Michelle Cadena
Assistant Director of Diversity Affairs & Student Success

Office hours held Thursdays from 11a to 12p

Michelle Cadena (she/her/ella) grew up in Tijuana, Baja California and San Diego, California. She was a transborder community college student who transferred to San Diego State University where she received her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Counseling. These lived experiences combined with her work and education have shaped the passion she has for higher education, specifically around educational justice, and advocacy. Michelle has worked in higher education for more than 10 years starting her journey in TRIO programs which provided the foundation for her to learn to navigate spaces of higher education. Together with this experience, her counseling work at San Diego State University, as well as her most recent work at CSU with El Centro she has expanded her areas of work within student success initiatives as well as identity work and DEI work. Michelle’s passion and drive derives from the powerful women in her life who have raised her and shared many life lessons with her. 

What you will soon learn about Michelle is that she loves laughing and listening to music. She loves a good coffee in the morning and trying new food places as well as reading books and listening to podcasts. Michelle is also an artist; She mainly uses acrylic and mixed media, but she also works with oils and pastels. For her, art is a way of practicing self-care, which helps her ground herself when she feels stressed or anxious. She loves infusing it into the work she does. Michelle is looking forward to meeting you all soon and continuing learning and growing, as well as, sharing more about herself in this new journey of her life!