Center for Student Engagement Staff

Tonya McPherson
Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Development

Tonya earned a B.A. in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication and an M.Ed. in College Student Affairs from the University of South Florida and her Ph.D. in Counseling and Student Personnel Services from the University of Georgia. While in college, Tonya was a highly engaged student leader and chose the student affairs profession to inspire a new generation of student leaders. Tonya has developed a passion for encouraging students to remain authentic while maximizing their full potential. A self-proclaimed foodie, Tonya also enjoys watching movies and reruns of Big Bang Theory, spontaneous road trips, running and spending time with family and friends. 


Kristian Contreras
Assistant Director of Intercultural Engagement

Kristian received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Delaware and recently graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with an Ed.M. degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs Administration. Throughout her experiences in higher education, Kristian fostered deep appreciations for the intersections of identity that campus community members embody; her fervor for student development is equally met with compassion for students and their individual journeys. Kristian is passionate about connecting students to their inherent greatness, advocating for college access, celebrating multiculturalism and empowering students to become their best selves. In her free time, she enjoys reading the New York Times bestsellers list, fruit roll ups, trying new foods, Netflixing and spending time with her two dogs.


JLP Prince
Assistant Director of Community Engagement

Jennifer is a graduate of Meredith College (Raleigh, NC) with a B.A. in Religious and Ethical Studies and minors in International Studies, History and Communication and Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) with a M.A. in College Student Development. JLP is a strong advocate of experiential learning within a global context and works so that all students can engage in experiential learning. They is passionate about topics surrounding social justice and equity and enjoys having dialogue around philosophy, intersectionality and the understanding of difference. In their free time, you’ll find JLP hammocking outside reading a book, swimming at a local pool, Netflixing, or having a grand adventure. 


Miriam Panton
Administrative Assistant and Operations Manager

Miriam Panton is the Administrative Assistant and Operations Manager. She provides administrative support for the Center for Student Engagement (CSE) and manages tasks to ensure the mission of the Alston Campus Center (ACC) takes place. She is originally from Brazil and received her B.A. in Economics at Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Miriam is married to Clifford and the mother of a recent Oglethorpe graduate named Daniel. She loves to work with students, and enjoys music, yoga, meditation and converse about life in general.