Mentors

Allison Vaughn

Dr. Allison A. Vaughn

Associate Professor of Psychology

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Rialto, CA

Degrees: B.A. Psychology, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.A. Psychology, San Diego State University; Ph.D. Psychology, University of Utah

Path to Career: I was a low-income, first-generation college student who started out at Mount San Antonio Community College. Originally I was studying to be a chef - I was accepted into art/culinary school and was trying to take some of my general education courses at CC because they were significantly cheaper. When I took a research methods course to fulfill a writing requirement, I discovered a passion for psychological research and switched majors. I transferred to Cal Poly Pomona and participated in programs like the McNair Scholars Program and graduated with honors. I also successfully completed the Masters program here at SDSU. At both CSU campuses, I was taught and mentored by wonderful professors who cared about my future and I wanted to do what they did. I completed my PhD at Utah and accepted my current position in 2008 - full circle!

Personal Interests/Hobbies: I love being outdoors in nature and I love animals; I like to play tennis and dance; I am committed to mentoring - I am a Big Sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program of SD. As of late, my personal interest and hobbies include the newest member of my family - my daughter, born in February.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:You can do it! You can become part of this Aztec community that is strong and here for you. You can successfully get through your program here at SDSU and meet new people and experience new things. You can learn a lot about your area but also about yourselves and about the bigger world around you. It won't be easy but if you put in the work (which includes asking for help), you too can become an Aztec for Life!

Life Motto: It takes a village...

Andrew Cooksy

Dr. Andrew Cooksy

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

 

Hometown: Washington DC

Degree: BA chemistry and physics, Harvard U; PhD chemistry, UC Berkeley

Path to Career: I learned about chemistry in interstellar space when I was an undergraduate and decided to pursue that line of research. Still working on it. SDSU offers the right balance of research and teaching for me.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Astronomy, music

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Use your instructor's office hours.

Arlette Baljon

Dr. Arlette Baljon

Associate Professor of Physics

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: I am from the Netherlands 

Degrees: Ph.D Physics, U. of Chicago, MS physics, U. of Utrecht 

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Travel and cooking

Bey-Ling Sha

Dr. Bey-Ling Sha

Professor and Director, School of Journalism and Media Studies

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown:  Houston, Texas

Degrees: Ph.D. Mass Communication, University of Maryland

Affiliations: Public Relations Society of America Arthur W. Page Society Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Path to Career: I worked in public relations, then became a public relations professor, before being appointed director of the School of Journalism & Media Studies, which includes undergraduate programs in advertising, journalism, public relations, and media studies.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Reading and playing mahjong, Words with Friends, Scrabble

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Start thinking now about work-life fit, or how you will intentionally and thoughtfully fit your work and your non-work lives together, both now and in the future.

Bey-Ling Sha is currently accepting new mentees.

Cassia C. De Abreu

Cassia C. De Abreu

Portuguese Lecturer

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Degrees: MA Ed. TESOL, Alliant University, San Diego, CA

Affiliations: ACTFL: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages CLTA: California Language Teaching Association FLCSD: Foreign Language Council of San Diego SAILN: Southern Area International Languages Network AOTP: American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese 

Path to Career: My interest for foreign languages and cultures started at a very young age. I started learning English in Brazil at the age of 12, and held several teaching positions teaching English in Rio Grande do Sul before further pursuing my education in the United States. I moved to San Diego and attended San Diego State University to obtain a certificate in Applied Linguistics and ESL teaching in the early 2000's. After completing that program, I decided to obtain a Masters degree in TESOL, teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which I completed in 2006. Besides teaching ESL in San Diego for several years, I also started teaching PFL, Portuguese as a Foreign language, which became my full time job up until today. My passion for teaching languages and my AZTEC background prompted my to accept my current position as Lecturer of Portuguese in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Some of my personal interests are related to nature, animal welfare and women's rights, just to name a few.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: If I did it, you can do it, too. Be brave, bold and dedicated and pursue your dreams. You CAN do it.

Life Motto: "Never, never, never give up".

Cassia C. De Abreu is now accepting new mentees.

Catherina Madani

Dr. Catherina Madani

Lecturer, School of Nursing

[email protected] 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees: PhD Nursing from USD, BS Nursing from Mass, Amherst

Path to Career:I have always loved learning and teaching.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Enjoying my family and friends are my personal interests.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: There will be difficult days, weeks, and maybe even months in your college experience. Find people that build you up and make you better in all aspects of your life.

Life Motto: Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have - E. Tolle

Catherina Madani is now accepting new mentees.

Cheryl James-Ward

Dr. Cheryl James-Ward

Associate Professor, Educational Leadership

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Degrees: Ed.D. Education Administration and Policy, USC 
MA Education Curriculum, Cal State Dominguez Hills
B.S. Applied Mathematics, UC Santa Barbara

Affiliations: e3Civic High School

Path to Career: I started out as a software engineer, but always wanted to teach. At some point, I took a leave from Hughes Aircraft to take a teaching job in LA Unified. I resigned from Hughes after the following summer and taught for 6 years before becoming a vice principal for one year, a principal for six years, a supervisor of schools and then a leadership coach for 13 years. While coaching principals for the last 9 years, I've also been a full time professor at San Diego State. I continue to work with schools, currently I serve as the Chief of Academic Innovation for one of our local charter organizations in addition to my work at SDSU. I believe that good leadership is the key to the success of any organization, civic, private or other and that it is the duty of good leaders to nurture and mentor future leaders.

Personal Interest/Hobbies: Reading, spending time with family, traveling, walking.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: If you don't know something, don't be afraid to ask. You can succeed, and there is a village to support you through ups and downs. Don't be afraid to take risk, failing up is an option. Finally, look forward.

Life Motto: We can make a difference if and when we want to.

Cheryl James-Ward is currently unable to take mentors. She will be active in 2019.

David Kahan

Dr. David Kahan

Professor, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Culver City, California

Degrees: Ph.D., Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, The Ohio State University

Affiliations: SHAPE America

Path to Career: First job out of grad school was UT-Permian Basin in Odessa, TX. Second job was at UNM in Albuquerque, NM. Wanted to get back to SoCal and my father was sick with cancer, so I applied to various universities and was offered the position at SDSU (since 2000).

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Running, swimming, biking, crossword puzzles

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Make concerted efforts to get to know multiple professors very well

Life Motto: Who is wise? Those who learn from every person. Who is strong? Those who control their urges. Who is rich? Those who are content with their lot. Who is honorable? Those who honor others.

David Kahan is now accepting new mentees.

Dustin Thoman

Dr. Dustin Thoman

Asst. Professor of Psychology

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

Degrees: Ph.D. Psychology, University of Utah, B.S. Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University

Affiliations: National Research Mentoring Network, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, American Education Research Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Society for the Study of Motivation

Path to Career: I changed majors several times as an undergraduate and did not know where I wanted to go. Neither of my parents went to college, so I also had no idea about education beyond a college degree. I have always been curious about why people do what they do, and ultimately found a passion for the approach that social psychologists take to understanding people and their choices. I studied motivation as a doctoral student at the University of Utah and accepted my first academic job in 2008 at Cal State Long Beach. I transitioned to SDSU in 2016, where I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in social psychology and direct the Motivation and Social Identity Lab.

Dustin Thoman is currently unable to accept new mentees.

