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Skidmore College
Office of Student Diversity Programs

Meet our staff

Mariel L. Martin
Associate Dean for Student Affairs/Interim Director

I received my B.A. in Sociology from Shippensburg University and my Master's Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. I’ve been at Skidmore for nearly 15 years and during that time, I’ve served as director of Student Diversity Programs for eight years and Title IX Deputy Coordinator for six years, and worked in Residential Life for two years. I've also taught courses about oppression in the U.S., a Peer Mentor seminar, and a First-Year Seminar Course about the history of diversity at Skidmore and within higher education.

I currently serve on the Bias Response Group (chair), the Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding (co-chair from 2012-2015), and I also chaired the Advisory Council on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct for five years.

My research and academic background focus on educational experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth and motherhood, role negotiation, and kinship formation in lesbian-parented families. I’m also deeply invested in and have researched student movements, protests, and demonstrations related to diversity, social justice, and inclusion at Skidmore.

My dog, Jude, works as a therapy dog and can be found in the Wellness Center (3rd Floor Case Center) on campus each week.

Student Team Members

Taina Cotto '20
My name is Taina Cotto. I am from the Bronx, NY. I am a Business Management major with a double minor in Intergroup Relations and Spanish. Aside from working at the Office of Student Diversity Programs, I work at the Opportunity Program and at Case Desk. I am the current President of Raíces and former VP of UJIMA. When I am not doing any of those things you can find me dancing around or playing with puppies on campus. 

Miracle Faith Freckleton '20
Hi! My name is Miracle Freckleton and I am a senior from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Sociology and Gender Studies double major with an Intergroup Relations minor. My research interest focuses on marginalized identities and systemic inequalities. I enjoy being in and around salt water, listening to music, discovering new healing practices, doing craft projects, painting, and having conversations about non-traditional forms of love, care, and intimacy. I am a co-founder of The Exchange Closet here at Skidmore, an anti-capitalist, free, donations based closet with a purpose of providing people with free access to clothing that best fits their expression. I am also the facilitator (president) of QLIC, Queer Lives In Color, an on campus club for queer folks of color to carve out a communal space of support, love, and care for/with one another. This is my second year working as an OSDP student team member.

Sam Ghai '20
My name is Samantha Ghai and I am a Human Health and Physiological Sciences major with a minor in Sociology. I recently returned from studying abroad in New Zealand. Home to me is Spanish Harlem and the Bronx, both located in New York City. Aside from my role at the Office of Student Diversity Programs, I am a Student Assistant at the Office of Residential Life. In the past, I have served as a Peer Mentor for the First Year Experience and a Research Assistant for the Gender Studies Department. My interests include social justice, fitness and skin care. Now that you know a little about me don’t hesitate to say hi to me on campus ! 

Nakeysa Hooglund '22
My name is Nakeysa Hooglund. I transferred to Skidmore just last semester and will be majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in English. In the future, I hope to turn my passion of improving the lives of minorities and supporting the sustainability of our environment into a career. When i’m not at Skidmore, I teach sailing, lead a lakes sustainability program for kids, and run an all natural cosmetics business.

Cristal Maria '20
Cristal is a Senior majoring in Political Science and double-minoring in Sociology and Intergroup Relations. She is a proud Dominican American, born in NYC and raised in the small but vibrant town of Tenares, Dominican Republic. Cristal has served as Secretary and Vice President for Skidmore’s Latinx cultural club Raíces, Co-Founded, Co-Hosted, Co-Managed, and now advises Pass The Mic, a social-justice oriented community and artistic platform for people from underrepresented backgrounds to share their unfiltered truths. Cristal also served as Junior Class Senator in the Student Government Association and currently works as the Case Information Desk and Student Events Manager. This year, she will also be joining the Senior Gift Committee. As her past experiences demonstrate, she is passionate about social justice work and cultivating community among historically underserved groups on campus and beyond.

Ajani Otieno-Rudek '20
My name is Ajani and I am a senior Self-Determined Major in Electronic Production & Engineering (music technology), also pursuing a minor in Computer Science. I am from Boston, MA, and am the General Manager of WSPN, a co-founder of Pass The Mic, founder of Luzlief (an art community that a bunch of Skidmore students are a part of), and work behind the scenes in the music and dance departments. I also play piano in the band Nu-Note! I love music, learning about sound & physics, NBA basketball, video games, creative writing/storytelling, scary movies, and diving head-first into creative projects/ideas.

Camila Saunders '20
My name is Camila Saunders and I am from Philadelphia, PA. I am a Senior neuroscience major on a pre-med track. I have worked in a bunch of research labs for the neuroscience department, I am also a peer tutor for Spanish and in my free time, I like to paint, listen to music, and sing. 

Peris Tushabe '21
My name is Peris Tushabe and I am from Uganda. I transferred to Skidmore last spring an I'm currently a junior studying Political Science and French. As an immigrant myself, I am very passionate about immigration and human rights and would like to work in any of those sectors after I graduate.  enjoy painting, reading, cooking and group activities.When I am off campus, I volunteer with various organisations in town such as the Saratoga Immigration Coalition, Code Blue, and I annually volunteer at the Saratoga Peace Fair.