Executive Officers

President

Nancy NguyenNancy Nguyen 

Major: Sociology

Minor: Public Administration, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: December 2018 

Future Goals:  To enter a Masters in Public Policy program after undergraduate education.

Biography: 

On campus, Nancy serves as President for Gates to Success, President of Phi Kappa Phi, a Resident Advisor, a Scholarship Committee Member for Mortar Board, and a Peer Leadership Consultant. In the community, she previously served as a Fellow with the Center on Policy Initiatives and Legislative Intern for a local assmblymember. She currently serves as a Advocacy and Legislative Intern for the United Nations Association-USA San Diego and as a tutor for refugees with the International Rescue Committee. She spent a summer at Princeton University as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow, publishing and presenting global policy recommendations to senior officials.

Nancy Nguyen is also a Research Assistant with the Access to Opportunity Program, where she investigates how policies by the public, nonprofit, and private sectors can better support low-income families. She was previously awarded the Provost's Outstanding Award for her previous research project with the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST), where she investigated the approaches employed by personnel in low-income, high-performing, K-12 schools in addressing students social-emotional needs.

Post undergrad, she plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy and seek employment with USAID as a Foreign Service National. She aims to follow the world’s political fluctuations and migration patterns and conduct policy work in high-tension areas. 

Contact Nancy: [email protected]

Vice President

Francisco Panchito MartinezFrancisco "Panchito" Martinez

Major: Philosophy

Minor: Leadership and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2020

Future Goals: For members of underserved communities  to have access to institutions of higher learning.

Biography:
"María De Jesús Peñuelas moved into Barrio Logan, a neighborhood rich in history, after immigrating from México. After learning about the environmental issues affecting the community, María organized families to advocate for a dignified quality of life. On September 2nd 1997, María gave birth to Francisco “Panchito” Martínez. Seventeen years later, In 2015, Francisco “Panchito” Martínez was accepted into San Diego State University with the coveted Vice President for Student Affairs Leadership Scholarship, worth $30,000 to study leadership. Two years later Panchito received the 2017 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty award from Marguerite Casey Foundation for co-founding the Leadership Council at Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI). As an organization, BLCI prepares students to access higher education. Panchito is currently at SDSU with over a 3.87 cumulative GPA studying philosophy as well as working towards the Leadership Minor and the Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Panchito is highly involved in on-campus and off-campus communities. On campus, Panchito serves as a Peer Leadership Consultant, facilitating workshops for over 300 student organizations and managing relations with community partners for the Gates to Success student organization as the Vice President. Gates to Success provides resources and professional development for first-generation college students at SDSU. Off campus, Panchito serves as the Leadership Program Specialist at BLCI, working closely with the chief executive officer to design, implement, and evaluate leadership programs for the organization. In this capacity, Panchito mentors some of the most high achieving student leaders from the community. Panchito has also raised over $50,000 for these leadership programs from local corporations and foundations.

Access to higher education has transformed the life of Panchito and that of many others. After earning a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Panchito plans to partner with communities across the world to effect positive change using education as a vehicle. The journey has just begun"

Contact Panchito: [email protected]

Director of Internal/External Affairs

Ariana HernandezAriana Hernandez

Major: Psychology

Minor: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2019

Future Goals: Ariana hopes to attain her PhD in Social Psychology once she completes her BA. 

Biography:

Ariana is a third year student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. She serves as the Director of Internal Affairs for GtS where she plans on creating at least one social event and community service event every semester in order to enhance a social capital and strengthen the community of first-generation, low income students at SDSU striving towards success. Ariana also serves as the Vice President of the EOP Student Advisory Board and is an active EOP volunteer. Besides student organizations, Ariana is an EOP SOAR mentor, TA for Chicana Psychology, Weber Honors College Scholar and an SDSU NIH IMSD Scholar.