Elizabeth Reed

Elizabeth Reed

Associate Professor, Public Health

 

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: North Attleboro, Maine

Degrees: BS Biology, MPH Public Health, ScD Social Epidemiology

Path to Career: I was involved in activism on issues related to violence against women and related health consequences. I worked as a counselor and educator on the topic, but decided that I wanted to be involved in community-level prevention efforts and thus, became involved in the field of public health.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: hiking, running, sailing, cooking, traveling

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: 1. I think it is very smart to identify possible career fields and then go talk to people who have experience working in these fields. 2. Take classes that build skills. Classes focused on building your awareness on certain topic areas are great to learn new perspectives, but nothing makes you more competitive than having critical skills that employers need (e.g. in my field that could be: data analysis and management, designing methods).

Life Motto: Just do your best.

Elizabeth Reed is now accepting new mentees.

Emily Kappenman

Dr. Emily Kappenman

Assistant Professor, Psychology

  

Degrees: Ph.D. Psychology, University of California, Davis

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

How can you support a mentee: I have a lot of experience mentoring students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees (PhDs and MDs, in particular). I also have a lot of experience mentoring students in my laboratory in gaining hands on research experience, or in guiding students on how to obtain research assistantships and take advantage of research opportunities in other labs.

Hisham Foad

Dr. Hisham Foad

Asst. Professor of Economics

[email protected] 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Degrees: B.A., Kenyon College; M.A. Emory University; Ph.D. Economics, Emory University

Affiliations: Arab American Studies Association, Western Economic Association

Path to Career: I fell in love with Economics as an undergraduate student, seeing the discipline's potential for explaining human behavior. My current research looks at the immigrant experience in the United States, examining the decisions these immigrants make and how it affects their socio-economic outcomes.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Travel, woodworking, anything outdoors

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: You will excel when you become passionate about something

Hisham Foad is now accepting new mentees.

 

Joshua Chanin

Dr. Joshua Chanin

Asst. Professor, School of Public Affairs

 

 Available to Mentor

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

Degrees: BA, Univ of Pennsylvania; JD-MPA, Indiana University; PhD (Public Administration), American University

Path to Career: I was not a great student as an undergraduate, but found in law school that I loved learning and loved both the law and what happens in the real world after a big case is handed down.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Two little kids, running, gardening, and Philadelphia pro sports teams.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: That it is hard work and persistence that leads to success, not innate talent or smarts.

Life Motto: Be kind and generous to yourself and to others.

Joshua Chanin is now accepting new mentees.

Kamal Haddad

Dr. Kamal Haddad

Professor of Finance

 

Degrees: BBA - American University of Beirut M.S. Industrial Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Ph.D. Finance, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Kamal Haddad is currently unable to accept new mentees

Kaye Sweetser

Dr. Kaye Sweetser

Associate Professor, Public Relations

  

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Coronado, CA

Degrees: Ph.D. Mass Communication, University of Florida 
MA Mass Communication, University of Florida 
BS Communication, Old Dominion University 
AS General Studies, Tidewater Community College

Affiliations: Actively drilling U.S. Navy Reservist
Member of Public Relations Society of America
SDSU chapter advisor of Public Relations Student Society of America

Path to Career: After being active duty and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as journalist/mass communication specialist, I used the Montgomery GI Bill to pursue education. Even after I got out of the Navy, I stayed connected and began drilling as a Navy Reserve commissioned public affairs officer. Now with more than 20 years of public relations experience, and almost 15 years of experience in academia, I enjoy working with students interested in mass communication fields to help them find their passion & a path forward on that journey. My research centers on how public relations uses social media to create relationships with the key target audiences they serve, with a focus on digital corporate public relations as well as political communication (campaign, election, etc.). I love sharing my research with students & allowing them to get involved in the process of creating knowledge.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Digital, social media, surfing, running, dogs

Message to SDSU Undergrad Students: I am tireless in the effort I am willing to exert to help a student who really wants to take his or her learning or career to the next level.

Kaye Sweetser is now accepting new mentees.

Kim Twist

Dr. Kim Twist

Asst. Professor of Political Science

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Degrees: Ph.D. Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. Political Science, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. European Politics, New York University; B.A. Journalism, International Relations, New York University

Kim Twist is now accepting new mentees.

Lei Guang

Dr. Lei Guang

Professor of Political Science

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Anhui, China

Degrees: Ph.D, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Affiliations: I am involved in many China-themed community organizations including UC San Diego's 21st Century China Center, a university-based think-tank dedicated to research on China and policy dialogue with Chinese officials and policy experts.

Path to Career: I was born and raised in a family of rural school teachers in China. I came to the U.S. as a graduate student interested in American politics, history and economics. But after some trials and errors, I settled on studying the developing countries including China. Development studies and Chinese politics remain the areas of my research and teaching today. I joined SDSU as an assistant professor right after I received my Ph.D degree in political science from the University of Minnesota in the late 1990s. I am now a professor of political science at SDSU. I am also the founding director of the 21st Century China Center at UCSD's School of Global Policy and Strategy where I carry out a lot of collaborative research.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Reading on my own time. Pingpong, badminton, even soccer on somebody else's time.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: SDSU is a large and diverse university. Take the time to know one part well and get involved in something that is meaningful to you, not everyone else.

Life Motto: "This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well." ― Susan Polis Schutz

Lei Guang is now accepting new mentees.

Magdalena Altamirano

Dr. Magdalena Altamirano

Associate Professor of Spanish

 

Available to Mentor

Degrees:Ph.D. Hispanic Literature, El Colegio de Mexico

Magdalena Altamirano is now accepting new mentees.

Margaret Friend

Dr. Margaret Friend

Professor of Psychology

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Tampa, FL

Degrees: M.A, Ph.D., University of Florida

Affiliations: International Congress on Infant Studies, International Association for the Study of Child Language, Society for Research in Child Development, MacArthur Communicative Development Board, SDSU/UCSD JDP in Language and Communicative Disorders, Center for Research in Language, UCSD

Path to Career: I always enjoyed learning and wanted to take my love for learning as far as possible. I was interested in many subjects but, as it turned out, my greatest opportunities were in Psychology. I first studied Clinical Psychology but quickly realized that Developmental Science was the area that I found most interesting. I have studied in many different labs at many universities and am a firm believer that every experience is an opportunity to learn. I was excited to accept the position at SDSU because of our diverse student population and our close relations with the community.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Meditation, Gardening, Hiking, Music

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: To a large extent, you are the master of your destiny

Life Motto: My actions are my true belongings. They are the ground on which I stand.

Margaret Friend will be on sabbatical until the end of 2018's Spring Semester.

Margarita Villagrana

Dr. Margarita Villagrana

Asst. Professor, Social Work

 

Available to Mentor 

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Degrees: B.A., California State University, Northridge; M.S.W, California State University, Long Beach; PhD University of Southern California

Path to Career: I worked as a children's social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services for 12 years. My desire to enter academia was centered on the desire to improve services for children and families who are supervised by the child welfare system. My research focus has been on the disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minority children and youth, and their families, in obtaining needed mental health services. As a first generation Mexican-American college student, I experienced the challenges all first generation college students experience, but had amazing mentors who guided me through my college career. I wouldn't be where I am now without them.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Perseverance is key.

Life Motto: Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.

Dr. Margarita Villagrana is now accepting new mentees.

