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Shareka

Shareka White

Director

619-594-6298

Shareka White earned her Masters degree in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs (PELSA) from San Diego State University in 2015. She worked in Enrollment Services for 6 years before transitioning to work in Student Affairs and EOP - providing access and education throughout the K-16 systems. Shareka collaborates with other educational entities across San Diego County to stay up-to-date regarding access changes, and genuinely enjoys spreading the good news about pursuing one's education. 


Shareka is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Although her passion is connected to access to higher education, Shareka has done much work in building community at SDSU and helping to retain and graduate students, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds. She aided in the proposal, construction and creation of the SDSU Black Resource Center, has advised the Student African American Sisterhood since 2015, and has earned many awards to celebrate the hard work she has done at SDSU: Outstanding Advisor (2016-2017), Quest for the Best (2017), A.S. Presidential Leadership Award (2020), Chief Diversity Officer's Leadership - JEDI Award (2021), and the SDSU Presidential Leadership Award for Manager of the Year (2021).


Shareka White

Danny Oliveira

Interim Assistant Director

619-594-6298

Mr. Oliveira has been a counselor with EOP since 2015, previously serving as a Graduate Assistant for the EOP Guardian Scholars Program. He currently serves as the staff adviser for the Guardian Scholars Student Advisory Board (GSSAB). He was a Science and Physical Education teacher for the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, CA for five years. Prior to his brief teaching career, Mr. Oliveira served as the Assistant Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life at SDSU for six years before moving on to serve as Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life at San Jose State University for two years.

Mr. Oliveira has a B.A., Kinesiology, San Diego State University and an M.A., Postsecondary Educational Leadership with emphasis in Student Affairs, SDSU California Single Subject Teaching Credential, San Diego State University. He was actively involved at SDSU as a student leader in Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity, Inc. and was a co-founder of the United Sorority and Fraternity Council (USFC). He served as the inaugural President of the USFC and later became the staff adviser for this council for culturally-based Greek Letter Organizations as well as staff adviser for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) for historically African-American Greek Letter Organizations. He takes pride in the development of the USFC as a model for several CSU campuses to empower culturally-based fraternities and sororities and as a catalyst for equity and inclusion of campus Greek communities across California and beyond.

He has continued to be actively involved in Nu Alpha Kappa since his undergraduate years. He was a National President of the organization and continues to serve as a co-founder and Board member of the NAK ALAS (Alumni Association) in San Diego. He now serves as the staff adviser for the NAK SDSU chapter. His attributes much of his personal and professional growth to his involvement as an undergraduate student at SDSU.

As a first generation college student from an immigrant family, he has developed a passion for the empowerment of underrepresented students like himself. He has worked with students of diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds throughout his career and enjoys the daily opportunity to pay it forward as an EOP Counselor. Mr. Oliveira is committed to student success by supporting students' academic and personal growth towards the development of their full potential.

 

Andrew Mertig

Andrew Mertig

Associate Director

619-594-0811

Andrew Mertig is the Associate Director of EOP overseeing the Outreach, Recruitment, Admissions, and Enrollment team. He has worked in higher education for over 13 years. Aftergraduating from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay in 2006 with a B.S. in Communicationsand History (Education), he worked as a Residence Hall Director for Concordia University Wisconsin. After acquiring his M.S. in Student Personnel Administration, he worked as an Academic Advisor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Most recently, Andrew was the High School Recruitment Manager at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Andrew started in EOP at SDSU in 2022. He loves watching and participating in sports, spending time with his dog, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership. Andrew’s main focus in higher education is helping students change their lives, their future, and their communities through accessing education and completing their degree.

 

Bryan Spencer

Bryan Spencer

Assistant Director

619-594-0140

Bryan Spencer is an Assistant Director in EOP overseeing the SDSU Guardian Scholars Program. He has served his entire 12-year career in higher education with EOP. After graduating from San Diego State University in 2006 with a B.S. in Business – Management Information Systems, he was hired by EOP to serve as an Outreach Officer with the Outreach, Recruitment, and Admissions (ORA) unit designing and implementing its Early Outreach Program and Volunteer Program. After acquiring his M.A. in Education, Emphasis in Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice, with the Community Based Block Program (CBB, 2010), he was hired as an EOP Counselor serving 6 years until he was appointed to his current position. Bryan has also served as the Assistant Coordinator (2009-2012) and Coordinator (2013) of the EOP BEST Summer Bridge Program. He has coordinated the SOAR Mentor Program, pairing upper division mentors with incoming students, protégés, to support their transition to SDSU. He also volunteers as a student organization faculty/staff advisor for AB Samahan and Delta Sigma Psi.

