Nathan Evans, Chair of the Board
Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, Academic and Student Affairs
California State University Chancellor’s Office
Nathan Evans currently serves as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Academic and Student Affairs at the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor, the systemwide office for the largest public four-year institution in the nation with 23 campuses and over 470,000 students. In this capacity, he serves as senior strategic advisor on academic and student affairs initiatives for the university system and represents the system in state and national venues on academic and student affairs matters. Prior to this role, he served as Director of Enrollment Management at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, responsible for systemwide admissions and enrollment management policies and practices, transfer programs, and academic advising.
Before joining the CSU systemwide office, Mr. Evans served in leadership posts in enrollment and student services in all three segments of public higher education in California – including San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, the University of California, San Diego, and the San Diego Community College District as well as roles in admissions, recruitment, and academic advising at Arizona State University. He earned both a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration and a baccalaureate degree in Communication at Arizona State University.
Executive Director, College and Career Readiness
Riverside County Office of Education
Catalina Cifuentes is an educator who has demonstrated a gift for counseling and advocacy on behalf of all students. In her former position as lead counselor at Santiago High School, Ms. Cifuentes worked with the counseling team to design a successful guidance program which led to Riverside County as well as California Department of Education recognitions for exemplary counseling practices. She worked with her administrative team and staff to transform the school by raising the academic rigor and expectations from students resulting in the highest graduation rate and second highest “a-g” completion rate in Riverside, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino Counties. Ms. Cifuentes now shares those best counseling practices across Riverside County as a team member in the Ed Services unit in the Riverside County Office of Education. She is also a former secondary Language Arts teacher and has extensive experience working with English Learner programs. She was selected in November 2014 as a speaker for the College Opportunity White House Convening- Strengthening School Counseling and College Advising. As a former AVID student and first generation college graduate, Ms. Cifuentes has a contagious passion for this work. Ms. Cifuentes was recently appointed by Governor Brown to the California Student Aid Commission.
Director of Enrollment Management Services
California State University Chancellor’s Office
April Grommo has a wealth of experience within the California State University System and other California segments, gained over 23 years of higher education experience. While at Sierra-Cedar, she was a Program Director where she managed several student-system implementations with clients.
Prior to Sierra-Cedar, Ms. Grommo was the Director of the IT Project Office at California State University San Marcos. She provided information technology leadership, including enrollment management support and student-centered initiatives. In her current role, as Director of Enrollment Management Services, at the California State University she is focused on systemwide enrollment management strategies, policies, and practices including first-time freshmen, transfer, and graduate admission and coordinating the development and implementation of K-16 diagnostic, placement, and assessment instruments. Ms. Grommo received her Educational Leadership Doctorate from University of California, San Diego in 2014, where she focused on social networks of underrepresented community college transfer students.
Former President and CEO
College Futures Foundation
A widely respected leader with broad and deep experience in philanthropy and government, Julia I. Lopez served as the president and CEO of College Futures Foundation (then known as College Access Foundation of California) from 2008 until her retirement in June 2017.
Before joining College Futures Foundation, Ms. Lopez served as Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation. In that leadership role, she provided oversight, management, and evaluation of the Foundation’s strategic program grantmaking, which awarded an average of $150 million per year. In her earlier work for Rockefeller, she served as director of the foundation’s Working Communities program, addressing urban poverty and education in the United States.
Ms. Lopez has lent her talents to the California Legislature, the New Mexico Department of Criminal Justice, and the Department of Social Services for the City and County of San Francisco where, as General Manager, she oversaw programs serving the city’s most disadvantaged residents. She has also served on the Board of Directors of REDF (formerly the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund), and as a commissioner for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
Ms. Lopez currently serves as a member of the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), and she is a member of the boards of KQED, a Northern California public media outlet, and One Future Coachella Valley, dedicated to improving educational outcomes to meet regional workforce needs.
She is a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now Boston College) and holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. In June 2018, California State University, San Bernardino awarded her an honorary doctorate in humane letters in recognition of her work on student success in underserved communities, especially the Inland Empire.
Vice President of Communications and Technology
Foundation for California Community Colleges
Bryan Miller oversees the Foundation for California Community Colleges’ marketing, communications, and technology projects. Mr. Miller works with a team of communications strategists, skilled in outreach, branding, and publication and web design. Over the past decade, he and his team have been recognized with over 40 awards at the state, regional, and national level for excellence in marketing, communications, and design.
Mr. Miller has over 20 years of experience in the design and communications field. Prior to working at the Foundation, he served as Creative Director for the Strategic Communications Division of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, where he won a Gold award for the design of the CCC System Strategic Plan website. He attended American River College and is a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle.
Special Projects Education Administrator
California Department of Education
Paula Mishima is currently a Special Projects Education Administrator for the California Department of Education (CDE), where she has worked as the CDE’s program lead for the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) since its 2009 inception. Mishima led numerous efforts to enhance CALPADS, such as implementing the ongoing data linkage with the California Department of Social Services to help ensure foster youth were receiving needed educational services and collecting statewide data on chronic absenteeism that is now used as an accountability metric on the California School Dashboard. Today, CALPADS feeds numerous mission-critical functions, including providing nearly all data for the Dashboard as well as funding calculations under the Local Control Funding Formula and registering students for statewide assessments. With an intimate knowledge of CALPADS data, Ms. Mishima has particular expertise in how data are used in the state’s accountability system and how schools and districts can use that data to continually improve student outcomes.