Maria Luisa Zuniga

Dr. Maria Luisa Zuniga

Professor, Social Work

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Degrees: PhD, UCSD-SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Epidemiology)

Affiliations: Member, Brazil Strategic Advisory Board, Center for Latin American Studies, SDSU; Advisor on Border Health, Women’s Empowerment International; and Expert Panel Advisor. U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, Border Health Research Work Group

Path to Career: As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan I knew that someday I would work in a health career. I pursued health policy and received my Master's degree from UCSD's School of Global Policy & Strategy (formerly School of International Relations and Pacific Studies). My first professional positions were in health promotion at a hospital and later as an outreach worker with persons living with HIV—this was 1993 and became my first in-depth understanding of health disparities and the impact of stigma. During this time I also started working with a professor in the SDSU School of Public Health who provided mentorship and encouraged me to apply to our Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health. Obtaining my PhD in Public Health was a life-changing educational accomplishment that launched my career into global health research and academic teaching and mentorship. After 13 years of serving at UCSD, I was hired by our School of Social Work in the Fall of 2013 to work with colleagues to develop a new doctoral program in substance use research (the Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use ). This is the start of my fourth year here at SDSU and I remain energized and inspired every day by the students I teach, work with and mentor.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Personal interests include global travel, hiking, and promoting cross-cultural understanding. I am an avid 'aficionada' of music, foreign films and street food (here at home or wherever I travel).

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: How you present yourself as a student (in actions, communication, and your work) provides an opportunity to practice professionalism and become the professional you aspire to be

Life Motto: Sí se puede! -- It can be done!

María Luisa Zúñiga is currently unable to take on more mentees.

Marilee Bresciani Ludvik

Dr. Marilee Bresciani Ludvik

Professor, ARPE

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown:Omaha, Ne

Degrees: BA and MA in Music Education 
PhD in Administration, Curriculum and Instruction

Affiliations: I am a certified yoga, meditation, and SIYLI teacher and a MBSR teacher in training.

Path to Career: This is a long story. Suffice it to say I am a country girl who is first in her family (on my father's side) and still the only one with a PhD. My father encouraged me to invest in education because "no one can take the investment in yourself away from you." I chose to come to SDSU because instead of investing my energies in transforming one organization, I get to invest my delve in the lives of those who will transform many organizations!

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Hiking, yoga, mindfulness, nutrition, cooking, wine tasting, anything outdoors really

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: How to regulate your emotions, including your stress, will help you make the most empowered choices that lead to alignment with your life's purpose.

Life Motto: I teach what I learn.

Marilee Bresciani Ludvik is currently unavailable to take more mentees.

Mark Reed

Dr. Mark Reed

Professor, Social Work

  

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Degrees: MA/PhD, Social Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park

Affiliations: "Research Scientist, SDSU Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Studies and Services 
Founding Faculty Member, SDSU Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age Center of Excellence 
Co-Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research 
Member, Society for Prevention Research, American Academy of Health Behavior, Research Society on Alcohol"

Path to Career: I left high school thinking I was going to be a clinical psychologist, but during my first quarter at UC Santa Cruz, I was introduced to social psychology and was hooked on research from that point on. My interests broadened to issues of health behavior in graduate school and then to substance use while working as a Behavioral Science Researcher at the UCSD School of Medicine. It was in my first year of undergraduate study that I decided to embark on an academic career, and I've never looked backed. Being a professor at SDSU is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. I had great mentors as an undergraduate and I owe so much to them for the guidance and opportunities they provided to me. One of the best parts of my job at SDSU is mentoring students.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Mountain biking, road biking, and reading.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Don't be afraid to seek out mentors or to get involved in research. We are here to help.

Life Motto: It all comes down to measurement.

Mark B. Reed is now accepting new mentees.

Nathian Shae Rodriguez

Dr. Nathian Shae Rodriguez

Asst. Professor of Digital Media

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Balmorhea, Texas

Degrees: Ph.D. Media & Communication, Texas Tech University; M.A. Journalism & Public Relations, Kent State University; B.A. Mass Communication, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Affiliations: SDSU LGBT Studies Affiliated Faculty, Officer for AEJMC's LGBT Interest Group

Path to Career: I spent 13 years in professional radio. Training individuals in radio and teaching them about media and communication quickly became a personal passion. I decided to leave radio and pursue my Ph.D. so that I may teach other aspiring media and communication scholars and professionals. While in Ph.D. school at Texas Tech University I became more involved with intersectionality and how race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, able bodies, gender, and other markers of identity intersected with communication (both mediated and personal). This fueled my desire to not only teach, but also research media effects on a societal level on minority populations.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Music, radio, social justice, and pop culture.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Everyone is different, yet everyone brings something important to the table. I like to learn about individual's lived experiences and how they contribute to this thing we call life.

Life Motto: Inclusion doesn't equal representation

Nathian Shae Rodriguez is now accepting new mentees.

Patricia Geist-Martin

Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin

Professor, School of Communication

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Degrees: BA, Literature and Writing, University of Iowa. 
MA, Communication, University of Northern Iowa 
PhD, Communication, Purdue University

Affiliations: Work with the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to teaching peace and forgiveness

Path to Career: I began as a teacher of English and writing, I worked with students on extracurricular activities like forensics and plays . Then I discovered communication and the world opened up. I realized that communication is essential to everything we do. It inspired me to go on for my masters and ph.d. in communication. San Diego State offers an opportunity for faculty to excel in teaching, research, and service. It is a wonderful community, devoted to education.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Hiking, camping, running, dancing, movies, board games

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: That setting personal goals is the best first step at achieving them.

Life Motto:

A challenge is an opportunity for growth

Dr. Patricia Geist-Martin, is currently accepting new mentees. 

Paul Gilbert

Dr. Paul Gilbert

Professor, Psychology

 

Degrees: PhD, Psychology, University of Utah

Affiliations: SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology

Rebecca Bartel

Dr. Rebecca Bartel

Asst. Professor of Religious Studies

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Degrees: PhD Religious Studies, University of Toronto; M.A. Political Science, Universidad de los Andes; M.A. Armed Conflict Resolution, Universidad de los Andes; B.A. Theology, Music, Canadian Mennonite University

Path to Career: Studying peace theology in a small city in Canada (Winnipeg) pulled me into asking questions about war, economics, and power. These questions took me to Colombia, South America, where I lived for 8 years and studied both of my Masters degrees. I began studying Armed Conflict Resolution, and then Political economy, because I realized that there was more to war than only politics. Economics had a big role. Throughout my time in Colombia, I also worked with different non-Governmental organizations. I worked with churches, Catholic and Protestant, throughout the region of Latin America, as well as different social movements and organizations. I worked as a policy analyst and advocacy coordinator making frequent trips to Washington and Ottawa to speak with government officials about the effects of their foreign policies on Latin American and Caribbean countries. After 8 years of this, I realized I had many more questions, and decided to go back to Canada to do a PhD in Religious Studies and political economy. I finished the PhD this year, and was very fortunate to be offered a job here at SDSU. I love the diversity of the student body, and the possibility of bringing together my passions for teaching, researching, and community engagement.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: I am a singer, I am an activist, I am new to San Diego but hope to get involved in good border work and supporting the creation of a more just society.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: You can. Tu puedes.

Life Motto: Well-behaved women seldom make history.

 

Rebecca Bartel is now accepting new mentees.

Robert Edwards

Dr. Robert Edwards

Professor, Computer Science

[email protected] 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Degrees: BSc Science and the Environment, De Montfort University, Leicester, England. 
PhD, University of Sussex, Brighton, England

Affiliations: Visiting Scholar, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Path to Career: After receiving his Ph. D. from the University of Sussex, in England studying nitrogen regulation in bacteria, Dr. Edwards moved to the United States to continue his studies. He worked as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, understanding how a leading cause of traveler’s diarrhea (E. coli causes disease). Dr. Edwards then moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign to study another food-borne pathogen, Salmonella. These studies merged the nascent area of genomics with traditional microbial genetics to investigate how a particular type of Salmonella became the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States. 

