About Us

The FIRST@DU team brings 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 the FIRST@DU Team


Tamara White

Tamara White, PhD (She/Her)

Associate Dean of Students

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.

Angie VanDijk

Angela (Angie) VanDijk, EdD (She/Her)

Senior Director

Dr. Angie VanDijk has over twenty years of experience in higher education including teaching, coaching, and advising roles at the University of Utah, CUNY's Hunter College, Columbia University, and the University of Colorado Denver. She earned a Doctorate in Education at the University of Colorado and is a former Robert B. Sturm Mountain States Leadership Fellow. Her research interest is in spatial and ecological systems theories - observing where college students study and analyzing how such environments impact learning, identity, sense of belonging, and academic success. Outside of higher education, Dr. Angie serves as a Planning Commissioner for Commerce City and is a former member of the Commerce City Cultural Council. A certified yoga instructor, MBTI practitioner, and academic coach, Dr. Angie lives in Commerce City, Colorado with her firefighter husband and teenage son. 

Justin Bravo

Justin Bravo, BFA (He/Him)

Business Coordinator

Justin Bravo is the Business Coordinator for FIRST@DU. In this role, he oversees administrative support, communications , and logistics for FIRST@DU. Originally from Western Nebraska, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Denver School of Art and Art History. As a scholar at DU, Justin was granted the DU Art Travel Grant, the CAHSS Research Grant, and the Partners in Education Grant (PiNs) with research focused on stereotypes, equity, and race issues. His work is included in the University of Denver Collection, with his work “Come and Take It” on display in the CAHSS Dean’s Suite in Sturm Hall. As a Queer, First-Gen, Latinx DU grad, he is dedicated to helping to build of sense of belonging for students from a variety of backgrounds. Justin can often be found hanging out with his nephew Bernie or watching Star Trek with his dogs.  

Dong Dinh

Dong Dinh, EdD (He/Him/His)​​

Director, First-Generation Experience

Dr. Dong Dinh graduated from DU with both his MA and EdD in Higher Education. He identifies as a queer Vietnamese American and concentrates his research and expertise in supporting historically underrepresented students with a specialty focus on Asian American and first generation populations. He is an avid adventurer and coaches a Dragon boat team in Denver with his free time. 

Jully Dong

Jully Dong, MA (She/Her/她)

Program Coordinator, First-Generation Experience

Jully Dong serves as the Program Coordinator for First-Generation Experience. Her role on the team is to create programming for all first-generation students at DU. Jully got her bachelor's from Florida State University in Asian Studies with an Emphasis in Business and her master's from University of Denver in Higher Education. As the daughter of two Chinese immigrants, she is passionate about the first-generation student experience, Critical Race Theory and its role in Higher Education for students of color, as well as the experiences of Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA) college students.

Rosmina Garcia

Rosmina Garcia, M.S. (She/Her)

Program Coordinator, FIRST@DU Cohorts
Rosmina. Garcia@du.edu

Rosmina grew up in North Denver and Glendale, Colorado. She received her B.S. in Human Services: Mental Health Counseling from MSU Denver in 2016, and her M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Development from the University of Denver in 2021. Rosmina identifies as first-generation, and a woman of color, which has fueled her passion for serving underrepresented students. She has worked in community mental health, nonprofits, student success advising and coaching, and higher education. In addition to her Program Coordinator role at DU, Rosmina is the Executive Director of a foundation that awards grants to nonprofits in Colorado that focus on high school completion or early childhood education and development. Rosmina enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, hiking, trying new restaurants, and exploring Colorado.

Linda Quintanar

Linda Quintanar (She/Ella)

Director, First-generation Student College Access

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.