 

Paige Hernandez

Paige Hernandez

LSC Manager

619-594-6298

 

Paige Hernandez (she/hers) is the Manager of the EOP Learning Support Center. She is a double CSU alumna who received a Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from SDSU. Paige has worked at SDSU for over 7 years with DEI and retention initiatives within the Center for Intercultural Relations, Division of Diversity and Innovation, Black Resource Center, and CSU Program for Education & Research in Biotechnology. She is passionate about advocating for the needs of historically underrepresented students and helping them navigate higher education spaces.

 

Tanya Calienta

Tanya Calienta

Office Operations Coordinator

619-594-8957

Tanya Calienta is the Operations Coordinator for EOP.  Tanya is a proud native of San Diego, born and raised and a 3rd generation Filipino American. Tanya has worked for the CSU and higher education for over 20 years; six years at Cal State San Marcos and 15 years here at SDSU in many different aspects of university logistics, divisions, and departments within Business and Financial Administration, and Academic Affairs. During those years of work she was able to earn her degree in Public Administration from SDSU after transferring from SD Miramar College. She represents the non-traditional student - the parent-student, who has successfully managed to earn a degree after returning to school after a long hiatus called life, which she is truly proud of and could not have done without the support from her family.  Tanya loves spending time with her family and pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, crafting, drama bingeing, and volunteering with her faith-based community.  

 

 

Frances

Frances Zamilpa

Assistant Program Coordinator

619-594-6298

Frances Zamilpa is a proud first-generation native of the Central Valley region and was raised in Madera, California. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles obtaining her B.A. in Chicana/o Studies. She serves as the department’s Assistant Program Coordinator and supervises the Public Information Assistants (PIAs), manages the department's social media accounts, and leads the following EOPOS events: Welcome Week, High School Conferences, and Graduation. Prior to working with SDSU, she worked in the non-profit sector serving first-generation, low-income, students facing adversities as a College Success Coordinator for college students attending universities and colleges in the Southern California and West and Midwest region of the United States. Frances is passionate about serving underrepresented and first-generation college students by helping them to achieve personal and academic success through higher education. Her professional philosophy is, “Programs don’t change lives, people do.” She leads with a critical understanding of fostering positive relationships with students and stakeholders in the success of students' growth as scholars and change agents for their communities. 

 


Counselors

Adolfo Garcia

Adolfo Garcia

Financial Aid Counselor

619-594-6298

Born in San Diego, California and fourth child of five from Mexican parents and heritage. Obtained an Associate’s degree from San Diego Mesa College and immediately afterwards acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. Previous employment experiences vary from computer sales, automotive technician, and college counselor for UCSD/GEAR-UP. Currently employed at San Diego State University under the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships and working on a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership: Post-Secondary Student Affairs. I consider myself as a down to earth, easy going individual. I enjoy traveling, Mexican food, and family time. Please stop by and say hello, I’m eager to get to know our SDSU EOP students! Go Aztecs!

 

Diana Romero

Diana Romero

Academic Advisor - Compact Scholars

619-594-6298

Diana Romero is a first-generation, low income college graduate who grew up in San Diego’s South Bay area. She graduated from SDSU with a B.A. in English and Communication in Spring 2014. She is also a former EOP student who is passionate about working with a diverse group of students in need of additional academic and social support in higher education. In 2018, she earned a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in counseling and guidance from Point Loma Nazarene University. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of education. The majority of her expertise is in coursework evaluation and advising. She loves spending time with her family; if it weren't for their support she wouldn’t be able to pursue the career of her choice.