From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Edwards was an Assistant Professor at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis, TN. Here, Dr. Edwards continued his studies on pathogenic bacteria, notably Salmonella and the bioterrorism weapon Francisella. Dr. Edwards received FBI clearance to work on these bacteria, and was invited to the NIH to comment on the use of Select Agents at basic research laboratories. 

In 2004, Dr. Edwards moved to the non-profit Fellowship for Interpretation of Genomes to work at the interface of biologists and computer scientists, and worked with their team at Argonne National Laboratory. He remains an active software developer for Argonne and the Fellowship, developing open source software including PERL and Python software for biological analysis and parallel computing that are used by scientists worldwide. Using breakout DNA sequencing technologies, Dr. Edwards’ studies have continually pushed the forefront of both sequencing technology and bioinformatics. His work has been published in leading journals including multiple papers in both Nature and Science. 

Dr. Edwards returned to academia in 2007, taking a research and teaching position in the Departments of Computer Science and Biology at San Diego State University where he is now a full Professor. Here he is continuing to work at the interface of biology and computing. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the USGS, and private donors currently fund Dr. Edwards’ research. Edwards’ research is leading to breakthroughs in our understanding of how viruses interact with their hosts, and how viruses samples from around the world carry important genetic information. Dr. Edwards has continued to push current sequencing and bioinformatics technologies, in 2013 took a next generation sequencing machine to the remote Southern Line Islands to explore metagenomics of coral reefs in real time. In 2014 Dr. Edwards' team identified a virus that is present in the intestines of approximately half the people in world. His group is currently trying to unravel the health ramifications of that work with international collaborators on every continent.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Dr. Edwards is also an advanced scientific SCUBA diver having led teams to study Coral Reefs all over the world. In his spare time, he is an avid international yachtsman, competing in long-distance offshore races.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Experience Research First Hand!

Sesen Negash

Dr. Sesen Negash

Assistant Professor for Counseling and School Psychology
 

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Degrees: BA in Political Science and Psychology; MS in Family and Child Devlp. with Emphasis is Marriage and Family Therapy; PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy

Affiliations: Dr. Negash volunteers with the International Refugee Committee and Volunteers of America. She is also serves on the board of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy-California and is a member of the National Council on Family Relations, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. 

Career Path: Prior to graduate school, I spent several years volunteering and working with at-risk families in San Diego, CA, as a family support worker, instructor, and case manager with SDYS. These experiences only reaffirmed my commitment to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to joining the faculty at SDSU I was an assistant professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University in San Diego for five years. 

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Woodwork, ceramics, and frequenting coffee shops.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Network, Network, Network...in this day in age who you know is as important as what you have to offer.  

Life Motto: “The key to success across all disciplines are RELATIONSHIPS

Sesen Negash is currently unavailable to take more mentors.

Shawn Flanigan

Dr. Shawn Flanigan

Professor, School of Public Affairs

  

Available to Mentor 

Hometown: Shawanee, Tennessee

Degrees: Ph.D. Public Administration and Policy, University at Albany- State University of New York; M.P.A. Public Administration/ Health Services Administration, University of New Mexico; B.A. Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico

Affiliations: American Society of Public Administration (president, San Diego chapter); Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action; International Society for Third Sector Research

Path to Career: I grew up in a very low-income family with a lot of instability. Because of that, I have always been very interested in how low-income individuals and individuals from other disadvantaged groups can achieve their full potential in spite of life's barriers, and how government and nonprofit organizations can facilitate that. My work in community-based nonprofits, state health agencies, and the Peace Corps led me to want to further my education and conduct research on the ways in which well-designed programs can improve people's lives.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies: Enjoying my young children, volunteering, reading, cycling, spending time outdoors, mindfulness and meditation

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: If you ask for help, people will almost always say yes. Many people (including professors) have been through similar struggles to yours, so when you share your situation and ask for help, people can often offer solutions you would not think of on your own.

Life Motto: "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." -Gandhi

Shawn Flanigan is now accepting new mentees.

Sonja Pruitt-Lord, PhD

Dr. Sonja Pruitt-Lord, PhD

Associate Professor School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

Degrees:
B.A. Communication Sciences and Disorders & Linguistics, Louisiana State University (LSU); M.A. Communication Sciences and Disorders, LSU; Ph.D. Communication Disorders, Child Language, Public Policy, LSU

Affiliations:
American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association; Sigma Xi; College Avenue Compact

Path to Career:
My mentor guided me down the path of research in my field and provided me with opportunities to network with other scholars. At a professional meeting, I met the SDSU faculty and was inspired and humored. I wanted to be their colleague and was fortunate to earn a spot on the SLHS faculty.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Volunteering for Louisiana Youth Seminar; Cooking and EATing new foods; Spending time with my family

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
I wish for you the experience of community, leadership, and passion for life-long learning, and I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone to truly experience these.

Life Motto:
ʺNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever hasʺ - Margaret Mead

Sonja Pruitt-Lord is now accepting new mentees.
Stephen Goggin

Dr. Stephen Goggin

Lecturer of Political Science

 

Degrees:
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Stephen Goggin is now accepting new mentees.

Steve Barbone

Dr. Steve Barbone

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

 
Hometown: Long Beach, California

Degrees:
BS Human Services & Philosophy, University of Scranton; PhD Philosophy, Marquette University

Path to Career:
I so much enjoyed the classroom, I wanted to stay in it.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
I never grant extra credit; life gives extra credit when you participate.

Steve Barbone is now accepting new mentees.
Susan M. Kiene, Ph.D

Dr. Susan M. Kiene, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Global Health

 

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska

Degrees:
B.S., Exercise Science, University of Nebraska M.A., and Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Connecticut M.P.H., Global and Population Health, Harvard University School of Public Health

Affiliations:
Co-Founder, Smartstainable: Empowering Ugandan Women through Computer Programming Training

Path to Career:
As an undergraduate student I worked as an HIV and sexual health peer educator. That sparked my interest in learning how to improve the lives of people with stigmatized health conditions. When I started graduate school I had no idea I would end up doing international research! In my first year of graduate school I had the opportunity to develop new HIV prevention research in South Africa. After my first trip to South Africa I knew I had found my passion. I came to SDSU because being a professor at SDSU allows me to pursue two of my passions: global health research and mentoring students in research.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Music, radio, social justice, and pop culture.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Cherish your opportunity to obtain higher education; follow your dreams but be open to unexpected opportunities along the way.

Life Motto:
Jump in!

Susan M. Kiene is now accepting new mentees.
Tamara Collins-Parks

Dr. Tamara Collins-Parks

Lecturer

 

Hometown: Vista, California

Degrees:
B.A. English, UC Berkeley; English, Bilingual (Spanish) and Multiple Subjects credentials; M.A. Education (Policy Studies in Language and Multicultural Education), SDSU; Ph.D. Education, SDSU & Clairemont Graduate University.

