MAC, Ph.D

  • who i am

    I am a strengths-based social justice educator and trainer...

    ...who deeply believes in the power of individuals and communities to bring about social change to the world.

    I am a first generation student, proud daughter of refugees, and product of public education.

    Born and raised in Chicago, I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my master’s degree in College Student Personnel at the University of Maryland-College Park, and my doctoral degree in Higher Education at Indiana University. I also earned an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from Georgetown University. In Fall 2015, I joined the faculty to teach the course on measurement and metrics. Right now, I am an assistant professor in Higher Education at Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL).

    My community is everything.

    I regularly present at national conferences on topics of race and racism, equity and inclusion, and leadership. I am heavily involved in leadership teams of diversity and equity affinity groups within national associations. I have several projects in process: capturing my family's story and history, illuminating the role Southeast Asian Americans played to advance education equity policies, building a collective of Southeast Asian American scholars and practitioners, and researching institutional transformation towards equity and justice in higher education.


    Learn more about the SEAAster Scholars Collective.

  • Jacki stepped into our racially and religiously diverse community of artists with ease, bringing a spirit of playfulness and authenticity that gave others permission to show up as their full selves. It's rare to find someone as skilled and yet grounded as Jacki.
    Rev. Erik Martinez Resly, Lead Organizer, The Sanctuaries

  • consulting & training

    strategic planning | program & intervention design | implementation, assessment, & assessment


    guided by anti-oppression principles & practices

    Using visuals, audio, and experiential learning, I model risk-taking, authenticity, and dialogic skills to activate participants to engage more deeply with diversity, equity, and social justice in their teams and organizations. As a trained intergroup dialogue facilitator, I approach trainings, workshops, and seminars by connecting participants lived experiences with larger systems. Because context is important, nearly all of my work is tailored towards clients' needs.

    training topics

    a snapshot

    • Critical Conversations Are Hard: Facilitator Training
    • Storytelling: Building Blocks of Authentic Relationships
    • Anti-Oppression Foundations (anti-oppression 101)
    • Activism from Within: Enacting Social Justice Everyday
    • The Air We Breathe: Microaggressions
    • Being a Southeast Asian American Woman: Why Feminism Must Be Intersectional
    • Unpacking Identities (social identities 101, identity-specific)
    • Homemaking in the Academy: Cultivating Collectives
    • Myths and Realities: The Multiple Forms of Asian Exclusion and What We Can Do About It
  • teaching

    for undergraduate and graduate students, and life-long learners


    "How do you explain race to a five-year-old?" While many of the concepts I teach are "complicated" and "complex," my background as a first generation student informs my approach to teaching. I strive to teach inclusively and collaboratively. I come prepared with a plan and am ready to throw it out the window. My most important role as an educator is to realize bell hooks' characterizaction of the classroom as a "place of possibilities."

    Spring 2024 courses

    • Foundation of Social Change Leadership
    • Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice in Higher Education

    past courses

    • Intergroup Dialogue: gender identities, sexual orientation, social class, religious bias
    • Asian American Studies: Southeast Asian Americans and the second generation, Asian American Culture
    • Leadership Studies: student leadership in groups and organizations
    • Higher Education: Environmental theory and assessment; Higher education public policy studies; Seminar in community college; Equity and social justice in higher education
    • Student Affairs: Student development theory; Diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and student affairs
    • Methods: Quantitative foundations in higher education research; Review of research in higher education; Applied assessment in student affairs; Dissertation proposal writing; Program evaluation
  • Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

    Audre Lorde



  • current projects

    a few current projects with space to engage interested students, faculty, and community members


    Interested? Email me at jmac@niu.edu.

    AsianAm Studies @ NIU

    A community-based action research project of the needs for and perceptions of the Asian American Studies Certificate program at Northern Illinois University. This project has multiple prongs, including archival research, interviews and focus groups with students and alumni, interviews with faculty and staff, and document analysis.


    We are looking for additional team members for Spring 2024! If you're interested in ethnic studies, institutional support or barriers, Asian American populations, archival research, and/or qualitative research, we could use your wisdom! Meetings are virtual and TBD based on team availability.

    JCSD Research-in-Briefs

    A content analysis project to examine how authors with publications in the Journal of College Student Development Research in Brief section meaningfully engage and discuss race and racial justice.


    We are looking for additional team members for Spring 2024! If you're interested in student affairs, how research does (or doesn't) support practice, racial justice, and content analysis, we're looking for you! Meetings are virtual and TBD based on team availability.

    Institutional Closures

    A project examining the closures of minority serving institutions and the impact of such closures on communities.


    We are looking for additional team members for Spring 2024, especially if you're interested in quantitative secondary data analysis, minority serving institutions, and state and federal policy. Meetings are virtual and happens biweekly on Fridays.

  • musings

    visit my blog for writing about yoga, family, culture, and justice

    broken image


    available online


  • connect

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