Ariana is also a research assistant for the Motivation and Social Identity Lab at SDSU. Her research interests include understanding the psychological processes of underrepresented students with regards to educational equity. More specifically, she is interested in researching how to serve and support them by understanding their attitudes and mindsets towards student support service.

Outside of school, Ariana works as a volunteer liaison for the San Diego County Department of Animal Services where she puts her leadership skills to practice in order to effectively assist the coordinator with over 300 volunteers. 

Contact Ariana: [email protected] 

Chief of Finance

Aubrey SchaferAubrey Schafer

Major: Psychology 

Minor: Interdisciplinary studies and counseling and social change 

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Future Goals: To attend law school and specialize in family and adoption law.

Biography:
Aubrey is a third year senior, majoring in psychology and minoring in interdisciplinary studies and counseling and social change at San Diego State University. On campus she is the Chief of Finance for The Gates to Success Society, the Social Director of the Golden Key International Honour Society, and the Success Networking Team Coordinator for The National Society of Leadership and Success. Furthermore, she works as a research assistant in two developmental psychology labs, one that focuses on child language and communicative development, and another that deals with adolescent foster youth research. Last summer she studied cultural psychology in Italy and Switzerland in an effort to better understand the aspects of diversity and multiculturalism that influence societal norms. Her goal is to utilize this background in order to lay the foundation for a career in family law, with an emphasis on child custody and adoption policy. 

Contact Aubrey: [email protected]

Chief of Marketing

BeatrizBeatriz Torres

Major: Psychology

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018 

Future Goals: Attend a Graduate School School Psychology program and hope to contribute to research that can help Low income minorities.

Biography:
Beatriz is a first generation fourth year student at SDSU majoring in Psychology. Beatriz is interested in School Psychology and Neuropsychology because of how predisposed biological factors can affect a child’s role in society. As a first generation student, Beatriz hopes to extend the resources Gates to Success offers to various types of students such as: first generation students, students with low income, DACA students and any other student interested in pursuing high impact practices. Beatriz plans to attend graduate school where she hopes to do research in the understanding behind the various underlying factors that cause mental illnesses among low socioeconomic Latino populations and what measures can be implemented to hinder these illnesses to develop. She hopes to someday work in a practice that can help institute those preventative measures for future Latino generations. Beatriz currently works with Girl Scouts San Diego where she teaches young girls skills that help them succeed and become strong voices for the future as part of Outreach and as a Program Leader. Her passion for helping others is what fuels her need to have such ambitious goals in her future in which she hopes to make a positive influence in people’s lives. 

Contact Beatriz: [email protected]

Secretary

Secretary Julia MobasserJulia Mobasser

Major: Accounting

Expected Graduation Date: May 2020

Future Goals: In the future, I hope to earn my masters’ degree in accounting, become a CPA, and work for a public firm.

Biography:
Julia Mobasser is a second year undergraduate student at SDSU as an accounting major, and the first in her family to attend college. As a freshman, she began her involvement on campus by joining the hall council in her dorm and holding the position of treasurer. Getting involved greatly enhanced her college experience and allowed her to meet so many amazing people. This year, she is secretary of SDSU Gates to Success and also works as an academic mentor in the residential halls. She is also looking to get involved in the commuter program here on campus and looks forward to studying abroad in Europe within the next year or so. In her freetime, she enjoys playing classical pieces on the piano and playing the cello. Music is something she is very passionate about, and she also enjoys composing songs for fun. As a first generation college student, she wants other students to realize the importance of getting involved on campus and setting goals for themselves.

Contact Julia: [email protected]

President

Nancy NguyenNancy Nguyen

Major: Sociology

Minor: Public Administration, Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Future Goals:  To enter a Masters in Public Policy program after undergraduate education.

Biography: 

Nancy Nguyen is one of five children to immigrant and refugee Vietnamese parents. Her experience growing up in a low-income minority-concentrated town prompted her to pursue policy change to support communities experiencing financial insecurity. Her professional interest in public policy is reflective in her campus and community involvement.

