Our Staff

Professional Staff

Dora S. Frias

Director

Dora S. Frias (she/her/ella) is currently the Director of El Centro at Colorado State University (CSU). Previously, Dora served as the Director of the Pride Resource Center at CSU and the Program Director of Latinx Student Services at the University of Colorado Denver. Dora was born in Durango, Mexico and grew up El Paso, TX.  She earned her B.S. from Texas A&M University and her M.S. at Colorado State University in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Dora has worked as a physical and health educator in the K-12 educational system and has spent the last 10 years working in Student Affairs and Higher Education, specializing in social justice education and advocating for underrepresented students on a variety of campuses across the country. She has served on leadership boards for several local and national organizations including Colorado Coalition for the Educational Advancement of Latinx (CoCEAL), and the ACPA Latinx Network. Dora has been a Co-Lead facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, is a graduate of the Social Justice Training Institute and has been featured on a Higher Ed Live episode titled “LGBTQ + Latinx Issues in Student Affairs.” Through her work with students she hopes to create a community that fosters mutual respect, justice and equality for all. Outside of all that, she enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her wife, their kiddo and family.

Michelle Cadena

Assistant Director

Michelle Cadena (she/her/ella) is the Assistant Director for El Centro. Michelle was raised in Tijuana/San Diego and completed her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Education with an Emphasis in Multicultural Counseling at San Diego State University. Michelle has worked in Higher Education for over 10 years which include experience in Student Affairs, TRiO programs and Mentoring Programs. Her passion for educational justice stems from her personal experience navigating the education system as a transborder Latinx student, as well as her experience working with students who have been historically excluded from the higher education narrative. Through her position in El Centro, Michelle hopes tcontinue advocating for her students, as well as provide space that fosters conversation, learning and growth for all who engage in itSomething that is important for her to embed in her work is art since she is an artist and believes in the power of healing through art. Other things that she enjoys are coffee, trying new food and music.  

Student Staff

Bradlee Saavedra (She, Her, Hers)

La Conexión Family Leader
Major:
Hometown:
Country of Origin:
Fun Fact:

Daniela Amaya (She, Her, Hers)

Office/ Marketing Coordinator
Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Greeley, Colorado
Country of Origin: United States
Fun Fact: I love hiking and going on runs!

Denisse Silva Goytortuo (She, Her, Ella)

La Conexion Peer Mentor
Major: Neuroscience 
Hometown: Longmont
Country of Origin: Mexico
Fun Fact: My favorite show is Naruto!

Dre Ramirez (She, Her, Hers)

Office/Marketing Coordinator
Major: Health and Exercise Science
Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
Country of Origin: My family is from Mexico
Fun Fact: I am vegetarian and I love cooking so my plan B is to open up a vegetarian restaurant.

Fernanda Alarcon-Avila (She, Her, Hers)

Inclusive Community Assistant
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Denver
Country of Origin: Mexico
Fun Fact about yourself: My favorite movie is Corpse Bride.

Genesis Compean (She, Her, Ella)

Office/Marketing Coordinator
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Brighton, CO
Country of Origin: USA
Fun Fact: I love cactus!

Isabelle Johnson (She, Her, Hers)

Office/Marketing Coordinator
Major: Biomedical Sciences with a Double Concentration in Microbiology and Infectious Disease as well as Anatomy and Physiology
Hometown: Pueblo, Colorado
Country of Origin: Mexico
Fun Fact: A fun fact about me is that I play the violin

LM Martinez (They, Them, Elles)

RamEvents Liaison
Major: Double Major in Ethnic Studies and Women & Gender Studies
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
Country of Origin: Sadly, the U.S.
Fun Fact: I love watching anime and love reading and watching marvel and DC comics and films. Essentially am a big nerd.

Manchis Ceja (He, Him, His)

La Conexión Family Leader
Major: Social Work Major with a Spanish Minor
Hometown: Aspen, CO
Country of Origin: USA
Fun Fact: Volleyball is one of my passions #bumpsetspike

Perla Rodriguez (She, Her, Hers)

Student Event Coordinator
Major: Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
Hometown: Silverthorne, CO
Fun Fact: A fun fact about me is that I can whistle

Valarie Lopez (She, Her, Hers)

Lead Office Coordinator
Major: Business with a concentration in marketing and a minor in communications
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Country of Origin: Mexico and El Salvador
Fun Fact: I love going to concerts!

Yaneli Munoz (She, Her, Ella)

La Conexion Peer Mentor
Major: Social Work and Ethnic Studies
Hometown: Colorado
Country of Origin: Durango and Guanajuato Mexico
Fun Fact: Because of my rich ties to mi cultura, I have actually danced in my family’s matachine group, Danza Guadalupana, since the moment I can walk. I am very proud of where I come from & love being a part of El Centro.

Yesenia Ortiz (She, Her, Ella)

La Conexion Family Leader
Major: Human Development and Family Studies and Sociology/ Criminology minor
Birth Place: Denver, CO
Country of Origin: Mexico
Fun Fact: I love sports! And I have a dog named Daisy