PES Advisors & Staff
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Access
Alexander earned a B.S. in Management Studies and a double minor in History and Psychology from the University of Maryland, University College, European Division, Heidelberg, Germany and a Masters of Education Degree in Counseling and Guidance Services from Clemson University with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Alexander Hines served in the United State Air Force as a non-commissioned officer for 12 years and considers one his most noteworthy experience besides serving and living abroad for 14 years is guarding 52 of the 60 American held hostages of the Iran crisis.
Alexander has 26 years of experience in higher education in student and academic affairs working with traditional, non-traditional, first-generation, underserved and underrepresented with high school and college students and their parents/caregivers with intersectional identities. Being a first generation college student and African American man, his passions are African American/Black Identity development, and assisting underrepresented and underserved high school students to gain access to higher education and helping them to become successful in pursuing their dreams of obtaining a postsecondary degree. He is very active in communities where he works and considers himself to be a change agent and transformational leader.
Alexander has co-authored articles and book chapters to include: The Miseducation of Nigger in American Public Schools, Talking About Race, Alleviating the Fear (2013); The Light of Knowledge and Reason: Some Essential Competencies that B-20 Faculty Need to Master in Order to Facilitate Student Success. The Journal of Educational Research and Interdisciplinary Studies (2013): Cultural Awareness and Congruence: A Paradigm Shift through Immersion and Intentionality, Journal of International Social Issues (2015); and Nurturing Cultural Competence while facilitating the developmental progression of the Cognitive Lens: Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Black Critical Studies Reader (2016);
Alexander has conducted various diversity, cultural competence workshops, trainings and presentations at the state, regional and national level to include two-year and four-year institutions, non-profit and for profit organizations. Alexander is the recipient of numerous awards from colleges, universities and national organizations he has served with but his most notable awards include Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) Ron McKinley “All My Relations Award” December 2016: JV Educational Consultants – The Calvin P. Styles Service Award The Educational Leadership Award (2016); John Latsch Winona Human Rights Award (2014, 2013 & 2012); MnSCU Academic and Student Affairs Annual Award for Innovative Partnering and Collaboration, Preparing Future Teachers for Cultural Competence, Culturally Responsive Teaching to Deliver Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in the Classroom - Collaboration with WSU Inclusion and Diversity Office, Southeast Technical College, WSU College of Education, Riverland Community College and Target Corporation (2013); Minnesota Campus Compact President’s Civic Engagement Stewards Award (2013); and the Tennessee Governor’s Certificate of Appreciation for the Passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act Conference: “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” Conference (January 2005); and the New Professional of the Year Award, Southeastern Association of Colleges and Employers (2001).
Alexander’s favorite quote is by the late Dr. Asa Hilliard, “When you begin to do things that raise the achievement of the poorest and disenfranchised students, you may not always get applause. You need to be ready for that.”
Assistant Director, CLA Diversity Student Support Programs
Leah Milojevic (formerly Woodstrom) manages advising and programing for the Access to Success Program and Martin Luther King, Jr. Program in the College of Liberal Arts. She completed an individualized studies B.A. through the Inter-College Program with focus areas in Political Science, Sociology, and Family Social Science and her M.A. degree in Educational Policy and Administration – Higher Education from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.
Leah is a Minneapolis native who in her spare time spending time with her family and son, cooking, eating out and socializing with friends and family, reading about the U.S. Supreme Court, and travel. Before working for the College of Liberal Arts, Leah had worked in career services for the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development and in multiple roles at the University of Minnesota's General College.
Sonyna Castillo graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a Bachelor's of Science in Family Social Science. She has worked at the Office of Admissions and the Circle of Indigenous Nations at the U of M in her undergraduate career. She has volunteered for student outreach for young parents wanting to attend college but don't think they can because they have children. When not at work she enjoys being at the gym, concerts,dancing, and most of all having mommy time with her three kids!
Bao Lee-Yang is an Academic Advisor in the President’s Emerging Scholars Program. Bao graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities with a BA in Sociology- Law, Criminology, Deviance (LCD) with a minor in Asian American Studies. Bao completed her MA in Leadership and Management from Concordia University- St. Paul. Bao hopes to further her education in the near future and obtain her PhD.
Bao is the first one in her family to attend and graduate from college. Bao is fluent in Hmong and has studied Japanese. Bao has lived and worked in both Minnesota and California. What drew Bao to California was her experience through the National Student Exchange Program when she studied as an undergrad at Sonoma State University. While Bao is drawn to the beautiful sunny weather and culturally authentic restaurants in California, Minnesota is where her roots are. Bao has a strong passion for working with youth and education. To name some of Bao’s professional experiences before coming to the University, Bao has worked for the Minneapolis Public School District, The Link, Restorative Justice Community Action, The Child Abuse Prevention Council, and College Possible.
Bao is family oriented and enjoys quality time with loved ones whether its barbequing at the lake or exploring Minnesota’s beautiful nature. Bao enjoys playing volleyball, pintersesting, watching Korean Dramas, cooking and learning new recipes, DIY projects, camping and the outdoors, and event planning. Bao also loves Thai and Italian foods and a hot and spicy Lao style papaya salad. Bao is a fanatic with quotes and her favorite quote states, “If You Want Something You Never Had, You Have To Do Something You’ve Never Done”.
Juan Telles is an academic advisor for the President’s Emerging Scholars program in the College of Liberal Arts. He received his BA degree in History and his MA degree in Multicultural College Teaching and Learning, both from the University of Minnesota. He has held multiple positions throughout the University, most recently in Career Services and CEHD Student Services.
Juan is from the Westside of St. Paul and is a proud graduate of Humboldt High School. When he’s not working, Juan enjoys hanging out with his family, hosting BBQs, and carting kids to and from sporting events. He especially likes hosting his annual Mario Kart Tournament on New Year’s Eve.
Thao Pao Moua is an academic advisor in the President's Emerging Scholars program within the College of Liberal Arts. He received both his B.A. in art and his M.Ed. from the University of Minnesota. He began his career as an educator, teaching art to K-12 students. He then gained a different perspective of education when he transitioned into a new role as the Dean of Students at his former school.
Originally from Laos, he came to America in 1987 when he was three years old. He grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin in a large family. In his spare time, he loves to go fishing, hunting, bowling, and he continues to pursue his passion for art. He is open-minded and always willing to take risks, meet challenges, and try new things.