She is a Research Assistant with SDSU's Research Foundation for the Access to Opportunity Program, where she investigates how policies by the public, non-profit, and private sectors can better support low-income families. She was a former Research Assistant with theNational Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST), where she investigated the approaches employed by personnel in high-performing, urban, K-12 schools in serving the emotional and social needs of their students. Her research project with NCUST was awarded the Provost's Outstanding Award.

Nancy also represents 29,000 undergraduates in investigating and making recommendations for campus policy and serves as President for Gates to Success, an organization supporting first-generation low-income college students. In addition, she serves as a Resident Advisor and a Peer Leadership Consultant.In the community, she serves as a Legislative Intern for Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber's office, where she is tasked with researching and vetting legislative reports. Due to her previous contributions as a Students for Economic Justice Fellow with the Center on Policy Initiatives, she received a Certificate of Recognition from a local Assemblymember. These credentials have granted her status as a Fellow with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program, where she will spend this summer at a fully funded program at Princeton University, developing a comprehensive report on a current international policy issue using skills in economics, statistics, and policy analysis. With these cumulative experiences, she hopes to enter economic research-development to provide informed guidance to federal agencies on policy initiatives.

Contact Nancy: [email protected]

Director of Internal Affairs

Alondra HernandezAlondra Hernandez

Major: Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy

Minor: Leadership

Expected Graduation Date: December 2017

Future Goals: To get accepted into graduate school for a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy, acquire volunteer hours for graduate school, and learn about different academic resources offered at SDSU to help first generation students.

Biography: Alondra Hernandez is a fourth year undergraduate student at SDSU. She is majoring in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy and in the Spring Semester of 2016 she declared a minor in Leadership. Alondra now holds the position of Director of Internal Affairs with Gates to Success and hopes to encourage all students to get involved on campus with the thought of progressing in academic success, especially those who are first generation students. She also has a passion to help commuter students from SDSU reach their career goals by working closely with other organizations and Associated Students to provide support away from home. In the future, Alondra hopes to help people with injuries recover from them as well as create positive relationships with others to promote self-confidence with progress in physical therapy. 

Contact Alondra: [email protected]

Assistant Director of Internal Affairs

Nick LograssoNick Lograsso 

Major: Computer Science

Minor: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Future Goals: To achieve a B.S. in Computer Science and graduate with at least a 3.5 G.P.A.

Biography:  Nicholas Lograsso is a second-year undergraduate student in the Susan K. Weber’s Honors College, studying computer science with a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies. Nicholas is involved with multiple organizations on campus. Currently, he serves as Assistant Director of Internal Affairs of Gates to Success of SDSU and is involved with the Association for Computing Machinery chapter on campus. In addition, he works as a student technician at SDSU Instructional Technology Services in the Learning Spaces division. In his free time he enjoys playing music with two co-hosts on a radio show at KCR College Radio. In the future he hopes to help people with technology by designing more effective code and work alongside people who use it to improve the lives of others.

Contact Nick: [email protected]

Director of External Affairs

Francisco "Panchito" MartinezFrancisco "Panchito" Martinez

Major: Philosophy 

Minor: Leadership and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies

Expected Graduation Date: Fall 2020

Future Goals: For members of underserved communities to have access to institutions of higher learning.

Biography: Panchito was born Francisco Antonio Martinez Penuelas to immigrant parents from Mexico. He is the oldest of four brothers, the first to graduate high school in his immediate family, and the first in his extended family to attend a four-year university. Panchito was raised in Barrio Logan, a neighborhood in San Diego where less than 35% of residents 25 and older have a high school diploma and only approximately 10% have a Bachelor's degree or higher. In the fourth grade, Panchito was enrolled in Barrio Logan College Institute (BLCI), a nonprofit that helps students from underserved communities be among the first in the family to attend and succeed in college so that they may become agents of change in the world. With the help of BLCI, Panchito was accepted to SDSU as a Vice President of Student Affairs Leadership Scholar that came with a $30,000 scholarship. Panchito is currently in his second year at SDSU. On campus, Panchito serves as a Peer Leadership Advisor where he facilitates workshops for the over 300 different organizations on campus; manages partner relations in San Diego for Gates to Success; and is on the Associated Students External Relations Board that advocates for student interests at the local, state, and national level. Outside of campus, Panchito is the Leadership Program Specialist at BLCI. In this role, Panchito works closely with the Executive Director to design, develop, and evaluate leadership programs for the organization.