Affiliations:
"NAME (National Association of Multicultural Educators); CABE (California Association of Bilingual Educators); CATESOL (California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). PFLAG (members, friends, allies and extended family of the LGBTQ community)"

Path to Career:
Although my native language is English, Spanish was an active part of my family, school and community environment. When I went to Argentina for a high school year as an exchange student, I became fluent and that in turn opened doors to new friends and my eventual career in ELD and bilingual education. Being bilingual is part of my identity and a core value. At DLE (the Department of Dual Language and English Learner Education) we work together to advance educational equity, access and language rights. It's where I can make a difference.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I like gardening and nature in general. I am an avid reader -- mostly science fiction but also webcomics like Rain LGBT. I like to cook. I also practice Goju Karate as well as Hatha Yoga. I am passionate about border issues and support the same rights for everyone, regardless of status or documentation.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Two keys to dealing with bureaucracy . . .
(1) Be patient but persistent,
(2) Always get everything in writing.

Life Motto:
Your identity is your own to determine.

Tamara Collins-Parks is now accepting new mentees.

Dr. Terry Cronan, Ph.D.

Dr. Terry Cronan, Ph.D.

Professor, Psychology

 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Degrees:
BA Psychology, San Diego State University
MA Psychology, San Diego State University
Ph.D. Community Psychology, Michigan State University

Affiliations:
Program Director for the Advancing Diversity in Aging Research Program

Path to Career:
I was interested in solving social problems and community psychology fit this focus by incorporating research methods to ensure that the programs/solutions were effective.

Personal Interests/Hobbies:
I love scuba diving, reading, making things with wood, and spending time with my husband, family, and friends.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Get a mentor as soon as you can because it will help you get to where you would like to be.

Life Motto:
Enjoy life and have fun!

Terry Cronan is currently unable to take on more mentees.
Xiaofeng Liu

Dr. Xiaofeng Liu

Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering

 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Shandong, Indiana, Maryland.

Degree:
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Affiliations:
Associate Fellow, AIAA. Membership in APS and ASME.

Path to Career:
Before joining SDSU, Dr. Liu was first a postdoctoral fellow, and later on an assistant research scientist and adjunct principal research engineer at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He received his Bachelor and Master degrees in aerodynamics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to coming to the U.S. for his Ph.D. studies, he was a lecturer at the Department of Engineering Mechanics at Tsinghua University. Before joining the Tsinghua faculty, he was a project manager at the Division of International Cooperation at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. Dr. Liu has extensive experience in flow diagnostic tool usage including hot-wire, seven-hole probe, LDV and PIV. His research expertise includes experimental fluid dynamics, high lift aerodynamics, turbulent shear layer flows, wake flows, vortex dynamics, cavitation, flow-structure interactions, acoustics, evaporative cooling and heat transfer, image processing, and development of optics-based pressure field measurement techniques.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Classic music. Swimming. Hiking. Travel.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.

Life Motto:
No pain no gain. One thousand mile journey begins with a single step.

Xiaofeng Liu is now accepting new mentees.
Yang Feng

Dr. Yang Feng

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Media Studies

 

Available to Mentor

Degrees:
Ph.D. Mass Communication, Southern Illinois University

Path to Career:
Before joining San Diego State University, I was an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, where I taught Advertising Campaigns and Quantitative Research Methods.

Yang Feng is now accepting new mentees.
Yea-Wen Chen

Dr. Yea-Wen Chen

Assistant Professor, School of Communications

  

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Miaoli, Taiwan

Degrees:
Ph.D. Communication, University of New Mexico

Affiliations:
National Communication Association, International Communication Association, and Western States Communication Association

Path to Career:
I taught at Ohio University as a tenure-track faculty member for six years before joining San Diego State University.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I enjoy reading, traveling, watching thought-provoking movies, and exploring new places with my husband and toddler son.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
During your time at SDSU, challenge yourself to seek out opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone and allow you to see other perspectives that you might not have otherwise.

Life Motto:
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I believe in building a meaningful life based on having as many different experiences as I possibly can.

Yea-Wen Chen is now accepting new mentees.
Alison Peppers

Alison Peppers

International Student Peer Mentor Coordinator 
Hometown: San Diego, CaliforniaDegrees:Being in the field of administrative and customer service, I have over 30 years of experience. Most of those years at SDSU encouraging student to persevere and complete their goals of higher education.Path to Career: I started in the field of customer service over 30 years ago. I found that I loved helping people. When I got hired at the International Student Center, I felt I truly found my passion for helping young people in reaching their goals of higher education.Personal Interests/ Hobbies: I love spending time with my children! They inspire me everyday! I also love painting and photography. Being from Hawaii, I love being by the ocean, taking my canvas, easel and paints and splashing my expressions, thoughts and reflections, creating beauty from my point of view.Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students: That they can accomplish what ever they set their goals on! The university is an arena that students can explore what's available to them so they can recreate themselves as global citizens. They have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff that will provide support and mentoring to encourage students to think about issues, globally and environmentally and how they can make a difference in the world. SDSU has a great diverse population of students, that no matter where you're coming from, you will feel at home. At the ISC, we welcome students and let them know that we are the home away from home! We share our culture and include all! Both american and international students are always working together, building bridges of community and hope for a greater tomorrow. At SDSU, when countries that are in conflict, the students are able to put aside those issues and become friends. They are here for higher education, but they get so much more. They can work together at SDSU, and there, life long friendships are built. Stay true to who you are and where you come from! We are happy you chose SDSU because you will have an amazing educational experience that you will carry with you for a lifetime!Life Motto: Be the change you want to see in the world. Lead by example.
Amanda Fuller

Amanda Fuller

Academic Coordinator and Lecturer
 
Hometown: El Cajon, California

Degrees:
B.A. Environmental Science, University of California at Berkeley & M.F.A. Creative Writing (Poetry), San Diego State University

Affiliations:
SDSU's Poetry International journal, Locked Horn Press (Founding/Managing Editor, CEO & President), Compact Scholars Program, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Making Waves Education Program

Path to Career:
I completed my undergraduate research at an environmental law firm while at UC Berkeley. I studied watersheds polluted with mercury, and how to remediate them using specific kinds of plants. At the same time, I was also tutoring and teaching for the Making Waves Education Program in the Richmond, CA community north of Berkeley, a community based after school program for underserved youth. I had initially intended to go on to law school, or to get my Ph.D. in Sustainability. However, I was inspired by my students, their families, and the Richmond community. It was working for Making Waves that helped me learn the importance of resilience, love, art and community organizing. The work was satisfying, and I felt that what I was doing mattered, so I stayed on after graduation. I started as a Tutor, and after nearly 15 years, ended up a Program Director. During my years working for Making Waves and the community of Richmond, CA, I learned many important professional skills and life lessons. In particular, I learned that I liked working creatively with my students. When my mom became ill (back in San Diego), I decided to return home and get my M.F.A. in Creative Writing so I could focus on my growth as an artist. While in graduate school at San Diego State, I taught for the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, and continue to do so now. In my final year of graduate school at SDSU, my colleagues and I founded a San Diego poetry press called Locked Horn Press. One summer, I only had a few teaching jobs, and I was working hard at building our new press, when I received an email about a program at SDSU that needed temporary summer help, the Compact Scholars Program. I decided I could use the extra income over the summer, and the Compact Scholars Program reminded me in many ways of Making Waves, so I was excited to help. In the end, I was offered a full-time position to continue my work advocating for youth, their families, and our community, both at SDSU and in the larger San Diego area. Sometimes I pinch myself. I get to do so many things I love each day and work with amazing young people, colleagues and artists. I'm glad my life was not a perfect A to Z path because sometimes the best opportunities come when life is messy and you remain open, willing to work and actively seek what brings you joy.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Reading, writing poetry, camping/fishing, seeing films, playing poker, cooking.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
There is no such thing as perfection; instead, cultivate resilience, empathy for others and a focus on what brings you joy, with an understanding that life will not always be easy or go according to plan.

