Meet the Staff
Erin Echols is the Director of the University of San Francisco's Cultural Centers, which include the Intercultural Center and Gender and Sexuality Center. Prior to coming to USF, Erin served at California Polytechnic State University for eight years, most recently as the Assistant Director of the Dean of Students Office for the Cross Cultural Centers. Additionally, Erin worked at Colby-Sawyer College for five years as the Assistant Director of Campus Activities and Orientation Program Coordinator.
Her educational background includes an MA in Educational Leadership from California Polytechnic State University, an MFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and a BS from the University of New Haven.
Erin has focused on increasing the retention and persistence of underrepresented students at colleges and universities through programming and research. A highlight of her work in this area was a research study specific to the retention of LGBTQIA students.
As a passionate student affairs professional, Erin’s interests include social justice programming, strategic planning, assessment, collaboration development, marketing, and fiscal planning. Her professional organization and community involvement has included founding and chairing the Pride Faculty Staff Association at Cal Poly and serving on the executive board of the California Council of Cultural Centers in Higher Education. At Cal Poly, Erin was proud to receive the Chandler Award for excellence in Student Affairs.
Lionell Daggs is one of the Assistant Directors of the Cultural Centers. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Lionell worked at an education non-profit organization California School-Age Consortium, which builds professional networks that provide training, leadership development and advocacy for out-of-school time professionals.
Lionell graduated with a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Child and Youth Studies in 2013 from USF. He is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Organization and Leadership graduate program within the School of Education at USF. His research interests include black feminism, feminist leadership, and social movements.
His student affairs philosophy is oriented toward creating systemic change by utilizing his positionality and knowledge to uplift and support those around him and within his community. As a first-generation college student, he believes that all students with the right support and guidance can successfully navigate the higher education landscape.
Jinni Pradhan serves as one of the Assistant Directors for the Cultural Centers. Before joining USF, Jinni was at the University of California-Davis where she was the Middle Eastern and South Asian Student Affairs Officer.
She holds a doctorate in Cultural Studies from the University of California-Davis, a master's degree in communication from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and a bachelor's degree in Japanese Studies from the University of San Francisco. She served as a Fulbright Scholar to Nepal during the 2013–2014 academic year. Her commitment to supporting and building community with students is heavily influenced by her academic research experiences, where she aimed to amplify the voices of marginalized communities that challenge the status quo. Jinni has presented at various academic/professional conferences, given invited guest lectures, and provided workshops on the topics of Asian American media, Asian popular culture and media, and graduate school access for historically marginalized student populations both in the United States and Asia.
As a Student Affairs professional, Jinni is invested in sharing her own knowledge and positionality with students to demystify higher education through a critical lens. She hopes to continue to support and empower students to understand the impact their knowledge and experiences can make at USF and beyond.
C-Y Kao, SJ
C-Y Kao is a Jesuit regent and a program manager at the Cultural Centers. In this capacity, he also manages and supports collaborative initiatives with the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History.
Prior to entering the Jesuits, C-Y received a master's degree in Foreign Service at Georgetown University and worked professionally for eight years in fundraising, partnership building, and project design at IREX, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that provides international education, youth empowerment, and community development programs around the world. Most recently, he earned a master's degree in Social Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, where he focused his studies on contemporary socio-political philosophy and the ethical issues in the postmodern culture and in the area of religious pluralism. He is originally from Taiwan and fluent in both Chinese Mandarin and English.
As an immigrant and once an international student in the US, C-Y is passionate about Jesuit education and its commitment to solidarity with people with diverse cultural, social, and human experiences. At USF, he works to support the Jesuit value of cura personalis and equip students with the cultural competencies they need to be people for others.
Interns at the Cultural Centers have the opportunity to further develop their skills and knowledge in facilitation, dialogue, event planning, and social justice issues.
- Graduate Student Coordinators oversee the day to day operations of each center, including program facilitation and supporting student interns’ programs.
- Common Ground Initiative Interns develop social justice-based programming that facilitates students to find a common ground of knowledge and understanding.
- Media Series Interns develop student-centered social justice-based programming that is explored through the lens of media.
- Arts Initiative Interns coordinate and host community arts-based programs, such as Lyricist Lounge.
- Graphic Design Interns craft social justice-oriented social media and print marketing for all the Cultural Centers’ programs.
Monday–Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.