Contact Panchito: [email protected]

Chief of Finance

Omar SanchezOmar Sanchez

Major: Psychology 

Minor: Spanish

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019 

Future Goals: Help underrepresented communities in the U.S. and Mexico get a college education.

Biography: Omar is a second-year undergraduate studying Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Being a first generation college student born in Tijuana and raised in Barrio Logan he wants to impact the way that education is viewed in the Mexican-American and Latino community. He is currently the Chief of Finance of Gates to Success where he hopes to make an impact on the future lives of first generation college students that don't think they can make it

Contact Omar: [email protected]

Chief of Marketing

Lianne ArateaLianne Aratea 

Major: IS3D (Exercise Nutritional Sciences, Nutrition, Psychology)

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Future Goals: To graduate from SDSU with at least a 3.6 GPA, participate in undergraduate research, and have an internship/job position waiting for me when I graduate.

Biography: Lianne Aratea is a third year Interdisciplinary Studies major looking into ENS, Nutrition, and Psychology. She is currently active in Gates to Success as well as the AIESEC San Diego local chapter and Student Diversity Commission. She hopes to particpate in undergraduate research looking into the effect of nutrition on the psychological state of people (especially children) during her time at San Diego State. She is currently in the position of Chief of Marketing to help spread the image and message of Gates to Success in order to help undergraduate students see the different resources and opportunities that are available on campus. Lianne is hoping to continue on to graduate school or a doctoral program to become a Psychologist, but she has a great interest in higher education student affairs with her current involvement as a temporary student assistant for the Division of Undergraduate Studies.

Contact Lianne: [email protected]

President

Kelly NguyenKelly Nguyen

Major: Public Health

Year in school: 2nd Year 

Involvements: Rotaract, Peer Leadership Consultant Program, Weber’s Honors College

What motivates you: My future self is my motivation. My potential and what I envision myself achieving is what motivates me. It gives me the drive and determination to keep working towards my goals. 

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success: I chose to be actively involved with Gates to Success bec first generation student, seeing how much I have benefitted from these types of programs, I strive to pay it forward and empower students just as I have been empowered.

Favorite Aztec Memory: APSA FamBam competition

 Read about Kelly in Newscenter!

Contact Kelly: [email protected]

Vice President

Marinda LeMarinda Le

Major: B.S. in Molecular Biology and B.A. in Communications

Year in school: 2nd Year

Involvements: Intervarsity, Physician's Assistant Student Association, Alpha Phi Omega 

What motivates you: 
My mother is my biggest inspiration. As a woman who juggles working a full-time job, taking her second chance at a college education, and taking care of her family, she has taught me the art of time-management. Learning from her, I have begin utilizing my time into investing into my future and life. I do my best to be the best student, leader, and friend I can be. My most-valued lesson I have learned from her is to balance my life out and make time to enjoy my "youth" and to continue to explore new passions and interests. Her support keeps me going through even the hardships that life may bring. 

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success: During my first year of college, I wasn't able take full advantage of some of the opportunities around me because I wasn't informed about them. It was only until I found myself within a community of older student mentors and supportive friends within SDSU that I found myself more aware of these opportunities. I have become more actively involved on campus since my 1st year. I chose to be actively involved in Gates because I am a 1st generation student who has overcome great difficulty in pursuing opportunity and believe that most students are unable to find the resources and opportunities they need because they are not informed well enough. There are so many opportunities out there to gain experience that first generation students just don't know about. I want to be able to help bridge the gap for them and help these students find the resources they need to find their full potential. 

