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SASEEP Cornerstone Leaders of the Center Grand Openings

Celebrate and Be Inspired

The Center Grand Openings represent a significant milestone in the heart of the University. We are pleased that key leaders in SASEEP took up the charge to work on efforts over a period of several years to make the APIDA Center, the expanded MLK Center, and the new Native Center entitled the Esaktima Center a reality.

As we embark upon these celebrations we wish to applaud Dr. Chao Vang, Director of Equity Access/Equity Strategist, Anne Cheng, Budget Analyst, Kevin Nguyen, Lead SASEEP Administrative Support Coordinator, and Andrew Yang, APIDA Center Coordinator for their work to advance the APIDA Center and to provide lead guidance in the planning details and execution of projects to bring all the Centers to fruition.

We also wish to acknowledge Kaifa Yates, MLK Program Coordinator and former Coordinator Hakeem Croom for their work on the MLK expansion, Elijah Martin, Strategic Outreach Assistant for Equity Programs, along with Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, Director of the MLK Center.

In addition, we applaud Jose Mejia, EOP Senior Lead of Admissions and Outreach and Transitional Programs and Rena Horse, Native Success Coordinator/Counselor for their work to help the campus realize the dream of the Esaktima Center, along with the Esaktima Planning Committee.

Together, SASEEP has worked as a unified whole in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs, the Division of Administration and Business Affairs through the work of Facilities, and with outside contractors and community supporters to make the Center projects come to life. Special thanks is extended to our SASEEP Media Team led by Letrice Fowler for her lead work to market the Centers and showcase the great work being done to unveil the Center activities and initiatives, along with Sara Harris and Phong Tran. We salute these cornerstone leaders for amplifying the work and assuring its success.

APIDA/MLK Jr. Center Grand Opening at Sac State Video

Background Leaders and Supporters

The Center Grand Openings are a reflection of the hard work, commitment and leadership of the campus to provide a broad range of services and support to amplify the voices of underserved students and to foster an even greater sense of belonging and educational equity support to students from throughout the campus. The Grand Openings include the inaugural Asian Pacific Islander Desi Center, the Full Circle Project directed by Dr. Timothy Fong, an expanded Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and the first ever Esaktima Center. All of these centers will be housed under the Division of Student Affairs, under the leadership of Dr. Ed Mills, Vice President, and Associate Vice President Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny. The overarching Director for the affinity centers is being led by the Director of Educational Equity Access and Equity Strategist, Dr. Chao Vang. Working together, with Center Coordinators Andrew Yang, Hnou Lee, Kaifa Yates, and Rena Horse, the vibrancy of the Centers and the services they will provide have been highly anticipated with much excitement. This great work could not have been accomplished without the support of Anne Cheng Budget Analyst, Kevin Nguyen, SASEEP Administrative Lead, Dr. Susan Collins, the Infrastructure Project Lead, Grant Watkins and Mark Perry from Facilities, Karyl Burwell, Executive Director of Strategic Business Resources, Nikolas Soza and Susie Valdez from Student Affairs IT. Most of all, the team of planners wish to thank President Robert S. Nelsen for his visionary support of the Centers and for paving the way for their genesis.

Key Objectives

The Grand Opening has the following goals and objectives:

  • Galvanize the campus and community partners to take part in the long awaited opening of the affinity Centers, which are designed to promote and advance student success and educational equity.
  • Create an atmosphere of celebration and a moment of pride cementing the historical unveiling of the new Centers
  • Provide a pathway of engagement for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community stakeholders in support of the future work of the Centers

Information about the Center Grand Openings

The APIDA Center and Full Circle Project Center openings will be held on the morning of February 28th, 2023 from 9:00 am – 11:30 am with the inclusion of VIP tours at 10:30 am.

The MLK Center Re-Grand Opening will be from 12:00 – 1:30 pm at the Alumni Center.

The Esaktima Center Grand Opening will be held in Spring 2023. The details are to be determined.

