Multicultural mentor gives back to program

WSU senior became involved in ambassador program, residence life, research in Dowd Lab

Asiamay+Diaz%2C+a+first-generation+college+student%2C+became+a+mentor+for+the+Native+American+Student+Center+after+her+mentor+impacted+her+WSU+experience.

COURTESY OF ASIAMAY DIAZ

Asiamay Diaz, a first-generation college student, became a mentor for the Native American Student Center after her mentor impacted her WSU experience.

ELIZA CALLIS, Evergreen reporter

As a child of a military family, moving from base to base around the U.S. was the ‘norm’ for Asiamay Diaz.

She chose to attend WSU to be close to her family, who now lives in Spokane. Diaz is a senior at WSU and a member of the Multicultural Student Mentoring Program.

Her father is from El Salvador and immigrated to the U.S. Her mother is a member of the Choctaw tribe. The Choctaw tribe is native to the Mississippi Valley Area, including present-day Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Diaz has applied for enrollment in the tribe, but is not yet enrolled, she said. 

She said moving around a lot helped her understand cultures different from her own and connect with WSU students once she arrived on campus.

Diaz decided to join the Multicultural Student Mentoring Program this year after she was inspired by her mentor, who helped her navigate her first years in college, she said. Diaz started her job at a veterinary clinic with the help of her mentor. 

Diaz mentors about 28 incoming students. She keeps in touch with each person to make sure they succeed academically and personally, she said. Diaz keeps in touch via text, email or zoom since they cannot meet in person this semester. 

People in the program host events like study groups, as well as free meals for students on the first Friday of every month at the Native American Student Center. 

“As a first-gen student, I didn’t really know how to handle college, so I wanted to help students in that same boat succeed,” Diaz said. 

In addition to the mentoring program, she is in the student ambassador program for the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also the assistant hall director of Northside Residence Hall and a researcher in the Dowd Lab of the School of Biological Sciences. 

Martin Trejo, one of Diaz’s close friends, said she is admirable in her ability to balance her classes, clubs, jobs and social life, as well as being a leader who is transparent and culturally competent.

Trejo has worked with Diaz as a resident advisor and an assistant hall director in multiple residence halls on campus since 2018.

Whether it be academics, work or extracurriculars, Asiamay puts her whole heart into her work and carries herself with a great sense of pride and responsibility,” Trejo said. 

Diaz is studying zoology on the pre-veterinary track. Her career goals include being a veterinarian for exotic animals and run her own sanctuary. Connections she’s made through the Native and multicultural centers have helped lead her to find career mentors, acquire experience and jobs, she said.

“I want to be someone my mentees can count on,” Diaz said. “I want to help them find things that would make a difference for them here at WSU.”