Favorite Aztec Memory: My favorite memory was my first Aztec basketball game my freshman year. I had never been to a basketball game before and this was one of my first college memories. Seeing everyone with such great red and black spirit made me feel incredibly proud to be a new Aztec.  

Contact Marinda: [email protected]

Director of External Affairs

Salma ZinabidineSalma Zinabidine

Major: Political Science

Year in school:
 3rd Year

Involvements:
 Pathways Tutor, Pre-Law Society, Intern at Ezekiel E. Cortez Law Offices

What motivates you:
 Coming from a low-income family motivates me to stay in school and succeed in order to hopefully give back to my family in the near future.

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success:
 I want to take on an inspiring leadership role and challenge myself throughout my college career. I also love to meet new people and being on e-board will allow me to personally know each of the GTS members. 

Favorite Aztec Memory:
 Aztec football and basketball games

Contact Salma: [email protected]

Director of Internal Affairs

Guadalupe FeriaGuadalupe Feria

Major: Statistics

Year in School: 2nd Year

Involvements:
 M.E.Ch.A., AVID Alumni Association

What motivates you: There are three things that motivate me each day: my family, my community, and my cultural roots. I carry my parents’ struggle everywhere I go; their stories of migrating to the U.S. inspire me to be a better person and pursue higher education. I am also motivated to bring change to the world and I hope to see underrepresented communities rise to success. I perceive my education as a powerful tool to achieve my dreams and reach success.

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Succes
s: As a first generation college student, I recognize the barriers one must break in order to achieve academic success. I choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success because I want to have the ability to inspire and motivate minority students to reach their highest potential by providing them with academic support, advice, and most importantly opportunities. 

Favorite Aztec Memory:
 S.W.A.G. Success Seminar

Contact Guadalupe:  [email protected]

Chief of Finance

Carlos RodriguezCarlos Rodriguez

Major: Business Administration - Finance

Year in School:
 2nd year

Involvements:
 GTS E-Board Officer

What motivates you:
 From my family, to my friends, to every peer and acquaintance that I have encountered throughout my life, they have all motivated me and guided me towards where I am today. As a first-generation, minority college student, I have personally been aware of what it is like to struggle in college, whether it is academically, socially, or financially -- I have experienced it all. As an immigrant from the city of Tijuana, I have known what it is like to live in poverty as a student and as a citizen. Looking back at my past, my family, and my potential future in this country, I am becoming increasingly aware that not everyone has the same privilege that I do and that many others of attending a university. All of this has made me become increasingly motivated in helping others fulfill their dreams and achieve goals or dreams others have set for themselves

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success
: When I came across this opportunity, I did not know what to expect or even think of it. It was not until I saw the true purpose behind this organization and what it dedicates to achieve is when I knew I wanted to be involved. I want to be able to help others with questions, concerns, or doubts they have about university life. To simply put it, I want to be able to take that veil of mystery and fear that college depicts. I want to be able to encourage others and make them realize that college is not just a place where you study and work hard, but rather a place where you have the ability to network and connect with many others with similar or the same interests, as well as having the time of your life, full of joy and excitement.

Favorite Aztec Memory:
 Aztec Nights

Contact Carlos: [email protected]

Chief of Marketing

Luis MartinezLuis Martinez

Major: Construction Engineering 

Year in school:
 2nd Year 

Involvements:
 GTS E-Board Officer 

What Motivates You:
 I never imagined myself attending college because my parents did not attend. Now that I have the opportunity, I feel as I have started a new family tradition and I want my younger siblings and parents to know that their support is what motivates me. 

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success:
 I wanted to get involved on campus, but I was not sure how to. I had the opportunity to attend Gates to Success first annual conference. There, I knew I wanted to part of Gates to Success. I want to help other students by motivating, inspiring, and supporting them just like I was by Gates to Success.