Robert Guzmn

Robert Guzmán

Counselor
Last Names:
AAA - CAM

619-594-6298

Robert Guzmán is currently a counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program at San Diego State University and a lecturer for the Center for Latin American Studies, SDSU, where he teaches the History of Mexico and two film studies courses (one of which is on-line) on Latin America. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Guzmán was the EOP tutoring supervisor where he managed tutorial support to over 3,000 EOP students. Mr. Guzmán has over twenty-five years of experience working in higher education with expertise in Financial Aid, Admissions, and Outreach to local communities, and Internship development. He has received numerous institutional grants to expand the services at SDSU’s EOP tutorial center as well as with the creation of outreach support services for historically marginalized students. Mr. Guzmán currently supervises the EOP Transfer Bridge Program, a transition program designed to help first year transfer students to become connected with the University. He also advises two student organizations: The EOP Student Advisory Board (ESAB) and the EOP Student Parent Association. Mr. Guzmán received his B.B.A at the University of North Texas in 1991, his M.A. in History at the University of North Texas in 2002 and will receive his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at San Diego State University in 2017. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to student excellence: The Presidential Staff Excellence Award (Tutorial Center) in 2010 and the Most Influential Faculty Award in 2013 and 2016.


Charnise Bumpus

Charnise Bumpus

Counselor
Last Names:
CAN - FZZ

619-594-6298

Charnise Bumpus is a proud Southeast San Diego native. She is a two-time alum of San Diego State University, earning her B.A. in Psychology (2014) and her M.S. in Counseling from the Community Based Block Program CBB2 (2016). She started her journey at SDSU through EOP Best Summer Bridge Program (2009) as a commuter participant and was fortunate to become an EOP student assistant shortly after. She worked in various capacities from Outreach and Recruitment, Personal Information Assistant, SOAR Mentor Program, and BEST Summer Bridge Program (2009- 2014).

After completing her graduate program, her professional journey with the Fowler College of Business in various departments such as the Executive MBA Program (EMBA), Sports MBA Program, Online Degree Completion Program (BSBA), and the Fowler Center for Student Success. In those various roles, she enjoyed building relationships and working with multiple departments to ensure students were successful inside and outside of the classroom.

Charnise believes that obtaining higher education should be accessible to all, so she is passionate about working and mentoring students. Being a former EOP student helped her mature as a young adult and ultimately enabled her to harness power over her education. Her motivation and drive are to continue building on the EOP mission by conveying unwavering support and guidance for students to reach their full potential academically and professionally as they persist toward a university degree.


Niko Villa

Dominiko "Niko" Villa

Counselor
Last Names:
GAA - JAL

619-594-6298

Niko is a two-time alum of San Diego State University, and has started his career in student affairs at SDSU in 2020. He truly believes that education is the key to open doors that may have been non-existent, and education will continue to be that key because it changes one's trajectory. This is his foundation of love for helping students, families, and the community. Niko works with diverse college student populations and youth inside and outside the classroom. His professional interests include outreach, access, and retention programs for underrepresented students. Dominiko prides himself on self-care, community care, and mentorship.

Niko’s passion has always been to pay it forward and help others. His commitment to the process is not only professional, but it is also personal because of the individuals who have helped him and it is his turn to be that guiding hand. He loves every opportunity to speak to students and parents. His ability to speak with honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability aids in his hopes of addressing mindsets and inspiring positive action.


Mace Mikaele

Mace Mikaele

Counselor
Last Names:
JAM - MEZ

619-594-6298

Mace Fuataina Mikaele is a proud native of Southeast San Diego. She completed her undergraduate work at University of California Riverside obtaining her B.A. in Political Science/International affairs and her graduate work  at University of Southern California earning a M.Ed. in Post-Secondary Administration & Student Affairs. She has served in disability services as a specialist and director at CSU Dominguez Hills and Pomona College, respectively, for 8 years. Prior to working Disability services, she worked in various capacities from Orientation to Athletics to Asian Pacific American Services. Mace is passionate about serving EOP students, enjoys helping them define and achieve their academic and personal goals and is passionate about building inclusive spaces and ensuring that she leads with her values of kindness, humility and equity. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and her children, Honor & Revere.


Alessa Becerra

Alessa Becerra

Counselor
Last Names:
PHE - SGZ and Price Scholars

619-594-6298

My name is Alessa Becerra and my pronouns are she/her/ella. I am a first-generation college graduate and I grew up in San Ysidro, CA. I have three fur babies and I also enjoy being outdoors. Anything from nature walks, hikes, kayaking, swimming etc. I truly love it.

I graduated from CSU Chico with a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish in 2015. I was part of the Educational Opportunity Program and participated in Summer Bridge in 2010. As an undergrad student I had the opportunity to join a multicultural organization, Lambda Theta Nu which allowed me to have a strong community and enhance my leadership skills with my involvement outside of the classroom. In addition, I was also able to study abroad for a full academic year in Madrid, Spain. The best part about my study abroad experience was that financial aid was able to fund this amazing opportunity. Through my different experiences, I knew I wanted to go back to San Diego to pay it forward and empower students to pursue higher education and help students take advantage of all the opportunities and free resources available to them.

