Loyola University Maryland

ALANA Services

ALANA Services Staff


Raven Williams

Raven Williams (Preferred 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!



Julie Rivera (Preferred Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Assistant Director

My name is Julie Rivera, and I am the Assistant Director of ALANA services. My parents are originally from El Salvador and immigrated to the US in the 1980s. They made their life here and here I was born along with my other 4 siblings in Silver Spring, MD. I am a recent graduate from the University of Maryland School of Social having obtained my Master’s in Social Work with a concentration on Community Action and Social Policy. I also obtained my Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). I am responsible for overseeing of our programming, leadership development and student organizations, as well as supervision of our Graduate Assistants. I also support the Associate Director and Director with the daily operations of the office. When I’m not working, I enjoy eating out in many of the Baltimore hot spots, running, and exploring new activities, like hiking! I also love spending time with family and friends when I get the chance. 




Joseleen Gomez (Preferred Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Program Assistant

My name is Joseleen Gomez and I am the Program Assistant for ALANA Services and Student Activities. I was born in Venezuela, raised in Trinidad and the United States. I grew up in Baltimore and attended the University of Maryland, College Park. I earned a B.A. in American Studies with a focus in U.S. Latino Studies. I am currently earning my Master’s in Emerging Media at Loyola University Maryland as well! As Program Assistant, I provide secretarial and clerical support to the Director Raven Williams, work collaboratively with the Associate Director and the Assistant Director Julie Rivera, to provide supervision for the Student Employees and to assist with the coordination of major ALANA programs and initiatives. I also assist with the coordination of events for Student Activities. My interests include spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading, listening to music, watching movies and shopping.



GA Assistant Giovanna

Giovanna Baisie-Arthur (Preferred Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Graduate Assistant
Leadership Development

Hello! My name is Giovanna Baisie-Arthur. I am currently a Grad student in Clinical Professional Counseling here at Loyola,and I am returning as the Graduate Assistant for Leadership Development and Cultural Programming. A little about myself, my family is originally from Ghana, West Africa but I was born and raised in Prince George’s County Maryland. I am a recent graduate of Stevenson University where I earned my B.S in Psychology. I was the president of the African Student Union at Stevenson which will help me with some of my responsibilities here at ALANA. My overall responsibilities comprise of assisting in the development of programs for ALANA students and the community as well as working closely with ALANA students to collaborate and facilitate various events and celebrations. Outside of ALANA, I love arts and crafts, listen to music, and hangout with my family and friends. I am very excited to be returning to the ALANA team and look forward to a great a year!



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Knekiya Harper (Preferred Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Graduate Assistant
Academic & Career Enrichment

My name is Knekiya Harper. I was born and raised in Waldorf, Maryland. I recently graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a focus in Life Sciences and a Minor in Rehabilitation and Human Services. This fall I will be a first year graduate student at Loyola University of Maryland pursing my Master’s degree in Clinical Professional Counseling. My career goal is to become a mental health counselor for adolescents and young adults. An interesting fact about me is that I am really into the performing arts. Since I was a child, I have been involved in local theatre productions. I also enjoy traveling. I usually save my money to go on different vacations and experience different cultures and foods. My life goal is to travel the world. I am excited to be assisting first year minority students and first generation students transitioning into college. I, myself, struggled transitioning into undergraduate life at The Pennsylvania State University. My goal is to prevent incoming minority and first generation students from experiencing the challenges I experienced in my undergraduate career. I promise to provide plenty of fun, creative, innovate, and engaging events, ideas, and resources to my amazing undergraduates! It’s going to be a wonderful school year!



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Michelle Mencia (Preferred Pronouns: She, Her, Hers)
Graduate Assistant
Research & Retention

Hello! My name is Michelle Mencia and I am the new Research and Retention Graduate Assistant for ALANA. I graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2019 studying Psychology and Theology and am now enrolled in the Psy.D program for Clinical Psychology at Loyola. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida, but my family is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. ALANA services and the cultural groups on campus have always had a huge impact on my time as an undergraduate and I am excited for the opportunity to continue to cultivate the values of leadership, academic success, and diversity on campus. Some of my job responsibilities include being involved with ALANA’s mentoring program and being involved with student run clubs and student outreach. Outside of school and working at ALANA, I love to run, read, and hang out with friends. I am always excited to meet new people and am here to help students feel comfortable at Loyola. Please, feel free to stop by the office and say hello!