Center for Diversity and Inclusion

CDI Staff

Amy Lyn Howard

  • Assistant Director of Campus Diversity Initiatives
  • Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

About me:

  • Hi! I’m Amy and I’m incredibly excited to be working with passionate students, staff, faculty, and community members to create a more culturally and socially conscious and inclusive campus community! While I’m not from the UP originally and have never experienced a true Yooper winter yet, I consider myself an “Outdoorsbian” and am elated to spend as much time outdoors [especially in the winter] as possible. In addition to loving the outdoors, I also consider myself a subpar weightlifter; a pizza/donut/coffee aficionado [which may feel contrary to the fact prior]; a hip hop enthusiast; a highly invested cat lady [I have two very needy cats – Mildred and Oswald]; and someone who loves people. My office is on the 2nd floor in CDI and whether you’re just passing through for some coffee, in need of a chat or a hug, or just want to come and discuss life – I’m here [with a big couch and a bowl of candy]!

Kellie Raffaelli

  • Assistant Dean of Students
  • Director, Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

About me:

  • I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. After studying cultural anthropology and education, I’ve found the perfect home at CDI. I love to travel and be outdoors. My family and I love camping, hiking, and kayaking. I am dedicated and deeply invested in seeing students succeed, not only academically and professionally but also as human beings.

Dee Ressler

  • Office Assistant, Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Pronouns: she, her, hers


  • Monday Morning Email
  • Student Organization Support
  • Travel Support
  • Social Justice Lecture Series
  • General Office Management

About me:

  • Hi Everyone! I am the Office Assistant at CDI.  As well as working with really great people I like meeting and chatting all the students that stop by and hang out. My favorite "duty" it to make sure the coffee pots keep full all morning!  I was raised in the Southern U.P. (Daggett/Stephenson), came to Houghton to attend Mich Tech, graduated in '89 with a BS in Business/Finance, and just never left.  When I am not working, I enjoy crocheting (not knitting), painting furniture, mowing my lawn in the short summer season, walking the NARA trails and trying new recipes for the crockpot. So, as you stop by for that cup of coffee, look to your left and you'll get a "HI!" from me. 

Malissa Sanon

  • Coordinator of Multicultural Programs
  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

About Me

  • Hello friends! I am the Coordinator of Multicultural Programs at CDI. I am from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and it is my absolute pleasure to be here and serve the community of Michigan Tech. I am passionate about helping students reach their highest potential. I am also a continuous learner, so I am always willing and ready to receive any piece of knowledge others care to share with me. In my spare time, I am writing my dissertation, which focus on Black college male students and mental health. The best thing about the UP is the people who are genuine. My office is on the 2nd floor in CDI, so you are personally invited to stop by anytime to say hello.

Karen Wade

  • Senior Administrative Aide, Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

About me:

  • I am the senior administrative aide in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI). Born and raised in the “big” City of Hancock, I graduated from Hancock High School and worked in banking for 25 years before coming to Michigan Tech in 2008. I married the love of my life, Ron Wade, on June 21, 1986. I am a caregiver for my family, and I enjoy doing volunteer work. My husband and I love to travel and hope to someday be “snow birds” (wintering in sunny Florida). I love working with students and enjoy taking on a “mothering” role. If you need someone to talk to, you can count on me.