Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Intercultural Center
Dr. Jonathan A. McElderry serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University. His experience in higher education has focused on enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion on college campuses. Additionally, his research has sought to raise awareness of the experiences of underrepresented students at predominately White institutions and provide strategies to increase their academic and social success. He has presented both nationally and internationally, held leadership positions within the American College Personnel Association, and has received several awards for his work in higher education. Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Higher Education from the University of Missouri, a M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from Ohio University, and a B.S. in Administration of Justice from George Mason University.
Celina Alexander was born and raised in New York City. Philadelphia became her next home when she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Arcadia University and her Masters of Business Administration from Philadelphia University. Celina has always worked in higher education and her experience ranges from Financial Aid to Academic Advising to Workshop Planning to Career Counseling to Advising Student Organizations. Her professional interests include understanding the Latino culture and its influence on student’s college attendance and retention, event planning for underrepresented students, and assisting campus organizations to become better campus leaders. In her spare time, Celina lives for Latin dancing and performing and is an avid Zumba instructor.
Cassiel Smith was born and raised in the Northern region of New Jersey, where his athletic abilities afforded him the opportunity to attend Wake Forest on a football scholarship. In addition to playing football, Cassiel was a high jumper for the indoor track & field program, and a member the WF Gospel Choir who created the CD “Vertical Worship.” Cassiel graduated in 2005 with a BA in Communication and a minor in Sociology. Cassiel plans to receive his Masters in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in Spring 2017. His professional interest includes assisting, directing, and counseling young men and woman of all ethnic groups to reach their full potential. Cassiel hopes to be a bridge to the student-athletes and the Intercultural Center, as well as other campus organizations. In his free time, Cassiel loves spending quality time with his partner (also a Wake alum) and two sons and enjoys gardening and cycling.
Darlene D. Starnes was born in Agana on the island of Guam and raised in Junction City, Kansas from the age of three until her graduation from Junction City High School. Darlene has a wide variety of administrative experience ranging from her time managing student loan accounts at Wachovia currently Wells Fargo to serving as the business manager at the Winston Lake branch of the YMCA. Her main interests include supporting her children at their multiple football, basketball and dance functions, being a proud grandparent, as well as spending time with family and friends. Darlene would like all students and visitors to know that she has a heart for college-aged students and their parents (especially since she is one) and looks forward to watching and aiding in their growth and development during their time at Wake Forest.