Khou can be contacted at