AARCC Staff Directory

AARCC’s professional and student staff aims to support faculty, staff, and students by providing resources and organizing year-round programs.  At least one of our professional staff is an active member of the Student ACCESS Bill task force. This group from across many units of campus, other universities, and community organizations look at the needs of undocumented students by being student centered.  Furthermore, all of our professional staff have gone through at least Safe Zone 101, if not 201 and other workshops. Safe Zone is an ally building workshop for the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. Safe Zone is organized and facilitated by the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center.

Professional Staff
Mark R. Martell, Ph.D. : Director and Adjunct Instructor at the UIC Honors College and Guest Lecturer for UIC Global Asian Studies

Mark R. Martell, Ph.D.

Director and Adjunct Instructor at the UIC Honors College and Guest Lecturer for UIC Global Asian Studies

312-413-7696 mmartell@uic.edu

Dr. Mark R. Martell became the director of the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center in January 2015. 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 and Asian American Studies. 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 Director and Adjunct Instructor at Asian American Studies

Jeffrey Alton

Associate Director and Adjunct Instructor at Asian American Studies

312-413-9653 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 Director

Elvin Chan

Assistant Director

312-413-9196 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.

Student Staff
Mariam Aejaz : Special Programs Graduate Assistant

Mariam Aejaz

Special Programs Graduate Assistant


Mariam is a current master's student in the School of Public Health, with a concentration in epidemiology. She has a B.A. in International Relations and minors in Community and Regional Development and Middle East/South Asia studies, from the University of California, Davis. As a graduate assistant in the AARCC, Mariam is in charge of special events programming, which will, to the delight of all students, often involve free food. She spends her free time catching up on reading and learning hands-on skills.

Rebecca Ozaki : AAMP Graduate Assistant

Rebecca Ozaki

AAMP Graduate Assistant


Rebecca Ozaki is currently pursuing her master's in Social Work at the Jane Addams College of Social Work and graduated in 2014 with a bachelor's in Human Development Family Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In her capacity as the graduate assistant at AARCC, she assists in coordinating the Asian American Mentor Program. In this position, she hopes to uplift the AAPI campus community to empower them to share their stories and find community at AARCC. In her spare time, Rebecca serves as the Youth Co-Chair on the board of the Japanese American Citizens League Chicago Chapter, enjoys solo-travel/camping, and spending time with her cats. Rebecca is a proud Japanese-Filipina American born and raised on Chicago's

Christina Khorn : Student Marketing Manager

Christina Khorn

Student Marketing Manager


Christina is a fourth year student at UIC, majoring in Biohemistry. At AARCC, she is responsible for creating marketing materials through videos, pictures and social media while also working with the contributors to the AARCC blog. With this position, she hopes to bring awareness of the issues surrounding the Asian American community. Christina identifies as first generation Cambodian-American. She is most active in the Filipino American community at UIC through Filipinos in Alliance (FIA). She was a past cultural coordinator, where she choreographed and taught traditional Filipino dances. This year, she is serving as co-president of FIA.

Ram Patel : Community Connections Coordinator

Ram Patel

Community Connections Coordinator


Ram is a fourth year student majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Philosophy. At AARCC, he is responsible for assisting with the organization of events and programs that connect students with Asian American communities in the Chicagoland area. He hopes to strengthen the relationship between UIC students and the AAPI community. He is an active member of Asian American Students In Alliance, an outreach intern for the AANAPISI Initiative, an EMT for UIC EMS, and a research assistant in the Department of Cardiology at UIC's College of Medicine. Outside of work and school, he spends his time with EVO Dance Troupe, watching Game of Thrones, cooking five-star meals, and playing with his pet bunny.

Lahney Vilayhong : Student Organization Outreach Coordinator

Lahney Vilayhong

Student Organization Outreach Coordinator


Lahney is a third year at UIC, majoring in Business Management. She is a liaison between AARCC and UIC's Asian American student organizations. 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. Other than relaxing on her free time, she likes to be involved on campus and give back to the community.

Sarah Lu : College Day Graduate Assistant

Sarah Lu

College Day Graduate Assistant


Sarah Lu is pursuing a Masters in Industrial Design at UIC.  In support of AARCC's goal of providing insight into the steps of becoming a college student to CPS students of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander descent, Sarah administers the College Day program, which introduces high schoolers to college life at UIC.  Before coming to UIC, Sarah worked at Chicago Public Media from 2007-2016, and still dabbles in radio as a freelance audio producer. Sarah is an avid woodworker and enjoys restoring vintage hand tools. She lives in Chicago's North Uptown neighborhood with her wife and two rescue dogs.

Alexis Woo : Student Graphic Aide

Alexis Woo

Student Graphic Aide


Alexis is a second year undergraduate student at UIC, double majoring in Graphic Design and Industrial Design. As the student graphic aide at AARCC she is responsible for creating brochures, books, and flyers. Alexis hopes to use her design skills to increase student involvement and exposure to the Asian American community at UIC and Chicago. In her free time, Alexis’ hobbies are exploring new places, trying different foods, and taking photos.