Favorite Aztec Memory:
 Aztec Core Emerging Leaders Retreat

Contact Luis: [email protected]

Assistant Director of External Affairs

Assistant Director of External Affairs Alec ContrerasAlec Contreras

Major: Business Administration-Finance and Spanish 

Year in School: 3rd Year

Involvements: Association of Latino Professionals of Finance and Accounting, Peer Leadership Consultant, SmileyGo

What motivates you: People motivate me through the interaction that they allow me share with them. Some people are better off than others and some are worse off but there is always something to learn about the sincerity and dignity of the human being. It is for that reason that I want to see an end to marginalization and manipulation of the disadvantaged through communal and eventually global acts, so that progress continues amongst humanity.In addition, combating poverty and attempting to aid people to fulfill their ambitions despite their poor economic standing is also a moving factor for me because I was exposed to poverty growing up in Tijuana.

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success: First, because my father was able to make it to a university despite his lack of resources, was very limited to the level of commitment that he could have while pursuing his degree. When I came across Gates to Success and their mission, I recognized the parallelism of this organization to the impact that it has on students who had similar struggles as my father. Second, it’s a win-win; you learn so much from others and you get to work and forge friendships with the most motivated on-campus org. 

Favorite Aztec Memory: Aztec CORE Emerging Leader’s Retreat

Contact Alec: [email protected]

Webmaster

Erica MosleyErica Mosley

Major: Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences 

Year in school: Sophomore

Involvements: Gates to Success; Presidential Scholars

What motivates you: What motivates me is being able to say that “I beat the odds”. Despite all of the challenges, I continue to work hard and remain steadfast in my academics. I believe that in doing so, I’ll be able to achieve all of my goals.

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gatesto Success: I choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success because when I first joined I was welcomed with open arms. I want to be able to keep contributing to what makes this club so amazing. In addition to that, I love to be in a position to help and motivate others while they too reach for their goals.

Favorite Aztec memory: Living in Cuicacalli with all of my friends 

Contact Erica: [email protected]

Secretary

Anele E. VillanuevaAnele E. Villanueva

Major: Child and Family Development 

Year in school: 2nd Year

Involvements: Child and Family Development Fundraiser Coordinator, Aztec Leadership Certificate, Assistant Teacher of the SDSU Children’s Center

What motivates you: My goals, ambition, family, and mentors are the components that motivate me to be successful in my education and schooling involvement. Also, being the first member in my family to attend a university gives me motivation to take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered to reach my dreams!

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success: Throughout my high school and college career, I have been surrounded by several great people and organizations that implemented my education and opportunities to get me to SDSU. I want to make an impact for students by being involved with Gates to Success to provide support to students and the community.

Favorite Aztec Memory: Aztec CORE Retreat

Contact Anele:  [email protected]

Historian

Arlynn AdamosArlynn Adamos

Major: Psychology 

Year in School: 2nd Year

Involvements: Asian Pacific Student Alliance (APSA), Gates to Success (GTS)

What Motivates you: My family and friends motivate me. My family motivates me to succeed in my college career; as an Asian struggling for an identity within an American community, I’ve come to realize the importance of not only succeeding to meet their expectations, but for myself as an Asian American struggling to establish a presence in leadership, as well as in anything else I do. My friends motivate me to strive for what seems impossible--that I can do whatever I set my mind to because of their support, and challenge myself to overcome any obstacle I face.

Why you choose to be actively involved in Gates to Success:I chose to be actively involved in Gates to Success because I was entranced by the chance to gain leadership experience and help others adjust to college life. My first year at SDSU was hectic, but after joining APSA my second semester, I realized how much others can make a difference in another person’s life, and I thought Gates to Success was another opportunity where I could gain leadership skills and become that resource/support system that any first-generation student, or anyone, needs throughout their college life. It’s hard to adjust to a new environment, but with a helping hand, I’m sure anyone and everyone can accomplish whatever they strive to do.

Favorite Aztec Memory: APSA’s FamBam/Family Competition

Contact Arlynn:  [email protected]