Campus News

Who is Ilianna Velez?

November 29, 2021

Yvonne Gay

A portrait of a woman with one had on her hip.
Ilianna Velez, interim associate director of the Multicultural Resource Center.
Photo credit: Photo credit: Courtesy of Velez

Interim Associate Director of the Multicultural Resource Center Ilianna Velez collaborates with campus and community partners. Find out how a recent achievement will extend her collaborative nature outside of work in this installment of Who Am I?


Full Name: Ilianna Velez

Department and location on campus: The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) located in Wilder Hall, 208 and 212.

Job title: Interim Associate Director

What does your job entail? I lead initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding. I work closely with our program associates to implement programs and services that support diversity and inclusion within the campus community. I also collaborate with campus and community partners to identify and implement a range of activities and educational opportunities that positively impact the retention and matriculation of students from underrepresented populations.

How many years at Oberlin? Two

What is the mission of the Multicultural Resource Center? To provide programs and services that affirm and promote equity for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation college students. We are committed to working with campus and community partners to create a climate where all students belong and have equitable opportunities and outcomes.

What do you think most students do not know about the MRC? We recently opened the new MRC lounge space in Wilder Hall 212, which is really exciting.

Best advice someone ever gave you? ‘Live YOUR life. Not someone else’s.’

Favorite place in Oberlin and why? Tappan Square—it's so beautiful year-round. 

Favorite childhood memory? When I lived in Puerto Rico, I used to love going to the beach with my sisters and parents. My sisters and I would dive into the little waves and let it push us to the shore. :)  It was so much fun. 

Best vacation ever? Los Cabos in Mexico. I saw the most beautiful sunsets, ate amazing food, and danced my entire trip! :)

Any recent achievements you would like to tell us about? The most recent achievement I’ve had was getting my personal training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. 

Hobbies? Going to the gym, running, hiking, biking—basically anything that will keep me active! 

Favorite food? Mofongo 

Favorite quote or personal philosophy? “I am no longer accepting the things that I cannot change. I am changing the things that I cannot accept,” by Angela Davis.

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