Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Claudia Ramirez Islas

Claudia Ramirez Islas
she/her/hers
Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Intercultural Relations
847-735-5204
cramirez@mx.lakeforest.edu  

Claudia Ramirez Islas serves as the Assistant Dean and Director of the Intercultural Relations Office. As the Director, Claudia Ramirez Islas helps facilitate intergroup dialogue on themes related to identity development, social justice education, diversity, systems of oppression and best inclusive practices as we strive for a more inclusive and more accepting campus climate.   

Claudia graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a Bachelor of Arts in studio art with a mathematics minor and graduated from San Diego State University with a Master of Arts in postsecondary educational leadership with a specialization in student affairs. Driven by a passion for social justice education, Claudia prides herself in constantly creating safe and inclusive spaces for individuals to freely express themselves and share their stories of strength and resilience. As a proud Latina, Claudia uses her identity and culture as a way of self-expression that is embodied not only in her work with students but also in her work as a social justice educator, artist, activist, and community member.  

Claudia has facilitated and led various workshops at the regional and national level, across different institutions and organizations like the National Association for Student Affairs Professionals (NASPA) and the National Conference of Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). Claudia has consistently utilized creative mediums, like the arts, to engage others more deeply and fully on relevant and pressing issues impacting underrepresented communities and students during the current political and social climate.

Claudia has utilized her identity, experience, knowledge, and story to influence and contribute to the diversity and inclusion of all community members at every institution that she has been a part of. She has been intentional in giving back to programs and services that have historically supported underrepresented and marginalized populations like the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) and has formally mentored different students as they navigate predominantly white spaces within higher education.

Picture of Marianinna

Marianinna Villavicencio Miranda, PhD
she/her/hers
Assistant Director of Intercultural Relations
847-735-101
mvillavicencio@mx.lakeforest.edu

     Marianinna (Ninna) Villavicencio Miranda is an anthropologist and social justice educator who is passionate about fostering equity in higher education. Born and raised in Guatemala, Marianinna moved to the United States to pursue an undergraduate education as a Hesburgh International Scholar at the University of Notre Dame, IN. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with minors in Business Economics and European Studies and holds a master’s and a PhD degree in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego.      As a Human Rights Center Fellow at Berkeley School of Law and a Researcher for the Tinker Foundation, Marianinna conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the impact of human rights and social justice programs on underserved communities in the Guatemalan Highlands. Her work emphasized the importance of empowering youth to contest gendered and racial inequality and so to imagine and build more equitable communities for themselves. She has presented this work at national and international conferences like the Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples (ERIP) conference and the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) conference.      Marianinna is also a spirited educator, with experience teaching classes and workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion for a wide range of audiences and in a variety of modalities. She holds a certificate in Recognition of Expertise in Equitable and Evidence-based Teaching from UC San Diego and prides herself in her ability to create inclusive, supportive environments for students to discuss difficult topics and engage in powerful self-reflection.      In her spare time, Marianinna loves to read and to crochet in the company of her small dog, Luna. She is excited to bring her enthusiasm and commitment to equity to Lake Forest College.

Student Workers

Kaihan Rahimi  New Student Worker Kaihan

Major: Political Science

Minor: International Relations 

Born: Kabul, Afghanistan 

Pronouns: He/him/his

Extracurricular activities/hobbies:
Soccer, Table Tennis, Flamenco Guitar.

Fun Fact: I’ve only been in the States
for a year and a half, but I have visited 16 States. 

Ajit SharmaAjit Sharma Picture

Major: Economics and Theater

Minor: Politics

Born: Nepal

Pronouns:

Extracurricular activities/hobbies:
Cooking, having discourse on political matters, learning about macro-economic issues.
In addition, I love to write plays, and I dance a lot.

Fun Fact: I am very outgoing, and I like to hang out with people a lot in my free time. Being a queer person and coming from a traditional Hindu society, it has been very hard growing up as a gay child, but after coming to Lake Forest and the US in general, I have felt very welcomed. OIR has helped me to transition not only into college life but also in life in the US.