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CCL staff are available to answer questions, and help students find the right support system to thrive at Dominican. You can contact a staff person to set up a time to meet, or just drop by!

CCL Staff
Jacky NeriArias, M.Ed. (She/Her/Ella)

Office Phone: (708) 524-6216
Office Location: Mazzuchelli 260

Jacky Neri Arias is a proud social justice advocate who has dedicated her career to advocating and supporting students and families from marginalized backgrounds as they navigate inequitable educational systems. Currently, Jacky serves as the director of the Center for Cultural Liberation at Dominican University near Chicago. She has spent the majority of her career working in multicultural affairs, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and advising and retention. She is a formerly undocumented Mexican immigrant, a first-generation college graduate, and the mother of a multiracial one-year old. Jacky grew up in the Chicagoland area in a largely Latinx neighborhood, she attended Kenyon College in Ohio where she earned a BA in Spanish with a concentration in Latinx Studies, and she completed her MEd from the University of Maryland College Park.

Yessenia Hernandez, LSW (She/Her/Ella)

Assistant Director/Undocumented Student Support Coordinator
Office Phone: (708) 524-6202
Office Location: Mazzuchelli 257

Yessenia (Yessy) Hernandez is the Assistant Director/Undocumented Student Support Coordinator. Yessenia is a recent graduate from Dominican and received her Master's in Social Work with a global focus on immigrant and refugee populations. She previously received her bachelor's degree in Sociology and Criminology. As an undergraduate student, she was a part of the Office of Student Success and Engagement at Dominican as a Peer Leader and a Success Coach. Yessenia served as the Graduate Assistant of the Center for Cultural Liberation and she worked with students and families through projects, such as mentorship for the Dream.US and Family Academy. As Yessenia continues her work with the CCL, she is excited to continue being a support and resource to students of all backgrounds. She is most excited to navigate the field of higher education through a social work lens. She is a learner and when not on campus she explores the city.

Jamal Patterson, MA (He/Him/His)

Assistant Director/Black and African American Student Support Coordinator
Office Phone: (708) 524-6214
Office Location: Mazzuchelli 256

Jamal Patterson has a love of English, Language, and Communication. He is proud to utilize these skills to support students and ensure that students achieve academic goals and success. Previously, he spent his career working in various leadership positions, where he helped to develop and mentor associates and colleagues. These experiences fueled his passion for supporting others to reach their fullest potential. Currently, Jamal works as the Assistant Director for the Center for Cultural Liberation and the African American and Black Student Success Coordinator at Dominican University. Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, Jamal graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Northwest. As a student who utilized scholarship opportunities, Jamal is passionate about adequate resources and opportunities being accessible for all students.