Meet the Staff
Janet Abbott, M.A., Director
Administration Building, 201G
Janet Abbott has administered the San Diego State University (SDSU) Compact Scholars Program since 2005 when she was appointed as its founding director. She previously served as the Campus Coordinator for the California State University Early Assessment Program for the SDSU service area.
Prior to joining SDSU, Janet served as Associate Director of the University of California San Diego’s California Student Opportunity and Access Program (Cal-SOAP). There are 15 Cal-SOAP projects in the state operating under the auspices of the California Student Aid Commission serving their K-12 local schools in improving the flow of information about postsecondary education and financial aid while raising the achievement levels of underrepresented, low-income, first-generation students. She was also a tenured high school English and AVID teacher with the Grossmont Union High School District.
In 2010, Janet received SDSU’s Vice Presidential Student Service Award, Quest for the Best, and in 2013, she was honored as the Staff recipient for SDSU’s Diversity Award for her commitment to diversity, and her professional leadership and judgment in the delivery of services to students.
Janet earned her bachelor’s degree and California Teaching Credential from the University of San Diego where she graduated magna cum laude. Her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration is from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Amanda Fuller, M.F.A., Academic Coordinator
Administration Building, 201F
Amanda Fuller has served as the Academic Coordinator for the San Diego State University (SDSU) Compact Scholars and Academic Student Success Programs since 2015. In 2018, she was awarded SDSU’s prestigious President’s Leadership Fund Excellence Award for her work supporting Compact Scholars. She has also served as a Lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, where she has taught since 2011. Prior to joining SDSU, Amanda served as Director of Program Administration for the Making Waves Education Program in Richmond, CA, where she taught and provided educational services to students in grades 5-12, in preparation for their acceptance to and graduation from the four-year colleges and universities. Her focus at the Making Waves Education Program was to elevate the achievement levels of largely underserved, first-generation students.
In addition to her work as an education professional, Amanda has served as a contributing editor for SDSU's acclaimed Poetry International, and is a founding editor of Locked Horn Press, a small literary press based in San Diego, CA, which publishes poetry anthologies paired with critical companion texts. As a poet and translator, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fugue, Matter, 5 Quarterly, BlazeVOX, Lunch Ticket, Poetry International, Cactus Heart and elsewhere. She received her B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) from San Diego State University.
Justin Villaseñor, M.A., Academic Advisor
Administration Building, 201J
Justin Villaseñor received his Masters in 2018 from the Postsecondary Educational Leadership masters program at San Diego State University. From the time he was a graduate student until he began working with the Compact Scholars Program, he worked with Commuter Life programs in Student Life & Leadership as a Student Affairs Assistant and as a Student Life Advisor.
Prior to pursuing his masters, Justin received his Bachelors in Communication Studies from Chapman University in 2015 and, after graduating, he served one term with AmeriCorps VISTA as a Coordinator for Chapman University's Futuros Brillantes Teen Mentoring Program. As an undergraduate student, Justin completed more than 600 hours of community service, interned with the OC Food Bank - helping students apply for CalFresh, and participated in undergraduate research which was published in the academic journal, Computers in Human Behavior.
Justin identifies as a first-generation, Latino student who comes from a low-income family; as an undergraduate student, he also commuted to campus and switched his major two times. His background and experiences help him understand the challenges that many Compact Scholars and commuter students may face while trying to make the most of their academic journeys, which fuels his passion for working with them.
Beyond this, Justin loves playing video games, watching movies, and singing karaoke. He is looking forward to building relationships with students and supporting them during their journey at SDSU!
Ashley Gaetan, B.S., Academic Programs Assistant
Administration Building, 201
Ashley Gaetan graduated from San Diego State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition. Prior to her higher education, Ashley graduated from Hilltop High School -- making her a Compact for Success and Compact Scholars Alumni. She identifies as a first-generation, commuter student who comes from a low-income family in Chula Vista.
She first began her work with the Compact Scholars Program in 2015 as a Student Assistant and Academic Mentor. Upon graduation, she became the Academic Programs Assistant -- now leading the Compact Academic Mentor Program. In addition to her role with the Compact Mentor Program, Ashley supports the Compact Scholars Director, Coordinator and Advisor with program-related media, events, courses and budgets.
In her free time, Ashley loves being outdoors as much as possible. She enjoys gardening, active water sports and bike rides. She also loves to travel domestically and internationally to experience new cultures and environments. She most recently embarked on an adventure through Southeast Asia meeting new people and creating memories to last a lifetime. With her background of food and nutrition, Ashley prioritizes healthy lifestyle habits, cooking healthy meals and experimenting in the kitchen.
One of her favorite sayings at the moment is, "You'll never change your life until YOU change something you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine."