Staff Contact

Shawnboda Mead

Shawnboda Mead, Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

A native of Prentiss, Mississippi, Shawnboda Mead came to the University of Mississippi in July 2014 as the inaugural director of the Center for Inclusion & Cross Cultural Engagement.  Previously, Shawnboda served as the associate director of diversity and multicultural education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Shawnboda has substantial experience supporting underrepresented student populations, coordinating diversity education programming and training, responding to incidents of bias on college campuses. Shawnboda earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in student affairs/higher education administration from Western Kentucky University. She has also held previous positions in residence life and student activities at Western Kentucky University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Texas A&M University.  Shawnboda is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education administration at the University of Mississippi. Shawnboda recently completed the Social Justice Training Institute and is engaged professionally in NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA).

Alexandria White, Assistant Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Alexandria White is a native of Chicago, Illinois and the Assistant Director for the Center of Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. Alexandria received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Indiana University and her master’s degree from Ball State University in Higher Education Student Affairs. Following graduate school, Alexandria was employed at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a Community Director. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education administration at the University of Mississippi.vAlexandria has presented at national conferences on topics that include Greek life, transgender students and diversity. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, jogging and spending time with her daughter.


Cadence Pentheny, Coordinator, LGBTQ+ Programming & Initiatives

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Cadence Pentheny is primarily responsible for LGBTQ programing and initiatives within the CICCE. She holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Mary Jane Young, Retention, Mentoring, & Student Engagement Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Mary Jane Young is the graduate assistant for Retention, Mentoring & Student Engagement. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.  Mary Jane  is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Arts in Accounting. Mary Jane works primarily with the Mississippi Outreach to Scholastic Talent (MOST) Mentoring program, and UM CONNECT Mentoring Program. Mary Jane  also coordinates Hispanic Heritage Month, BarberShop Talk and the Brother2Brother Leadership Retreat.


Tonika Ingram, Cross-Cultural Engagement & Programming Graduate Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Tonika Ingram is the Cross-Cultural Engagement & Programming graduate assistant. In May 2017, she graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice. Tonika is first-year graduate student in the Master of Arts degree in Higher Education and Student Personnel program. Tonika is primarily responsible for coordinating Passport2Diversity, Native American Heritage Month, Black History Month, and co-advising the Black Student Union. She also coordinates the annual Celebration of Achievement.

Student Assistants

Brittany Brown

Michael Bennett

Cameron Evans

Jazmine Herbert