AARCC Staff  2015-2016


Staff Group Pic 2015



AARCC Professional Staff   2015-2016


Mark Martell Director

Mark Martell, Director

Phone: 312-413-7696      Email: mmartell@uic.edu


Mark Martell is the Director of the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center. He began his career in higher education, in 2000, at UIC Campus Housing. After, he worked for Semester at Sea and for Inspiration Corporation. In 2005, he returned to UIC to work at the Student Employment Office and recently at the Office of Career Services. In the past, he has served as Co-Chair for the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Asian Americans and has served on various campus organizations including AARCC's Advisory Board. In addition to participating in a number of Chicago's Asian American, LGBTQ, and theatre organizations, Mark has taught at Harold Washington College and for the UIC College of Education. Mark earned his PhD in educational policy studies at UIC, and his research explored the racialized experiences of UIC Asian American students and the effects on their student success. Mark is also co-principal investigator for the UIC Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Initiative, where he assists in facilitating grant programs and assists in teaching Asian American courses. Mark is a 1.5 generation Filipino American who grew up in Miami, Florida.



Jeffrey Alton Associate DirectorJeffrey Alton, Associate Director
Phone: 312-413-9653      Email: jalton@uic.edu

Jeffrey oversees the Asian American Mentor Program, creates, implements, and assesses programming and workshops that focus on the Asian American experience, and advises student organizations. He comes to UIC from his alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where he worked at the Asian American Cultural Center focusing on alumni development and grantwriting. Prior to working at UConn, he was the Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Services and Programs at the University of Georgia. Jeffrey is a second-generation multiracial Filipino American, who grew up in Connecticut.


Elvin Chan, Assistant DirectorElvin Chan, Assistant Director
Phone: 312-413-9196     Email: eychan@uic.edu

Elvin works with our Community Connections Coordinator to bring UIC students (as well as staff and faculty) and Chicago’s Asian communities together on campus. He also teams up with our Student Organization Outreach Coordinator to focus on UIC’s Asian-interest student organizations through a leadership retreat and council. During the summer, he is the manager of the UIC Pyro Paddlers dragon boat team, providing support to the captains and paddlers.Elvin is a second-generation Chinese American and grew up in suburban Western New York.


AARCC Student Staff


Rachelle Johnson AAMP grad assistant

Rachelle Johnson, AAMP Graduate Assistant

Email: rjohns73@uic.edu

Rachelle is a current master’s student in the School of Public Health, with a concentration in health policy and administration. She is also a recent graduate from UIC, with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. As the
graduate assistant, she assists Jeff with the Asian American Mentor Program. Outside of grad assistant duties, she enjoys watching the Food Network, lifting heavy weights, pouring all her money into her
aquarium hobby, and spending time with Filipinos in Alliance.







Imee Ignacio, AAMP Graduate Assistant

Email: iignac2@uic.edu

Imee is a current master’s student in the School of Public Health, with a concentration in health policy and administration. She recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a bachelor’s degree in Community Health, with a concentration in health planning and administration. As the graduate assistant, she assists Jeff with the Asian American Mentor Program. Outside of grad assistant duties, she enjoys watching Doctor Who, traveling and going on road trips, eating cupcakes and donuts, getting other people excited about public health issues in the Asian American community, and doing social activist work by serving the people with the Filipino organization Anakbayan Chicago.




Omar Juarez Student Graphic Aide

Omar Juarez, Student Graphic Aide

Email: ojuare3@uic.edu

Omar is a fourth year undergraduate student at UIC, majoring in Graphic Design, planning to work on his master’s degree. At AARCC he is responsible for creating brochures, books, and flyers. He expresses the themes AARCC wants to show through imagery and symbolism that reflect current events. He hopes to use this type of symbolism for many other cultures, including his own. In his spare time, he likes to listen to heavy metal, dabble in coding, and play video games.







christina khorn student marketing assistant

Christina Khorn, Student Marketing Assistant

Email: ckhorn2@uic.edu

Christina is a second year student at UIC, majoring in Chemistry. At AARCC, she is responsible for creating marketing materials through videos, pictures and social media and working with the contributors to the AARCC blog. With this position, she hopes to bring awareness of the
issues surrounding the Asian American community. She is most active in the Filipino American community at UIC where she coordinates cultural dances for Filipinos In Alliance. In her free time, she likes to listen to music and watch TV shows.







Chandni Nigam Student Organization Outreach CoordinatorChandni Nigam, Student Organization Outreach Coordinator

Email: cnigam2@uic.edu

Chandni is a fourth year student at UIC, majoring in psychology (with a minor in economics). She is responsible for connecting with and being a resource for the Asian-interest student organization on campus. If you are interested in learning more about student organizations or getting in touch with the AARCC’s resources for organizations, please email her. In her free time, Chandni likes to listen to music, read the latest issue of The Economist, and go on long walks with her golden retriever named Raja. Chandni is second-generation Indian American and she grew up in
Naperville, IL.



Shivangi Puhorit, General Office Aide

Shivangi Purohit, General Office Aide

Email: spuroh5@uic.edu

Shivangi is a Fourth year student at UIC, majoring in Biological Sciences. Her responsibilities includes of  assisting with general inquires and basic administrative duties. She also assist with inventories and assembles data reports. If you ever have any questions regarding AARCC you can find her at the front desk. In her free time, she enjoys watching Movies, TV shows,  and going on random food adventures around Chicago.









Lahney Vilayhong, Community Connections Coordinator

Email: lvilay2@uic.edu


Lahney is a second year at UIC, majoring in Business Management. At AARCC she assists with organizing events and programs on campus that help connect UIC students with Chicagoland Asian American communities. She is most active in the Greek community, being a sister of Alpha Phi Gamma. Other than being a sister, the other half of her life is surrounded by the dancing community, Primo Dance Troupe & FIA Modern. If she ever has free time, she enjoys laying on the couch and watching her most recent TV series on Netflix. She is Laos, Cambodian, Thai, and Chinese and she could eat noodles for the rest of her life.