Saint Martin’s University has announced that Kevin Francisco Calixto, M.S., will be their new program manager for the Diversity and Equity Center (DEC). The program manager is a new position in the DEC that will help support Saint Martin’s University Chief Diversity Officer John Hopkins, Ph.D. As the program manager, Calixto will assist in building community, developing programs, and providing resources, support and advocacy for students with historically underrepresented identities. He will be an active contributor to the overall goals and responsibilities of the Office of Student Affairs and to the university’s strategic priorities related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
“Kevin comes to us with a strong background in student advising and program activities,” said Dr. Hopkins. “We were impressed with his proven track record of connecting with and relating to students of all backgrounds. There is no doubt he will play a key role in helping our students navigate university life. But what is truly exciting about Kevin’s expertise and role is how we will be able to expand the presence of the DEC on campus.”
Calixto comes to Saint Martin’s with four years of experience in DEI work and two years of experience working with Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO). TRIO refers to federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. This includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.
“I aim to create spaces where individuals can feel validated, supported, and encouraged to persist,” said Calixto. “As a first-generation Latino, I understand the complexities of navigating an educational system often not created with students like me in mind. Through this position, I want to become a strong leader, advocate, and contributor in order to mitigate and eradicate barriers that perpetuate equity gaps.”
Prior to his new role, Calixto served as TRIO student support services faculty advisor at Everett Community College. In this role, he was responsible for teaching college success courses, developing program activities, and advocating for students navigating systemic and institutional barriers. In addition to advising and program development, Calixto also served on the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA) as a DEI committee member.
He began his career in higher education at California State University, Fullerton, where he served as National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) undergraduate fellows program coordinator. Calixto earned his undergraduate degree in social work from Pacific Lutheran and completed his masters of science in education at California State University, Fullerton.