Loyola University Maryland

ALANA Services

ALANA Services Staff

Selfie of Raven Williams

Raven Williams (Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)

I am Raven Williams, Director of ALANA Services and a native of Saginaw, Michigan.  My work in higher education has been focused on student retention, academic advising and intervention, staff and student training and development, cultural competency, and diversity/equity/inclusion awareness.  As the Director of ALANA Services, I oversee the retention and support services for students of color and other underrepresented students, as well as supervision of the ALANA staff.  I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication from Eastern Michigan University and my Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from Saginaw Valley State University.  My next academic goal is to begin working on my doctoral degree.  In my spare time, I love anything related to music, church, sports, traveling, shopping, and exploring new restaurants.  The one thing people will learn about me quickly is that I’m a social butterfly and I love connecting with people.  Most importantly, I love working with students!

Selfie of Dennis Velez

Dennis Velez (Pronouns: He, Him, His)
Associate Director

My name is Dennis Velez, and I am the Associate Director for ALANA Services. I am a proud Connecticut native (though my parents were both born in Puerto Rico). I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Iona College, and received my Master of Arts degree in Sociology with a concentration in diversity and inequality from Fordham University. As Associate Director, I oversee the Ignatius Scholars Program, help oversee the academic enrichment programs, work on retention programs such as MAN2MAN, and provide general support services for ALANA students. When I'm not serving as a Higher Education professional, you can find me on the dance floor (I love dance fitness), checking out a cool restaurant (eating is a hobby), spending time with my family back home in Connecticut (I have two nieces and two nephews I'm obsessed with!) or keeping up with my favorite reality television shows (guilty habit). Go Greyhounds!


Jason Summers 
Assistant Director

My name is Jason Summers and I am the Assistant Director of ALANA Services! I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I received my Bachelors of Arts degree of Sociology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2014. Having found my passion for working in Student Affairs, after graduating undergrad, I began my Master of Education with an emphasis of Adult and Higher Education program, finishing in May 2016. I have gained the majority of my Higher Education experience working in Residence Life and Housing, DEI offices, and Human Resources. As the Assistant Director of ALANA Services, I am tasked with coordinating and evaluating the Multicultural Awareness Program, overseeing the coordination of the ALANA Mentoring Program, providing intentional outreach and advising to ALANA cultural identity groups, serving as an advocate for issue affecting the personal, social, and academic development of ALANA students, along with a host of other things. Outside of my day to day professional life, I enjoying discovering new places to eat in Baltimore, playing on a kickball team, binging watching multiple shows via all my subscriptions, and spending time with my family and friends.

Mauricio Vargas headshot

Mauricio Vargas (Pronouns: He, Him, His)
Program Assistant

My name is Mauricio Vargas, and I am the Program Assistant for ALANA Services and a graduate student pursuing my Master in Data Science. I am an only child born into a family from Mexico that picked tomatoes and onions in the San Fernando Valley, California. I spent my infancy and early childhood in Mexico with 27 first cousins. Later, I was raised in a San Diego, California, neighborhood next to Chicano Park. I am a first-generation U.S. college graduate. I served in the Marine Corps from 2002-2011. In 2016, I graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. During undergrad, I volunteered through the Center for Community, Service, and Justice (CCSJ), teaching English as a second language (ESL) at Esperanza Center, helping teens from Spanish speaking immigrant families with homework through Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO), and Spanish legal translating for children and families seeking refuge from violence and human trafficking with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND). At Loyola, I was the president of Model United Nations and founded a veteran’s support group. I hope to use my experience as an undergrad person of color at Loyola to help students who feel out of place feel welcome.

Jared Louie with hands folded together

Jared Louie (Pronouns: )
Graduate Assistant
Leadership Development

Hi, my name is Jared and I am a graduate at Hiram College and a current graduate student at Loyola’s Master's program for Clinical and Professional Counseling. At Hiram, I majored in psychology and minored in entrepreneurship in addition to fulfilling the role of setter and libero on the inaugural Men’s Varsity Volleyball Team. I hope to develop my skills as a counselor to provide mental health support and counseling for minority populations like the LGBT community. In my spare time I love to play volleyball, read, write, and spend time with friends.

Jessica Morales headshot

Jessica Morales (Pronouns: She, Her, Hers )
Graduate Assistant
Mentorship & Assessment

Hi! My name is Jessica Morales. I am a second year Speech-Language Pathology graduate student and the new Mentorship & Assessment Graduate Assistant for ALANA Services. Some background information about myself, my family is originally from El Salvador (San Miguel & Jucuapa) and immigrated to the United States in 1974. They made a life for themselves in Prince George's County Maryland, where my older sister and I were born and raised. I am a recent graduate from St. John's University with a B.A. in Speech Pathology/Audiology. During undergrad, I was part of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. and the RISE Mentorship Program, which provided me skills that will help me with my responsibilities at ALANA. My career goals are to essentially help others, by opening a non-profit organization that provides free Speech/Language services to those in underrepresented communities. In my spare time, I love to watch sports and movies, listen to music, explore new flavors at different restaurants, and hang out with friends and family. I am excited to work with the ALANA team and meeting many of you!

Jayda Lawlah

Jayda Lawlah (Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Graduate Assistant
Academic & Career Enrichment

Hi! My name is Jayda Lawlah. I am so excited to be joining the ALANA Staff as the Academic and Career Enrichment GA this semester. I graduated from Loyola in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and I am currently a graduate student in Loyola’s School Counseling program. During my time as an undergraduate student, I was involved with Student Life as a Resident Assistant (RA), and I served on the executive board for the Black Student Association (BSA). As I enjoyed my time working with fellow students during my undergraduate years, I am excited to continue supporting the ALANA Student Organizations in this new role as well. In my free time, my favorite things to do are spending time with family and friends and watching movies. I also enjoy all things creative. I like to draw and paint, but I also take pleasure in admiring the work of others (one of my current favorites is @u.wanna.art on Instagram). My ultimate career goal, regardless of my job title, is to help people. As a school counselor, I want to be an advocate for students, ensuring that all students have equitable access to resources and educational opportunities. I also hope to encourage my students to recognize the greatness within themselves, doing what I can to help them reach their fullest potential. Through my work with ALANA, I hope to support students on their Loyola journey, sharing things I learned as a former undergraduate student, cheering them on, and helping them achieve their goals in any way I can!