Ms. Mishima graduated from Stanford University and went on to receive her master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Washington. After graduate school, Ms. Mishima worked for the California State Legislature for 11 years—eight years as an education analyst for the Legislative Analyst’s Office and three years as the senior education consultant for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. In 1994, Ms. Mishima left the Assembly to work as a legislative representative for CDE, becoming CDE’s Governmental Affairs Director in 1996. Former State Superintendent Delaine Eastin appointed her Chief Policy Advisor in 1998 and Deputy Superintendent over the Special Education, State Special Schools, and Education Support Systems divisions in 2001.
Executive Director, Center for College and Career Readiness
California State University Sacramento
Joy Salvetti possesses a vast array of experience in higher education, the California State Legislature, non-profit organizations, as well as the private sector. She began her faculty career at CSU Sacramento in 1996. During that time, she was also an Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education (CDE), serving as a liaison to post-secondary education with a focus on academic success strategies and college readiness.
Ms. Salvetti has served as Director of Sacramento State’s Early Assessment Program since 2006. The Center for College & Career Readiness’ mission is one and the same, but also works to create new pathways to college success by implementing regional partnerships with the primary mission of aligning curricula, expectations, and standards between K-12, the community colleges, and Sacramento State. In essence, its focus is on students before they matriculate – those in the regional pipelines.
Director of Research
Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
Randy Tarnowski serves as the Director of Research for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU). AICCU is the organizational voice for over 80 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Mr. Tarnowski develops the organizational research agenda and leads the collection and analysis of institutional data to produce clear and actionable research reports for stakeholders and policymakers.
Before joining the AICCU, Mr. Tarnowski served as a Research Associate at School-to-School International, where he worked with a wide range of educational stakeholders to conduct impact evaluations in over 20 countries throughout Africa and Asia. He has also worked as administrator at the Korean-American Educational Commission in Seoul, where he managed the Fulbright fellowship between South Korean and United States research recipients. He was also a consultant with the Foundation for Students Rising Above, where he analyzed data from the College2Careers online hub, a platform for high school students to receive guidance for applying to and navigating higher education institutions. Mr. Tarnowski received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Communication from the University of Tampa and a Master’s in Education from Harvard
Senior Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management and Services
Cal Poly Pomona
Jessica M. Wagoner is the Senior Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Services (EM&S) in the Division of Academic Affairs at Cal Poly Pomona. Ms. Wagoner leads and oversees the Offices of Admissions and Enrollment Planning; Outreach, Recruitment, and Educational Partnerships; Financial Aid and Scholarships; and the Registrar’s Office. Ms. Wagoner provides leadership, vision, strategic direction, management, and assessment of multiple, complex, and interdependent enrollment programs and services in the EM&S unit. Ms. Wagoner leads technology initiatives to increase productivity and efficiency and to expand data analysis to inform strategic decision-making as well as to remove institutional impediments to student success, and to provide responsive and quality service for Cal Poly Pomona’s diverse student body.
Ms. Wagoner has over 24 years of admissions, higher education technology, and leadership experience. For the past decade, Ms. Wagoner has served as the Director of Admissions and Operations at Cal State Fullerton and was previously the Associate Director of Admissions at Cal State Long Beach. Throughout her career, Ms. Wagoner has provided strong and strategic leadership on a variety of technology and enrollment management projects, and she played a critical role in successfully implementing multiple directives and policies, system and software modifications for higher education.
Ms. Wagoner earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal State Fullerton.
Vice Chancellor, Workforce & Economic Development Division
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
Sheneui Weber has over 25 years of experience linking education and training to business and industry, with a focus on entrepreneurial growth, job creation, and meeting the workforce training needs of industry. She successfully launched and led a number of multi-million dollar key initiatives on serving small businesses and the community.
As Chief Operating Officer for the College Advancement & Economic Development Division at the Long Beach Community College District, Ms. Weber was responsible for the District’s economic and workforce development programs, strategy, operations, and building numerous public-private partnerships. She established and launched programs, such as the Innovation Fund SoCal in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; the College’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence program; and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and she built and led the Los Angeles Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, serving Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. Most recently, she partnered with entrepreneurs to launch the The Portal@LBCC and conceived of The Port of Long Beach Maritime Center of Excellence at Long Beach City College, which launched in August 2018. In her role at LBCCD, Ms. Weber also served on several College committees, including the President’s Executive Committee, Curriculum Committee, Student Success Committee, and Budget Advisory Committee, and she led the Division’s annual program planning.
Ms. Weber is experienced with program development and implementation of numerous workforce development grant projects based on industry driven partnerships, and she has successfully authored many federal, state, local and private foundation grant proposals. This includes pre-apprenticeship programs in construction and heavy duty diesel technician, as well as various workforce training programs in Technology, Advanced Transportation, Intelligent transportation Systems, International Trade, and Healthcare. Ms. Weber also oversaw Regional Strong Workforce projects, the Sector Navigator and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics, the LBCC Center for International Trade Development, Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy Center, and Workplace Learning Resource Center.
While at California State University, Long Beach, she created and managed the Software Engineering Forum for Training (SEFT), a unique training consortium of major aerospace companies that provided tailored training for software engineering process improvement and management practices for software engineers and managers. Ms. Weber also oversaw Information Technology for University College and Extension Services, and she built the College’s first Local Area Network. Prior to joining LBCCD, Ms. Weber was the Director of On-Site Implementation for the Southwestern Division of Adecco Group North America, a Global Fortune 500 company and leader in Human Resources solutions, where she oversaw account implementations of numerous Fortune 500 company clients.
Ms. Weber holds a Master’s in Telecommunication & Film from San Diego State University and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Pacific Union College.