Our Staff

Gus Pena

Augusto “Gus” Peña (he/him/his)

Augusto is a passionate advocate for all students and joined the staff at UNCG in 2015.   He has over eighteen years of experience in the areas of college access, student organization advising, academic support, domestic and international undergraduate recruitment, student mentoring, retention initiatives, undergraduate teaching, student conduct processes, free speech policy, program assessment, multicultural leadership development, cultural programming, staff training, policy development, staff supervision and budget management. He is responsible for leading a team of dedicated professionals with the goal of advancing intercultural, intracultural, and cross cultural student competence and engagement at UNCG.  He advises several student clubs and serves on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence and the Faculty Senate Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Augusto has taught courses on social justice theory, multicultural leadership, and international service learning. His public service includes past membership on the State Superintendent’s Graduation Taskforce of North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction. He served as chair of the Education Committee of Governor Bev Perdue’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. He is a co-author of Appalachian State University’s Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Global Learning: A World of Opportunity for Appalachian Students”.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Comparative Politics, and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration both from Appalachian State University.

Elliott Kimball (he/him/his)
Assistant Director

Elliott Kimball joined the OIE team in August 2016 to work with LGBTQIA+ outreach and advocacy. Elliott joins us from UNC Asheville, bringing more than five years of work in higher education across areas such as residence life, fraternity and sorority affairs, sexual violence prevention and education, commuter student programs, and student engagement. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Appalachian State University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Alabama. Elliott enjoys spending time with his dog Harvey, appreciates good food, regularly binges on Netflix, and is constantly traveling to be with friends and family.

Elliott is the 2019-2020 recipient of UNCG’s Outstanding First Year Student Advocate Award!

The Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award recognizes and celebrates the efforts and significant contributions of UNCG faculty and staff who provide leadership in creating a positive transition to college and a successful learning environment for first-year students.

Wren Shealy (she/her/hers)
Assistant Director

Wren Shealy joined our team as a temporary Assistant Director through the middle of October 2022. Wren is head of the Identity and Cultural Empowerment, Community Building sector of our department — with a focus on relationship building, deep connections, interactions, mutual respect, and learning from one another. She is an accomplished trainer and instructor, who has personally worked with over 40 different nationalities throughout her career in higher education, event and conference oversight, non-governmental organization (NGO)/non-profit portfolio management, supporting fundraising and outreach initiatives, and ensuring programming achieves the desired impact.

She is an active board of directors’ member for Pilgrims of Ibillin – a non-profit that supports the Mar Elias Educational Institute in Ibillin, Israel, and other peace partners committed to solidifying a just peace between Palestine and Israel.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lenoir-Rhyne University, a master’s degree in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy from Babeș-Bolyai University, and a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge. In her spare time, Wren enjoys attending local events, exploring, or unwinding by watching crime dramas.

Michaela Coleman (she/her/hers)
Administrative Support Associate

Michaela joined Intercultural Engagement in August 2021 as the Administrative Support Associate, after working for UNCG in a previous role as Administrative Support Associate for Faculty Senate. Michaela has worked in higher education for over 6 years, including working at her alma mater Guilford College as the Office Manager for Campus Life and Assistant to the Dean of Students. Michaela loves outdoor exploring, reading, yoga, and swimming. She is thrilled to support the powerful and essential work of OIE.

Tatiyana Ross (she/her/hers)
Graduate Assistant for Social Justice and Intergroup Dialogue

Tatiyana Ross serves as the Social Justice Education and Advocacy GA in the Office of Intercultural Engagement and is currently pursuing a Masters of Education  Student Affairs in Higher Education at UNCG. Having earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UNCG, Tatiyana has experience in Housing & Residence Life and is excited to bring her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion to OIE and to campus as a whole.

Ayana Cholula (she/her/hers)
Graduate Assistant for Culture, Heritage, and the Intercultural Leadership Council

Ayana Cholula joined the Office of Intercultural Engagement as the Intercultural Leadership Council Graduate Assistant. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education at UNCG. Continuing her journey as a Spartan, Ayana is now pursuing a Masters of Education, Student Affairs in Higher Education here at UNCG, as well. She has experience in Housing and Residence Life, as well as the education field. Ayana is looking forward to continuing to impact lives through education through OIE. In her free time, Ayana enjoys true crime documentaries, an iced coffee, and her cat Sourdough.

Nicollette Boykins 
Graduate Assistant for Diverse Student Engagement

Hailey N. Paivanas (she/her/hers)
Graduate Assistant for LQBTQ+ Advocacy, Outreach, and Support

Hailey Paivanas serves as the LGBTQ+ Outreach and Advocacy Graduate Assistant. She is a First-Generation student who earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Education with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Continuing her education at UNCG, Hailey is now pursuing a Masters in Public Health Education with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She has experience in program planning for incoming students as well as Diversity and Inclusion liaison at Atrium Health. Hailey is looking forward to continuing to advocate and promote student wellness and belonging in the office of OIE and around UNCG’s campus. In her free time, Hailey enjoys spending time with her two cats Penelope and Tiny, watching New Girl, and learning new recipes to cook/bake.  

Raeana Macon (she/her/hers)
Graduate Assistant for Diverse Student Engagement