After I graduated from CSU Chico, I attended graduate school and earned a Masters degree in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Student Affairs from San Diego State University in 2018. I had the opportunity to work with the Center for Educational Partnerships, Outreach, and Success and serve as the Price Community Scholars Coordinator. The program facilitates the recruitment and support of fifteen (per cohort) high-achieving SDSU students from City Heights with a scholarship. I was able to support the mentors and mentees of the program in building a community that enhances their path to higher education through academic success, self-awareness, cross-cultural exchange, and civic participation.

As a first-generation Latina and low-income college graduate, my transition from San Ysidro High School to CSU, Chico was a critical component in my educational journey just like many current students. My participation in summer bridge helped me combat imposter syndrome and gain a sense of belonging on the campus. EOP gave me a home away from home. I am passionate about playing a key role in supporting EOP students by providing them with the tools, guidance and most importantly the agency to make empowered decisions while attending San Diego State University.


Name

Cara Yoo

Counselor
Last Names:
SHA - ZZZ

619-594-6298

Cara Yoo is a Counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at San Diego State University (SDSU) as of June 2019. Previously, she worked for SDSU Pre-College Institute, Upward Bound/ Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Academy, as a Counselor where she provided academic and personal advising to high school students from low-income backgrounds and underserved communities in San Diego County. She has over five years of experience with personal and educational counseling in various settings including the K-12 sector as well as young adults and adults in residential community. 

Cara is an advocate who deeply cares about educational equity and closing achievement gaps. She is committed and devoted to serve EOP students to achieve their goals in their educational journey and reach their full potential. Cara has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a M.A. in Educational Counseling with a PPS Credential from Point Loma Nazrene University.



Outreach, Recruitment and Admission

Lorena Malo

Lorena Malo

Outreach and Recruitment Assistant Coordinator

619-594-5047

Lorena has worked in higher education throughout most of her professional career. She feels fortunate to work with a team of experienced and talented staff who understand that the soul of higher education lies in helping others realize their academic and personal dreams across generations, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Lorena believes this realization happens by fostering a personal connection with EOP participants. “Our students need to feel they belong at SDSU and that their hard work has earned them a place here.”

Lorena completed the Clear Cross-Cultural Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at SDSU and the Master of Arts in Guidance Counseling, with a PPS Credential at the University of Redlands. Her expertise includes, bilingual education, guidance counseling, Instruction in K-12 and higher education settings, supervision of student teacher candidates and counseling interns, establishing intersegmental collaborations, and pioneering innovative outreach and retentions programs for first-gene populations. This year Lorena will complete her 22nd year at San Diego State University.

As the liaison for incoming EOP transfer students, Lorena looks forward to meeting you this year at one of our outstanding, “Best of the Best”, SDSU-Imperial Counties Community Colleges. EOP’s long standing partnerships with our local EOPS/CARE and Transfer Centers have helped ease the transfer experiences of many first-gen students into SDSU. Welcome home EOP transfers students!

 

Sandy Hernandez

Sandy Hernandez

Outreach Specialist

619-594-3280
Sandy Hernandez is a first-generation, Mexican-American who graduated from CSUSM with a B.A. in Human Development and a minor in Spanish in 2015. Since then, she has been involved in working with grant-funded programs that help first-generation, low-income students learn about higher education. She is currently pursuing her master's degree at SDSU. Sandy is passionate about giving back to her community and helping students and their parents learn how to access higher education. Being a former EOP student, Sandy understands the importance of such programs, which provide resources, support, and guidance. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her dog Vader.  

 

 Jamie Garcia


Jamie Garcia

Outreach Specialist

619-594-0732

Jamie is a two-time alumna of SDSU. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Counseling and Social Change Change in 2019 and her M.A. in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs in 2022. Jamie grew up in the South Bay and spent a few years living in the Philippines with her parents. She started her journey in EOPOS as a graduate student assistant where she worked primarily with community college students in the Transfer Bridge Program.

Jamie is a proud transfer student from Southwestern College and understands the culture shock and imposter syndrome many students experience when entering a new institution. As the daughter of Filipinx immigrants, Jamie is extremely passionate about serving first-generation students and those from underrepresented communities. 

 


 

Student Staff 

 

Student Staff EOP