Life Motto:
Somebody/something out there needs the person you are becoming.

Amanda Fuller is now accepting new mentees.
Amanda Lanthorne

Amanda Lanthorne

University Archivist
 
Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees:
BA History, SDSU; MA Middle Eastern Studies, Columbia University; MLIS, SJSU


Path to Career:
As a former history major, I've always loved working with primary sources. After I finished my first master's degree, I decided that I wanted to become an archivist. As a former SDSU student, I have a great appreciation and love for our university and its history, so I was thrilled when I finally had the chance to work in SDSU's University Archives!

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I enjoy reading, camping, hiking, walking my dog and petting everyone else's.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
I think it's important for students to become critical thinkers and question everything.

Life Motto:
"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." - James Joyce

Amanda Lanthorne is now accepting new mentees.
 
Dr. Chukuka S. Enwemeka

Dr. Chukuka S. Enwemeka

Provost and Senior Vice President of San Diego State University 
 
Degrees:
Ph.D, New York University
M.S. Phyical Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
B.Sc. Physical Therapy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, NigeriaAffiliations:
American College of Sports Medicine
American Society for Laser Medicine and SurgeryPath to Career:
Before joining SDSU on July 1, 2014, he served as Distinguished Professor and Dean of the College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and as Professor and Dean, of the School of Health Professions, New York Institute of Technology. He was Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He served as Associate Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and Associate Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Enwemeka also held a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Cellular and Structural Biology, and Physiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.Chukuka S. Enwemeka is currently unable to take new mentees.
Emilio C. Ulloa, Ph.D.

Emilio C. Ulloa, Ph.D.

Director of Advising
  

Unavailable to Mentor 

Hometown: El Centro, CA

Degrees:
BA Psychology, SDSU
MA Social Psychology, ASU
PhD Social Psychology, ASU

Path to Career:
I've been a professor, a director, and an undergraduate adviser. My career path has been very non-linear, but it has always been focused on working with students, especially students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Personal Interests and Hobbies:
Cooking, Eating, Running, Playing Music, Making art with food.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
There are many paths to success, take the time to discover yourself, your values, and what you want from LIFE. Keep your eyes on the prize, for sure, but remember to enjoy and savor the process for what it can do for your personal growth and development.

Life Motto:
Nothing we are or do is only us. We are social creatures and human relationships are key to our existence.


Emilio C. Ulloa is currently unable to take on more mentees.
Gina Spidel

Gina Spidel

Program Specialist SDSU Research Foundation
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Degrees:
M.S. Sociology

Affiliations:
Member of American Sociological Association

Path to Career:
It was a job to support me while I finished my degrees. I liked the Biology department people, so I stayed.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Music/Concerts, Sports and Reading.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Education provides opportunities and helps you learn what is important to you as a person.

Life Motto:
More Love, less hate.

Gina Spidel is now accepting new mentees.
Gloria Rhodes

Gloria Rhodes

Outreach Librarian
 

Available to Mentor

Degrees:
Masters in Library Science, North Carolina Central University, B.S. Elementary Education, Elizabeth City State University

Affiliations:
Professional- Member: American Library Association, Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Project Director: Documenting the African American Presence in San Diego County Oral History Project

Path to Career:
After receiving my degree in Library Science, I worked as a school librarian in Virginia for 5 years, moved to California, accepted the Young Adult Librarian position, the first African American Librarian hired at the Oceanside Public Library, worked at OPL for 10 years, was very active in the North San Diego County community, and created the Martin Luther King Jr. Library Collection of books by and about African Americans funded solely from financial donations, worked at Cal State University San Marcos for 6 years ,the first African American woman hired in a tenure/tenure track library position, and have been at San Diego State University for 14 years serving as the Outreach Librarian with research interests in oral history, information literacy of high school students as they transition to college, and assisting first generation college students thrive, and succeed in an academic environment.

Personal Interests/Hobbies:
Watching Turner Classic Movies, attending plays, concerts especially old school R & B, gospel and jazz , cooking, reading, decorating, painting as in house, word puzzles, listening to music, volunteering with Hospice , teaching/studying God's word.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
You are not in this alone. There are people and resources to assist you when you hit the rough patches and help you navigate the college experience. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance and no question is a crazy question (we get this a lot at the research services desk- ʺI didn't want to bother you and I thought my question was crazyʺ. Enjoy the college experience, be you, your true authentic self.

Life Motto:
ʺEach of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren't, we should behave as though we are--cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes.ʺ
-Maya Angelou

Gloria Rhodes is now accepting new mentees.
Hillary Levison

Hillary Levison

Financial and Development Reporting Analyst
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Degrees:
B.S. in Marketing, concentration in Interior Design, Yeshiva University, Sy Syms School of Business/Fashion Institute of Technology (joint program)


Path to Career:
After I completed my undergraduate degree, I was confident that interior design and architecture was the career path for me. I continued my educational journey and started a Master's program in Interior Design at the Pratt Institute in New York. I studied in the program for one year and although I continued to be passionate about the field, I realized it was not the most suitable for me. Holding strong to my creative side and business background, I delved into non-profit event planning. I worked in different roles within the non-profit sector and realized that the non-profit world was the place for me.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Running, reading, family, particularly my two daughters, and my faith

Hillary Levison is now accepting new mentees.
Jennifer Lakin

Jennifer Lakin

Director of Management Services
Available to Mentor

 

Hometown: La Mesa, CADegrees: Bachelors in Business, University of Phoenix Path to Careers: I started work at 15 and at 18 accepted a full time Accounting position which eventually led to a combination position of Payroll and Human Resources. I have been in Human Resources ever since. I worked primarily in Hospitality and Food Service and spent 15 years at the San Diego Airport working as the Human Resources Manager for three branches with for the master concessions provider, followed by a brief time at Petco Park as the Human Resources Manager, working for the master concessions provider. I applied at San Diego State University because I have a passion for all things San Diego and I received my HR Certification from Extended Studies.  Interests/Hobbies: My son, basketball, dogs, reading, painting, helping peopleMessage to SDSU Undergraduate Students: Life is too short not to do everything you want to do. Go for the challenge and college is only four years of your life. You can make it.Life Motto: Don't ask for permission, ask for forgiveness - take the lead and make the decision, speak up for what is right and don't leave a place in a worse position than you found it. Jennifer Lakin is now accepting new mentees.
John Crockett

John Crockett

Senior Director
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Newton, Maine

Degrees:
Ph.D. Marine Geology, University of Washington

Affiliations:
National Organization of Research Development Professionals, UC/CSU Center for Research Excellence and Diversity in Team Science

Path to Career:
I was seeking an academic position that was outside of the normal faculty path, and found some success in designing and running entrepreneurial programs

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Volleyball, Scottish heritage, scotch, furniture recovery, home projects and design, Red Sox baseball.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Don't be afraid of failure.

