Ayan Jama followed her goals and passion for education and helping, which led her to joining the Coyote family as Cal State San Bernardino’s associate director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

From an early age, Jama was a standout student. In high school, she was one of 15 students in the city of Irvine selected to serve on the High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT). The HSYAT is a non-profit organization in Irvine that aids in youth leadership, community services and social recreation through teen representatives and activities.

After graduating high school, she continued her education at Irvine Valley College before transferring to UC Irvine to graduate with her degree in sociology in 2015.

Following her undergrad, Jama took time off to weigh her options.  “I was like, what do I want to do?” said Jama. “So finally, I took time off and wanted to examine what kind of work I enjoy.”

The work she enjoyed was the work she was already doing, which was working with colleges and universities.

After realizing her passion, Jama enrolled in University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, where she graduated in 2020 with her master’s in education.

“I really liked this program. I enjoyed its focus on community, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and social justice,” said Jama.

While Jama earned experience throughout her education, she also gained valuable experience throughout her professional journey as well. Some of that include work in student services, leadership, DEI, research, data analysis, budgeting and strategic development.

Jama held numerous positions while attending both UC Irvine and USC. While at Irvine, she was part of the national staff under the office of the executive vice president, while also holding various other roles across the city of Irvine.

Enrolling at USC in 2019, she held three roles: project specialist, graduate student ambassador and research assistant. Her most previous role prior to joining CSUSB was as the acting manager in the Diversity and Inclusion department at Cal State Northridge.

Jama’s passion for student success has fueled both her educational and professional journeys and led to her wanting to join CSUSB.

“The commitment from CSUSB to the student’s success is what attracted me here,” she said.

In addition to the university’s commitment to student success, Jama was also intrigued by the student population. “I really resonated with the student population,” she said.  “I can see myself in the students here.”

To help serve the student population as the associate director of DEI, Jama intends to learn more about the campus and community’s needs.

 Doing this allows her to identify best practices to create a campus that supports and promotes DEI.

“I plan on using conversations I’ve had with campus members and training to support my colleagues and students in areas to empower them,” said Jama. “My goal is to create a culture of connectivity.”     

Her focus on helping others can be attributed to her grandma, who she feels has helped mold her into who she is today.

“I would say I’ve been inspired by my grandma because she was a service-oriented woman, and I like to think that’s where I also get it from,” said Jama.