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Staff Contact

Lauren Jones, M.A.






Lauren Jones serves as the Director of the Center for Inclusion and Cultural Engagement at the University of Mississippi, where she leads a team of professionals dedicated to improving retention and student success of underrepresented populations and fostering an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Higher Education, Lauren’s research examines how higher education institutions can leverage cross-unit collaboration to improve outcomes in diversity, equity, and inclusion, focusing on mental and physical wellness. She 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.

Before joining the CICCE team, Lauren worked as the Assistant Director of Admissions for Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach at the University of South Carolina in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Her work is informed by her experiences as a higher education practitioner, including as Academic Mentor with the FASTrack Learning Community and as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admissions.

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


Karrye Tynes, M.Ed.

Assistant Director for Access and Recruiting Initiatives





Karrye Tynes graduated from The University of Mississippi in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and received her Master of Education in Counselor Education in 2014 from Delta State University.  

Prior to joining the CICCE team, Karrye served at Northeast Mississippi Community College as a Student Services Counselor for seven years. She also worked as an adjunct instructor in the Social/Behavioral Sciences Division and Test Coordinator for the National and On-Campus ACT. 

Karrye and her husband, Bryant, have two children: Braxton and Bryce. In her free time, she enjoys doing nails, outdoor cycling, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, and singing at church. 


Aileen Lambert

LGBTQIA+ Programs & Initiatives Coordinator





Aileen Lambert holds a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Theatre from Wesleyan University, where she was the recipient of the Rachel Henderson Theatre Prize and the Gay, Lesbian, and Sexuality Studies Prize.

Aileen is responsible for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community on the University of Mississippi campus through developing and delivering student programming, services, and events and serving as a liaison between students and the University. Before moving to Mississippi, Aileen was based in New York City where she was the Literary Manager for Williamstown Theatre Festival. She has worked in administrative roles with other theatre and performing arts organizations including Vineyard Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Juilliard School, and she has volunteered as a crisis counselor with The Trevor Project.

Outside of work, Aileen enjoys reading, cooking, running, and gardening. She and her partner share their home with a corgi (Henry), a parrot (Hero), and a cockatiel (Hamlet).

Erica Gates 

Administrative Cooridnator 


Erica Gates-Hutchins serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. Erica is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Center. Erica is currently enrolled at Strayer University where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Prior to joining the CICCE team, Erica served as a Case Analyst Manager for a bankruptcy law firm here in Oxford.

During her free time, Erica enjoys spending endless hours with her family, watching her son’s in their various sports activities, riding ATVs with her close friends, and spending time with the CICCE team.



Fredrick (Fred) Tidwell

 Graduate Assistant for Mentoring and Student Success 



Fred is a graduate from the University of Mississippi where he received his B.S.W (Bachelor of Social Work) in May of 2022. During his undergraduate experience, Fred was involved in various organizations on campus such as: Student Social Work Organization, Associated Student Body (ASB) & Black Student Union (BSU). Fred is currently pursuing his masters in higher education administration with an emphasis in student affairs. He is expected to complete this degree in May 2024.

Outside of work, Fred enjoys exercising, cooking new foods, and spending endless hours with family & friends!

Ta’Nia Hawkins

 Graduate Assistant for Access and Recruiting Initiatives 






Ta’Nia serves as a Graduate Assistant for Access and Recruiting Initiatives in the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi where she received her B.A. in Allied Health Studies in May of 2023. During her undergraduate experience, Ta’Nia was involved in various organizations on campus such as: the Lambda Sigma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Health Professions Advising Office Ambassador, Tassels chapter of the Mortar Board Honor Society, I.M.A.G.E., University of Mississippi Chancellor’s Leadership Class of 2023, and a University of Mississippi Who’s Who Recipient Ta’Nia is currently pursuing her master’s in public health with an emphasis in community health. She is expected to complete this degree in May 2025.

Outside of work, Ta’Nia enjoys traveling, crafting, and spending endless hours with family & friends!

Assistant Director for Retention, Mentoring & Student Engagement – Vacant

Assistant Director for Cross Cultural Engagement – Vacant