Life Motto:
There is no science without scientists

John Crockett is now accepting new mentees.
Kathy Brown

Kathy Brown

Associate Director Buying Group
 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees:
BS Law and Society, University of California Santa Barbara

Affiliations:
Military Ally-SDSU Affordable Learning Solutions Coordinator-SDSU National Association of College Stores ICBA-Independent College Bookstore Association

Path to Career:
After graduating from UCSB I worked for over 20 years in the retail industry. I held various roles including management, buying, and training. In 2005, a Management opportunity became available at the Bookstore at Cal State San Marcos and I was in this role for almost 7 years. I have now been at Aztec Shops for 3 years in my current position.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Hiking, tennis, skateboarding (in my younger days), and I love to entertain friends at my home.Kathy Brown is currently unable to take on more mentees.
Martha Enciso Ed.D

Martha Enciso Ed.D

Associate Director of The Weber Honors College
 
Degrees:
Ed.D. Educational Leadership, USC; M.E. Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs, USC; BA Sociology, USC

Affiliations:
NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education). I currently serve on the NASPA [email protected] Knowledge Community Leadership Team and the NASPA Region VI Southern California Advisory Board.

Path to Career:
I have worked in student affairs in a cultural center, as an advisor for national and international scholarships and fellowships, advisor for merit scholarship students, and co-coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (program for underrepresented students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. and a career in academia.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
International travel, live music/going to concerts, lifelong learner

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Taking risks (safe ones) opens you up to new challenges and opportunities.

Martha Enciso Ed.D is now accepting new mentees.
Melisa Lopez

Melisa Lopez

Counselor for The Office of Educational Opportunity Program and Ethnic Affairs

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Hermiston, Oregon

Degrees:
Ed.M. College Student Services Administration, Oregon State University, B.S. Human Development and Family Sciences, Oregon State University

Affiliations:
American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

Path to Career:
I have worked in student and academic affairs at four different institutions for the past eight years. My passion is working with first-generation, first-year, and/or underserved students. I have worked in admissions, outreach, retention, residence life, mentoring, summer bridge programs, and diversity and social justice. What led me to my career focus is the mentors I had as an undergraduate student and the positive influence they had in my life.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Yoga, running, hiking, kickball, movies, and beach activities.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Lean into your discomfort. Try something new every month. This could be studying in a new spot, going to a campus event, trying a new activity, talking to a stranger, but challenge yourself to lean into your discomfort.

Life Motto:
Eat, pray, beach, love

Melisa Lopez is currently unable to accept new mentees
 
Melissa A. Gonzalez

Melissa A. Gonzalez

Student Life Advisor for Commuter Life
 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Ysidro, California/Tijuana, Mexico

Degrees:
M.A. Post-secondary Educational Leadership, Specializing in Student Affairs, San Diego State University, B.A. Spanish, San Diego State University

Affiliations:
MANA de San Diego (Mexican-American Women's National Organization), Mexi'cayotl Indio Cultural Center (Indigenous Aztec Dance Non-Profit), Casa Familiar Community Development Agency

Path to Career:
I knew I wanted to work supporting students, but I was unsure in which capacity. Then, I heard about Student Affairs and that immediately captured my attention. As I went through my Master's program and my assistantship in Student Life & Leadership, I quickly realized that coordinating success programs for college students was a passion of mine. I am excited to see the continuous growth of the programs I have been coordinating since 2010.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I love to spend time with my family. I have two daughters, a 2-year old and a 1-year old. We like the outdoors and we also like visiting Living Coast Discovery Center to learn about animals. Our family is part of an Indigenous Aztec Dance group. We participate weekly at practice and we perform and educate the San Diego community. I love to dance! I also attend Zumba classes at the YMCA.I enjoy mentoring and connecting with the youth as part of my involvement with the MANA organization's scholarship committee.I also enjoy participating and helping at events that positively impact our community, especially our youth.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Take advantage of as many opportunities that come your way. You never know what an opportunity might lead to. Be open to trying something new, even if you don't think you might be "good" at it.

Life Motto:
Find a way to do the things you love to do.

Melissa A. Gonzalez is currently unavailable to accept new mentees.
Michelle Lopez

Michelle Lopez

Assistant Dean, Division of Undergraduate Studies
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Chula Vista, CA

Degrees:
M.A. Postsecondary Educational Leadership

Affiliations:
National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA), Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA), National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU),Gates to Success (Adviser), Transfer Student Outreach Alliance (Adviser), Gates Millennium Scholars (Campus Representative), National Institutes of Health funded, MARC-IMSD Programs (College of Sciences), Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key

Path to Career:
Prior to joining the Undergraduate Studies team, Michelle helped direct the SDSU College of Sciences Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (1999 - 2012) and consulted for the San Diego Mesa College Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, both student research training and mentoring programs funded by the National Institute of Health. Committed to student development and engagement, Michelle implemented academic-year-round scientific and professional development workshops, taught seminar courses, and played a formal role in program building, advising and mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students. After a decade of mentoring students to achieve their academic goals, Michelle returned to school in 2009 and completed her masters degree in Postsecondary Educational Leadership. Her desire to make a broader impact on student engagement and achievement brought her to the Division of Undergraduate Studies as Assistant Dean. In her current role, she continues to meet with students across all disciplines, engaging them in nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, which support internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, leadership, teaching and graduate school study. A proud Aztec committed to giving back through advising and mentorship, Michelle helps all students, regardless of program affiliation. Her special interests include mentoring undergraduates to graduate school, transfer student outreach and achievement, and creating opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have access to and engage in.

Personal Interests/Hobbies:
Laughing with family & friends, yoga, long walks with her Golden Retriever (Batchoy), watching futbol, listening to live music.

Message o SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Get in the habit of linking and making meaning from your campus and community experiences. Stop and reflect on the "why."

Michelle Lopez is currently unable to mentor more students
Norma Bouchard

Norma Bouchard

Dean, College of Arts and Letters
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees:
Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Universita' degli Studi di Torino (Italy) MA, Italian, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, PhD, Comparative Literature, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN


Path to Career:
I was a professor for many years and then became the head of a large department, a chair of a graduate program and associate dean and now a dean.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Hiking

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Everyone is different, yet everyone brings something important to the table. I like to learn about individual's lived experiences and how they contribute to this thing we call life.

Life Motto:
Inclusion doesn't equal representation

Norma Bouchard is now accepting new mentees.
Rachael Sparhawk

Rachael Sparhawk

Administrative Coordinator
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Granite Bay, California

Degrees:
BA Political Science from SDSU BA ISCOR w/ emphasis in Global Systems from SDSU

Affiliations:
Licensed Realtor, Kappa Delta Sorority

Path to Career:
After Graduating from SDSU I worked a bunch of jobs - finally landing myself back here where it all started! I love this University and working here feels like I am "home.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
hiking, concerts (big or small), getting lost in books, beachy things, dog friendly activities, music

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
You're never stuck; you can always choose a different path. Ask all the questions and get to know your professors.

Life Motto:
Pursue whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.

Rachael Sparhawk is now accepting new mentees.
Renzo Lara

Renzo Lara

Assistant Director of Student Organizations & Activities
 
Hometown: Chula Vista, CADegrees: A.A Transfer Studies, Southwestern Community College, B.A. History, San Diego State University, M.A. Education Emphasis on Multicultural Counseling, San Diego State University, Ed.D. Education Leadership Concentration on Community College Leadership, San Diego State UniversityCareer Path: I was a shy student who was lost in the shuffle of higher education. It was not until I found mentors from similar backgrounds who were willing to help me with my educational and career path that I was able to succeed. The mentors I had in college and in life helped me develop into the person I am today and for this reason I chose a career in higher education which provides guidance to students who are experiencing similar situations I once encountered. My goal is to ensure that these students realize their full potential and achieve success.Interests/Hobbies: I like to play guitar, play soccer on the weekends, and go on hikes. Also, I am a huge Star Wars/Sci-fi fan!Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:This is not good bye yet, but I want to thank you both for all that you have taught me and all the guidance you have provided for me. Motto:"We only live once, so make the best out of every moment in this life time"Renzo Lara is currently unable to take on new mentors.
Robert Raymond Mangan

Robert Raymond Mangan

Instructional Support Tech II
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Epswitch, England

Degrees:
B.S. Biology, San Diego State University

Affiliations:
San Diego Archers

Path to Career:
Love of the outdoors and plants

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Knife making, archery, gun shooting

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Learn how to get the most benefits from your educational endeavors.