Program Special Features

  • The event will include a breakfast, luncheon, snack breaks and entertainment.
  • Keynote speakers, community guests, and opportunities to network will also be included.
  • Cultural exhibits and art work will be featured
  • The overall day (weather permitting) will include a “March for Diversity” from the Alumni Center to Lassen Hall from 1:45 pm – 2:15 pm.
  • VIP Tours of the Centers
  • Walk-In Tours of the Centers
  • City-wide art and poetry contest
  • A Lassen Hall Open House

Schedule of Events

“Celebrate and Be Inspired: Schedule of Events”

Center Grand Openings (Schedule for the APIDA and MLK Celebrations)

Sac State Campus Map

Time Title Location
9 - 10:30 am APIDA Center/FCP Grand Opening and Breakfast Celebration (By Invitation Only) University Union Ballroom
10:30 - 11:30 am VIP Tours of the Centers Lassen Hall
11:30 am - 12 pm Transition Time to the Alumni Center Lassen Hall to Alumni Center
12 - 1:30 pm MLK Celebration Luncheon and Re-Grand Opening (By Invitation Only) Alumni Center
1:45 - 2:15 pm March for Diversity Note: Campus and Community guests to meet at the Alumni Center
2:15 - 2:45 pm Diversity Garden and Tree Planting  Alumni Center
2:45 - 3 pm Refreshments and Campus Entertainment Lassen Hall - first floor
3 - 3:30 pm Transition to the Resource Fair and Tours n/a
3:30 - 4:30 pm “Student Affairs Building Resource Fair” (Lassen Hall Building) APIDA Center, FCP, and MLK Center Tours Lassen Hall

Elements of the Center Grand Openings By Invitation Only

The APIDA Breakfast and the MLK Luncheon

Thank you for your interest in attending the APIDA Center and MLK Re-Grand Opening. The event will be held on February 28th. All of the events from 1:45 pm – 4:30 pm are open to the campus community and the public. The APIDA Center Breakfast and MLK Luncheon are by invitation only due to space limitations.

You are welcome to join the open reception from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm in Lassen Hall to join us for community building, program information, reflection, and light refreshments. We will also have a March for Diversity from 1:45 pm – 2:15 pm from the Alumni Center to Lassen Hall and as well a Diversity Garden Ceremony from 2:15 pm to 2:45 pm. Please join us as we honor the theme of “Celebrate to Be Inspired,” and come out to tour the new Centers and see all the Student Affairs Programs that abound on campus.

Parking/Directions to the Campus for the February 28th Grand Opening

Parking for the event is free on the 6th floor of Parking Structure 3 and in Lot 9. Lot 9 is the dirt lot directly across from the Alumni Center.

Additional parking in Lot 11 and ADA parking in Lot 5 is also being provided for this event to park free of charge.

Campus Map and Directions to Campus

RSVP for the Grand Opening Celebrations

Please see the links provided below to register for the portions of the celebrations you wish to attend.

APIDA Center and FCP Grand Opening and MLK Center Re-Grand Opening

Link for the Esaktima Center Grand Opening (forthcoming)

Sponsorship Information

"Celebrate and Be Inspired”

Sacramento State is very pleased to announce the Center Grand Openings. The overarching goal is to foster a sense of community for students and one that involves encouragement, mentoring, and service, as we collectively strive to advance educational equity and student success.

We are excited for this monumental occasion for the campus and community as a whole. If you wish to be a sponsor, please select one of the sponsorship levels below or an amount that works for you or your business/agency. Your support of this vital endeavor is valued and appreciated.

Legacy Level

  • Advertised as the presenting sponsor
  • Invitation to the grand openings and a speaking opportunity
  • Acknowledgement in the printed program and promotional materials before and during the event
  • Logo and/or Name on the webpage and on social media
  • Logo and/or Name on the printed program advertising
  • Name mention in Press Releases

Preservation Level

  • Invitation to the opening reception and a speaking opportunity
  • Acknowledgement in the printed program and promotional materials before and during the event
  • Logo and/or Name on the webpage and on social media
  • Logo and/or Name on the printed program advertising

Heritage Level

  • Invitation to the opening reception and a speaking opportunity
  • Acknowledgement in the printed program and promotional materials before and during the event

Note: Contributions of any sponsorship level are gladly accepted in support of this auspicious occasion.

