Meet Our Staff


You've always heard about our family, yet never really knew who we were? Meet the MASS family.

Professional Staff
James Span, Jr. - Executive Director
Wade Tomson - Interim Assistant Director
Jewel Cotton - Assistant Director of Mentoring Initiatives
Bree D. Ring - Executive Assistant

Graduate Assistant
Eric Pouncil - Programming & Mentoring

Student Staff Assistants and Peer Advisors
Christion Calloway - Peer Advisor, MAC Scholars Program
Mary Famutimi - Peer Advisor, MAC Scholars Program 
Aubre Thomas - Peer Advisor, MAC Scholars Program
Miles Houser - Peer Advisor, MAC Scholars Program

About our Family

James Span, Jr.
Executive Director

Born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, James Span, Jr. enjoys serving as a point of contact and resource for college and university students. With sixteen years of student affairs experience, he remains committed to assisting in their growth and development while role modeling empathetic leadership, integrity and compassion. Since 2005, Mr. Span has held positions at CMU in the Offices of Residence Life and Academic Advising and Assistance. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member, Diversity Advocate and advisor for several Registered Student Organizations. Mr. Span holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), a Master of Divinity degree in the Sociology of Religion from the Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta, GA) and a Master of Science in Administration with a concentration in Leadership from CMU. His hobbies include listening to music, watching movies, taking long road trips and helping people tap into their full potential.

Wade Tomson
Interim Assistant Director

Wade is making his return to the MASS office as the interim Assistant Director of Cultural Programs. Before this position, Wade worked in several different offices throughout the university including Admissions, Student Activity Center, and the dean’s office for the College of Science and Engineering. All of these experiences have broadened Wade’s view of the universities operations as well as how students interact within the university. Being a part of the MASS office is truly where Wade feels most passionate and best feels he is able to accomplish his mission of being a support for students. Wade completed both his bachelor’s (Business, ’15) and master’s degrees (Higher Education Administration, ’19) from CMU. He lives in Mt. Pleasant with his partner, 2 kids and dog. Outside of work Wade enjoys reading, binge watching T.V. shows on Netflix and Hulu, and dreaming about his next Disney vacation.

Jewel Cotton
Assistant Director of Mentoring Initiatives

Jewel is a Detroit, Michigan native and two-time CMU alum. In May of 2017, she received a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Family Studies with a minor in Substance Abuse Education: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment. Later, she went on to attain her Master of Science in Administration with a concentration in Training and Development. Jewel is also a former CMU women’s basketball student-athlete who competed from 2012-2017. Prior to joining MASS, Jewel worked in the CMU Athletic department as a graduate assistant before transitioning into a full-time role. She loves engaging with students and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth while equipping them with the tools that will aid in their transition to life after college. Jewel enjoys listening to music, binge watching reality tv, online shopping, and building relationships with students.

Alejandro Gradilla
Assistant Director of Latinx/Hispanic American Student Engagement

Alejandro (or Alex) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, identifies as Chicano and is fluent in Spanish. He has dedicated his professional career to serve students to help them achieve their academic goals. Prior to joining CMU, Alex was the coordinator for DEI initiatives, the LUCERO program, and the Cesar Chavez Learning Center under the leadership of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Lansing Community College. He formerly was a case worker providing social support services to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant minors placed in foster care programs at Samaritas in Michigan. Alex earned a BA in Sociology from California State University, Chico, an MA in Sociology from Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Educational Leadership at CMU. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife watching TV, movies, eating good food, and taking their dog for walks.

Bree D. Ring
Executive Assistant

Bree grew up in Greenville, Michigan and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University in Film and Video with a focus in Computer Animation and a minor in Computer Science. Bree's career roles include freelance design as well as graphic design positions with Dow Corning, FACE, and Michigan Epic. Bree has been married since 2004, has an 11-year-old daughter, and co-owns Motorless Motion bike shop in Mt. Pleasant with her husband. She's an avid reader and enjoys scary movies and travel. Bree began her career at CMU in 2012 as a Parking Services Specialist and is enthusiastic about her transition within the University.

Eric Pouncil
Graduate Assistant

Eric Pouncil is from Detroit Michigan and is a recent graduate of Ferris State University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and completed a leadership and Project Management minor. During his undergraduate career, Eric attended four institutions, the University of Michigan – Flint, Mott Community College, Lansing Community College, and Ferris State University. Prior to CMU, Eric worked in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Lansing Community College and served as a mentor in Men About Progress and a co-coordinator for Women Inspiring Scholarship through Empowerment. His passion for student success led to CMU in the Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration program and he is excited to transition to the university and be a part of the team!

Christion Calloway
MAC Scholars Peer Advisor

Christion is from Detroit, Michigan. He is majoring in communication with a minor in marketing. Christion is a MAC scholar, an impact mentor coordinator, and a CMU career ambassador.

Mary Famutimi
MAC Scholars Peer Advisor

Mary is a Mount Pleasant native and junior pursuing a Bachelor's of Science with a major in Bio-medical Sciences and a minor in psychology. She plans on going to medical school and is the secretary of the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students (MAPS). Mary is also involved in the African Student Association (ASA), A Mile in Our Shoes (AMOS) and D.R.E.A.M Central.

Aubre Thomas 
MAC Scholars Peer Advisor

Aubre is from Detroit, Michigan. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a double minor in Public Administration and Sociology. Before becoming a Peer Advisor, Aubre involved herself as the Outreach Committee Chair at Central Michigan's Student Government Association. She also is active in advocacy and Pre-Law programming.

Miles Houser 
MAC Scholars Peer Advisor

Miles is from Rochester Hills Michigan. He is currently majoring in Broadcasting and cinematic arts with a minor in theater and interpretation. Along with being a Peer Advisor, he is the director of public relations for the National Association of Black Journalists, a co-leader of Men about Change as well as being a MAC Scholar himself. He has the dream of becoming a film studio executive in the future and will attend film school after he graduates in May.