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 Staff Contact

Norris “EJ” Edney III, Ed.D.


Pronouns: he/him/his

EJ Edney graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in biology with minors in chemistry and psychology, in 2013 with a Master of Arts in Higher Education/ Student Personnel, and in 2019 with his Doctor of Education in Higher Education. 

EJ’s work and research focuses on mentoring and its capacity to affect issues of equity and access for marginalized student groups. His work has received numerous awards including the Donald Cole Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2016) from the University of Mississippi Black Student Union and the Laws Innovation Award from the University of Mississippi School of Education (2018). 

EJ has worked in various areas on campus, which have provided him a broad set of experiences. Prior to joining the CICCE staff, EJ served as Program Coordinator for the Luckyday Scholarship Success Program and as a Coordinator for National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities. EJ’s professional experiences have helped to galvanize his passion for supporting and promoting equitable access to student success. As such, he has been a consistent fixture on numerous committees and working groups assembled to approach issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

EJ is a mentor, scholar, educator, and leader.  He is also a proud father to Norris “Rocky” Edney IV and Nora Eden Edney and life partner to Adrienne Edney. 


Sarah Piñón, M.S.Ed

Assistant Director for Cross Cultural Engagement & Programming

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Science in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Prior to joining the CICCE team, Sarah worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Fraternity & Sorority Life Specialist, a Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator at Western Technical College, and an Admissions Counselor at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking and eating, playing basketball and ultimate frisbee, trivia, spending time with friends and family, and exploring new places.


Lauren Jones, M.A.

Assistant Director for Retention, Mentoring & Student Engagement

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lauren Jones graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Leadership and in 2015 with a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Personnel.

Prior to joining the CICCE team, Lauren worked in several capacities at the University of Mississippi. She worked as an Academic Mentor with the FASTrack Learning Community and as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admissions. She also worked at the University of South Carolina in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as the Assistant Director of Admissions for Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, traveling and watching Ole Miss sporting events.


Cadence Pentheny

Coordinator, LGBTQ+ Programming & Initiatives

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Cadence is primarily responsible for LGBTQ+ programming and initiatives within the CICCE, as well as leading and advising iTeam and supporting various Diversity Education initiatives across campus. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a Graduate Certificate in Human Sexuality through the University of Minnesota. While attending F&M, Cadence also worked as an intern and executive board member for the campus women’s center, where they did a wide variety of work involving intersectionality, diversity, equity, and education, especially around LGBTQ+ issues and sexual and gender justice. From 2016 to 2018, Cadence returned to their home state of New Hampshire to serve two terms with the AmeriCorps organization City Year, where they supported students in an under-resourced public elementary school. Cadence is passionate about art in all its many forms, especially its roles in social justice movements. In their free time, they also enjoy finding odd home decor at thrift shops, walking, reading, writing, making art, collecting and caring for plants, and listening to podcasts.


Tonika Ingram, M.A.

Coordinator, MOST (Mississippi Outreach Scholastic Talent)

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Tonika is primarily responsible for the MOST Conference, Reunion, LLC, and Mentoring Program. In addition, Tonika serves as the staff advisor of the UM Black Student Union.

She holds a Bachelors’s degree in Criminology/Criminal Justice from the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee and a Masters of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel from the University of Mississippi. Her research interests focus on racial identity development in African American college students and culturally relevant leadership programs and pedagogy. She brings with her experience in orientation programming and supervision, large scale event planning, curriculum development, and student organization advising. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancée, reading, cooking and watching Grey’s Anatomy (over and over again!)


Josilyn Roby

Administrative Coordinator I

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Josilyn serves as the Administrator Coordinator for the Center for Inclusion and the Fraternal Leadership and Learning Office. She is originally from Grenada, Mississippi. Josilyn received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Mississippi College.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, working out, and enjoying time with family and friends.


Damien “DJ” Joiner

Retention, Mentoring & Student Engagement Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: he/him/his

Damien Joiner (DJ) was born and raised in Taylor, MS.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management.  

He is currently a 1st year in the Higher Education Masters program at the University of Mississippi. 

In DJ’s spare time he enjoys working out, enjoying family and listening to favorite artists such as Drake, Beyoncé, and H.E.R. 

Hunter Grissom

Marketing and Community Engagement Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hunter graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. While in undergrad, Hunter served as treasurer and peer educator for Rebels Against Sexual Assault, interned with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, and participated in committees promoting intersectionality, inclusivity, and accessibility at the University of Mississippi.

Before joining the CICCE team, Hunter worked for a Mississippi-based nonprofit organization as a field educator and media coordinator, providing an array of social services to community members across the state. 

He is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communication from the University of Mississippi and will graduate in May 2021, with goals of continuing his work in the field of inclusion and diversity.

In his spare time, Hunter enjoys spending time in nature, exercising, reading and writing, and skateboarding (a recently adopted endeavor).



Student Assistants

Cameron Evans

Je’Von Franklin