Life Motto:
E Pluribus Botany

Robert Raymond Mangan is now accepting new mentees.
Roselyn Enwemeka

 Roselyn Enwemeka

Assistant Director of International Student Center
 

Available to Mentor

Degrees:
M.S. Administrative Leadership

Path to Career:
I have been in Higher Education administration for 7.05 years and working with students has been one of the most fulfilling aspect of my career path. I am in my current position to achieve some level of proficiency in student affairs administration and to use my passion and personal experience to lead students to the path of success.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
travelling, reading for leisure, spending time with friends/family

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Attitude is everything. The right attitude can help you to develop the aptitude you need to achieve your goals and dreams!

Life Motto:
If you can dream it you can achieve it.

Roselyn Enwemeka is now accepting new mentees.
Rosie Villafana-Hatcher

Rosie Villafana-Hatcher

Early Assessment Program Director
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees:
M.Ed. University Of California, Los Angeles, B.A. Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

Affiliations:
NASPA, NACADA, Catholic Charities, California Innocence Project

Path to Career:
Rosie Villafana-Hatcher is the Director of the Early Assessment Program at San Diego State University. Her focus is to ensure students are ready for college-level English and mathematics before entering the California State University system.

Rosie was a first generation college student born and raised in Southeast San Diego. She was a TRIO student and received extensive mentoring and college advising from this wonderful student support program.

Rosie knew she always wanted to work in Education, but found her passion as an undergraduate student at UCLA and was part of the Academic Advancement Program and a college advisor of the CBOP (Career Based Opportunity Program).

She enjoys working with diverse groups of students and one of her top priorities is advancing student success at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Rosie earned both her Masters In Education with a specialization in Counseling and her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
In her spare time, Rosie enjoys spending time with her 7 siblings, traveling with her parents, 2 daughters (Kiara and Kassandra), and husband, Jevon.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
I genuinely care for every student to succeed and discover their passion. If I do not know the answer, I will try my best to find out :-)

Life Motto:
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Rosie Villafana-Hatcher is now accepting new mentees.
Stephen Schellenberg

Stephen Schellenberg

Associate Dean, Division of Undergraduate Studies and Professor, Department of Geological Sciences
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Odessa, Florida

Degrees:
B.A. and M.S. in Geology, University of South Florida; Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, University of South Florida


Path to Career:
I was interested in both literature and physics in high school, so geology turned out to be a great fit as it involves reconstructing the story of our planet. After serving as a faculty member for many years, I decided to shift to my current role to broaden my horizons and contribute to SDSU's mission in a new way.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Kayaking, reading, meetings (one of these is not accurate)

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Many struggles you face are more common than you think, and more folks are willing to help than you might expect.

Life Motto:
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." – Einstein

Stephen Schellenberg is now accepting new mentees.
Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders

Director of Development, Student Affairs
 

Available to Mentor

Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Degrees:
B.S. History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Path to Career:
Studying History helped me to think big, speak clearly, and write effectively. Those skills led me to be a good organizational representative and relationship builder, which are essential in University Relations.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I enjoy family time with my wife and two young children - playing wiffle ball, Lego's, and building things. I also love playing the guitar and writing songs.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
What you do outside the classroom is just as important as what you do in it.

Life Motto:
The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Steve Sanders is now accepting new mentees.
Theresa M. Garcia

Theresa M. Garcia

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
  

Available to Mentor

Hometown: San Diego, California

Degrees:
M.A. Education & B.S. Business Administration, San Diego State University

Affiliations:
Professional Memberships: NASPA, ASEE, NAMEPA. Advisor to SDSU chapters of AESC, Mechatronics, PASE, & SHPE.

Path to Career:
I've been blessed with the career path I'm on; without knowing I'd have a long career in Student Affairs. Needing a job when I graduated, years ago in 1991, I accepted an administrative support job at SDSU in the College of Engineering with the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program. That led to many promotions in an extremely rewarding program, helping diverse STEM students to pursue and achieve their educational and career goals. After 22 years with SDSU MESA, having been Director since 1997, I accepted the position as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs in the College of Engineering. I felt that I could help the new Dean make changes to improve student success and to improve the college in many ways. Now, I work in both Student and Academic Affairs.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I love to read, crochet, and go camping with my family. I also enjoy watching football with my family on Thursdays, Sundays (after church), and Mondays!

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Their success is in their power!!!

Life Motto:
Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do and Help others to achieve success, and you will achieve yours.

Theresa M. Garcia is currently unavailable to take more mentees.
Tina Tan

Tina Tan

Career Advisor, CBA Graduate Career Management Center
 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Degrees:
M.A. Counseling, University of San Diego; B.A. Psychology, San Diego State University

Affiliations:
National Board of Certified Counselors (member), MBA Career Services & Employers Alliance (member), National Association of Colleges and Employers (member)

Path to Career:
As an SDSU undergraduate student I was interested in learning about people and eventually realized I wanted to help people discover who they were and what they desired to do. After being in the workforce for a few years, I then pursued a graduate degree in counseling with a specialization in career counseling while working full time as a Special Projects Coordinator / Internship Coordinator for a public charter high school. As a graduate student, I made the time to do an internship to gain industry experience. Through networking, and before graduating from my master's program, I was fortunate enough to have landed a position as a career advisor for a creative and applied arts college. Moving forward to now, I accepted this position as a career advisor for the Graduate Career Management Center for the College of Business Administration because it was a great fit! Not only do I utilize the competencies I've acquired through my education and work experience, I have the opportunity to give back to a community where it all started for me!

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
I enjoy spending time with my family. I consider myself a sartorialist as I love making clothes. I find being crafty and creative therapeutic. I like to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
Start networking NOW! It's never too early to network and build meaningful connections.

Life Motto:
"If you think about it, you bring about it." And, "Try not to sweat the small stuff."

Tina Tan is currently unavailable to take on more mentees.
Trevor Shanklin

Trevor Shanklin

Director of Larc Language Labs
 

Unavailable to Mentor

Hometown: Santee, California

Degrees:
Ph.D. Theoretical Linguistics, University of Southern California M.A. Theoretical Linguistics, Karl-Ruprecht-Universität (Germany) B.A. English and History, University of Maryland

Affiliations:
Southwestern Alliance for Language Learning Technology (SWALLT), International Association of Language Learning Technology (IALLT), American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Path to Career:
My career path started with wanting to learn more about languages systems and how they functioned, progressed to working with teachers of language and led to assisting foreign language teachers in the use of technology to enhance the curriculum.

Personal Interests/ Hobbies:
Persian language and culture, classical histories and literature

Message to SDSU Undergraduate Students:
You are living in a remarkable era where the gift of knowledge and human expression have opened up undreamed of possibilities to understand and shape the world we live in.

Life Motto:
We live by a perceptual "map" which is never reality itself. (Carl Rogers)

Trevor Shanklin is now accepting new mentees.