Norris “EJ” Edney III, Ed.D.
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.
Coordinator, LGBTQ+ Programming & Initiatives
Cadence is primarily responsible for LGBTQ+ programming and initiatives within the CICCE, as well as leading and advising iTeam. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 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, equality, 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, hiking, reading, writing, making art, and listening to podcasts.
Tonika Ingram, M.A.
Coordinator, MOST (Mississippi Outreach Scholastic Talent)
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 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 energetic puppy, Bella, reading, cooking and watching Grey’s Anatomy (over and over again!)
Cross Cultural Engagement & Programming Graduate Assistant
Marques Kitchen is originally from Los Angeles, California. He was a classically trained ballet dancer that apprenticed with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre before attending Holy Names University in Oakland, California, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History. Marques received a Master’s in Government from Johns Hopkins University with a specialization in American National Security and China Policy. Marques lived in Beijing, China for five years where he earned a Master’s in International Relations from the University of International Business and Economics. A lot of his time in China was dedicated to augmentation of access to Chinese nationals in primary and secondary school.
Damien “DJ” Joiner
Retention, Mentoring & Student Engagement Graduate Assistant
Damien Joiner (DJ) was born and raised in Taylor, MS. He received his bachelors 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 artist such as Drake, Beyoncé, and H.E.R.
Marketing & Community Engagement Graduate Assistant
Janey is a Graduate Assistant, primarily responsible for Marketing & Community Engagement.
She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. Janey received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in Accounting with an emphasis in Intelligence and Securities Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Accounting and Data & Analytics.
In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, eating popcorn, and traveling!