To be recognized in the printed materials for the Center Grand Openings, the sponsorship deadline is Friday, February 10th, 2023.

Sponsor the Events

Book Your VIP Tour of the New Centers

There will be a scheduled VIP Tour walk-through of the APIDA and MLK Centers on February 28th between 10:30 am and 11:30 am, as well as in the afternoon between 2:45 pm and 3:45 pm. Please plan your bookings in advance using the link below. In addition, there will be Walk-in Tours between 3:45 pm and – 4:30 pm.

Book Your VIP Tour

Note: Tours will be scheduled in 10-minute increments.

City-wide Art and Poetry Contest

In support of outreach to the community and local schools in the region, the Grand Opening will feature an art and poetry contest. Winning art pieces will be featured in the new Centers. The winning poems will be featured as a part of the formal programs being held on February 28th as a part of the breakfast and the luncheon components. Please see the submission guidelines below.

Art Submissions

Develop a drawing or painting that embodies the theme of “The Beauty of Diversity All Around Us.” Art pieces should be sent via digital copy to

(There are not sizing limitations and the medium can be in color or in black and white).

Note: Please include your name, school, email, and contact number.

The award winner will receive a $250 gift card.

Poetry Submissions

Write a poem that encapsulates the theme “Celebrate To Be Inspired.” The poem should be a reflection of the power of diversity and the importance of cultural connection. Poems should be no more than a half page in length. Shorter submissions are acceptable.

Note: Please include your name, school, email and contact number.

The award winner will receive a $250 gift card.

Planning Committee for the Grand Opening

  • Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, Associate Vice President, Student Retention and Academic Success (Program Planning)
  • Dr. Chao Vang, Director of Educational Equity Access/Equity Strategist (Program Planning and Sponsorships)
  • Dr. Timothy Fong, Director, Full Circle Project (Program Content, Exhibits, and Volunteer Coordination)
  • Jose Mejia, EOP Senior Lead, Admissions and Transitional Programs (Outreach)
  • Anne Cheng, Budget Analyst, SASEEP (Budget and Logistics)
  • Kevin Nguyen, SASEEP Lead Administrative Support Coordinator (Logistics)
  • Andrew Yang, APIDA Center Coordinator (Marketing and Promotions)
  • Kaifa Yates, MLK Center Coordinator (Marketing and Promotions)
  • Hnou Lee, FCP Program Coordinator (Program Content and Student Follow-up)
  • Emeline Koloamatangi, Full Circle Project Administrative Support (General Program Support)
  • Rena Horse, Esaktima Center Coordinator & the Esaktima Committee (Lead Planner)
  • Abraham Madrigal, EOP Learning Communities Coordinator (Volunteer Coordination)
  • Nicole Fowler (Photographer and Videographer)
  • Sarah Harris (Graphic Designer)
  • Phong Tran (Lead Student Designer)

Esaktima Committee

Sacramento State

  • Dr. Annette Reed, Ethnic Studies Dept. Chair
  • Dr. Brian Baker, ETHN-Faculty
  • Amber Bill, ETHN-Faculty
  • Anthony Burris, ETHN-Faculty
  • Nia Gregory, ETHN-Faculty
  • Dr. Rose Soza War-Soldier, ETHN-Faculty
  • Dr. Boatamo Mosupyoe, Assoc. Dean - SSIS
  • Dr. Dianne Hyson, Dean of SSIS
  • Dr. Sue Hobbs, Dept. Chair, Undergraduate Studies in Education
  • Dr. Tamara Cheshire, ANTH-Lecturer
  • Jose Martinez, Graduate Studies
  • Dr. Ed Mills, VP, Student Affairs Chief Enrollment Officer
  • Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, AVP - Student Retention & Academic Success
  • Rena Horse, ‘Esaḱtima Center/SASEEP
  • Jose Mejia, EOP/NSP/SASEEP
  • Stella Cuevas, ‘Esaḱtima Center/SASEEP
  • Pauline Ghost, Student- ENIT Pres.
  • Maria Elena Pulido-Sepulveda, Student- ENIT Secretary
  • Amanda Croteau, Student/SASEEP
  • Juliet Marie Maestas, Student

Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California

  • Ivan Senock

Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians

  • James Sarmento
  • Sigrid Benson
  • Daniel Fonseca
  • Adam Tejada
  • Jacky Calanchini

Ione Band of Miwok Indians

  • Anthony Burris

United Auburn Indian Community

  • Crystal Blue
  • Anthony Ruiz
  • Derrick Goodwin

Wilton Rancheria, California

  • Anthony Wilson

Steering Committee

  • Dr. Boatamo Mosupyoe, Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Dr. Chao Vang, Executive Coordinator, Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs
  • Dr. Dianne Hyson, Dean, College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Dr. Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, Associate Vice President, Student Retention and Academic Success
  • Dr. Marya Endriga, Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Dr. Timothy Fong, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Full Circle Project
  • Jeannie Wong, Senior Associate Vice President, University Communications
  • Kevin Nguyen, Administrative Coordinator, Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs
  • Pawan Wallace, Senior Associate Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships Working Group:
  • Anne Cheng, Business Analyst, Student Academic Success and Educational Equity Programs
  • Dr. Margaret Hwang, Chief of Operations, Division of Administration and Business Affairs
  • Dr. Maiko Xiong, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
  • Dr. Seunghee ‘Skylar’ Wie, Professor of Nutrition and Food
  • Marietess Masulit, Program & Career Pathways Coordinator, Full Circle Project
  • Mary Ann Wong, Project & Program Evaluation Manager, Student Affairs
  • Sai Xiong, EOP Counselor
  • Voun Sa, Employer Relations Specialist, Career Center
  • Vu Tran, Faculty Coordinator, Peer and Academic Resource Center

Student Advisory Group

  • Amirah Omar
  • Annalise Harlow
  • Arielle Lingat
  • Boonyisa Hemanee
  • Brian Bhatti
  • Chi Vang
  • Hyun Choe
  • lsha Bindal
  • Joua Lee
  • Julie Ann Marie
  • Litia Tokalautawa
  • Lucy Lor
  • Nicole Her
  • Patricia Santarin
  • Prachi Shah
  • Regina (Jina) Thao
  • Rui Zhong
  • Victor Phang

Volunteer Opportunities

The Center Grand Openings will include an opportunity to give back through volunteering in support of the event. We have a variety of volunteer shifts and opportunities. A volunteer training will be held on Friday, February 17th at 2 pm to review the elements of the program via Zoom and logistical needs in preparation for the program will be covered during that time.

Use the button below to determine how best to serve and support the Grand Openings to help assure program success.

Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you in advance for your support to help with the Center Grand Openings as we unveil new Centers to support and guide the work of helping educational equity students.

Faculty Engagement with the APIDA Center and MLK Re-Grand Opening

We are excited to host you and your classes for the APIDA Center Opening and MLK Re-Grand Opening. We are honored to have you and your classes participate in this endeavor. The Grand Opening will celebrate the theme of “Celebrate to Be Inspired.” We have several components that you are able to bring your class to in order to foster engagement and celebration on Tuesday, February 28th. Here is a summary of components that are great options for your class:

1:45 – 2:15 pm
March for Diversity
Alumni Center

2:15 – 2:45 pm
Diversity Garden Ceremony
Alumni Center

2:45 – 3:30 pm
VIP Tours & Entertainment
Lassen Hall

3:30 – 4:30 pm
Student Affairs Building Open House
Lassen Hall

Please register your class using the button below. Thanks for supporting the Center Grand Openings.

Class Registration

Accommodation Services

Thank you for your interest in attending the APIDA Center Grand Opening and MLK Re-Grand Opening on Tuesday, February 28th from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. If you need accommodation services to access this event, please email with your request. Thanks for your support and we look forward to serving you.