About Us

The FIRST@DU staff members bring diverse backgrounds, educations, and experience together in a shared dedication to ensuring underrepresented groups achieve success at DU. Through pre-college and college student success programs, scholarship help, resources for undocumented students, and more, we strive to create opportunities for marginalized students to build community, make the most of their college experience, and succeed.

Meet Our Staff

Dong Dinh

Dong Dinh (He/Him/His)

Program Coordinator, FIRST@DU​​


Dong Dinh joins the FIRST@DU team as the Program Coordinator for the office. He graduated from DU in 2019 with a master's in Higher Education and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree. He will be supporting the 1GenU Program and all of FIRST@DU as a whole. He identifies as a queer Vietnamese American and concentrates his research in supporting historically underrepresented students with a specialty focus on Asian American populations. Drop by his office and say hello!


Linda Quintanar

Linda Quintanar (She, Ella)

Director, Volunteers in Partnership (VIP)
Director, First-Generation Initiatives (1GenU)

Community Commons, 2055 East Evans Avenue, 1218

Linda Quintanar serves as the Director of First-Generation Initiatives and the Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) program at the University of Denver. She brings more than 15 years of experience serving on state-wide advisory committees and university task forces, working with students, families, and educators at Denver and Aurora public schools. Linda's passion to increase college access and retention of historically underrepresented students in higher education stems from her own journey as an immigrant and a first-generation student. Linda volunteers her time and serves on the board of Keeping the Dream Alive, a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing post-secondary advising strategies for Colorado's DACA and undocumented students. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and mother of four current Denver Public School students, Linda and her husband are both DPS and DU alumni.



Tamara White, PhD (She/Her)

Associate Dean of Students, Student Affairs & Inclusive Excellence

Interim Senior Director, FIRST@DU

Tamara D. White (she/her), Ph.D. currently serves as Associate Dean of Students for the division of Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence at the University of Denver. Providing leadership for Student Inclusion and Belonging (FIRST@DU, Inclusion & Equity Education and The Cultural Center). Dr. White formerly served as the Vice President of Enrollment Services and Student Success at Front Range Community College, the Dean of Students at the Community College of Aurora, and the Director of Admission and Access Policy for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. She spent most of her professional career in higher education, serving in roles in student life, multicultural affairs, leadership, and residence life. Dr. White earned her doctorate in higher education from the University of Denver. She has two children, a 20-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter.


Anthea Johnson Rooen, MBA
Director, Equity in STEM (E-STEM)
Program Director, Denver Promise

2155 East Wesley Avenue, Room 429

Originally from Novato, California, Anthea grew up in the U.S. and England due to her dad's military career. She has been at the University of Denver for nine years serving in various access and success roles serving undergraduate and graduate students, as well as prospective K–12 students, with extensive experience working with STEM students related to recruitment, retention, and outreach. Most recently she was charged to develop the Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (E-STEM) Program. E-STEM is an academic program for historically underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields, and is a partnership with CLIE, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM), and the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science (RSECS). In the third year of the pilot, the E-STEM Program has seen a 95% retention rate. Other programs she coordinates include Black Women LEAD (BW-LEAD), Black Male Initiative Summit (BMIS), and the Sistah Network.


Briana Aguilar

Briana Aguilar (She/Ella)

Graduate Assistant, Access & Transitions

Community Commons, 2055 East Evans Avenue
303- 871-7779

Briana was born in San Diego but moved to Colorado when she was young. She has one little brother, loves dogs, and her favorite place to be is the beach. Briana did her undergrad at DU with double majors in Psychology and Criminology, and double minors in Political Science and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. Briana is currently pursuing her master's degree in Higher Education.