Fullerton College is happy to announce the addition of 44 new faculty. This has been a banner year for the college as one of the highest hiring years for new faculty in nearly 30 years. Read below to find out more about the faculty, their departments, and more.
Elsa Aguirre began her journey at Fullerton College in 2010 while participating in several internship opportunities for the
EOPS program. She soon realized that she loved working with Fullerton College students and the community. Once she earned her master’s degree from APU, she returned to FC as an adjunct counselor and began teaching her first counseling class. Since then, Aguirre has been dedicated to teaching several counseling courses and has provided counseling services to students from various departments such as, EOPS, general counseling and the Transfer Center. Additionally, she has been an active participant on campus as well as within the community by volunteering for the Puente Mentor Program, KinderCaminata and the Food Bank.
Nick Arman joins Fullerton College as a veteran counselor with more than 15 years of experience serving military veterans in various capacities. He is a veteran of both the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army National Guard, and is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. Arman has gained experience working in higher education at Cal State Northridge and Los Angeles City College. He is committed to providing his students with compassionate and quality guidance in their academic journey. Arman holds a Master of Science in Counseling from Cal State Northridge and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Organizational Leadership program at Brandman University.
Nicola Bertoni arrives at Fullerton College after finishing her master’s degree at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. A native of Washington, D.C., Bertoni previously earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During her time at Westminster, she has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, as well as participating yearly as a member of the choir-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. She will be directing the Men’s and Women’s Chorales at FC, in addition to teaching voice and music theory.
George Bonnand has 30 years of extensive and broad experience in the medical device manufacturing industry with emphasis in manufacturing, technical training, operations and field management. He has held a position as a supervisor of instructional design the last nine years, has managed technical training programs, and has taught tool making and machining at the community college level for more than 20 years. He holds a master’s and a bachelor’s in industrial arts from Cal State Long Beach.
Laura Bouza is a filmmaker and educator whose work considers the intersections of documentary, narrative and experimental film traditions. Her films have screened nationally and internationally, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK), Antimatter Film Festival (Canada), World Film Festival of Bangkok (Thailand), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Anthology Film Archives (New York), and at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, D.C.). She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies with highest distinction from the University at Buffalo. As an educator, Bouza has taught film to students at Moorpark and Long Beach City colleges.
Elisabeth Burke received her master’s degree from Harvard University after studying abroad for one year at the University of Barcelona and receiving her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara. She has taught in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Born in a small town in Northern California, Burke moved to Southern California in 2010 and began teaching religious studies at the community college level. She is currently working on her doctorate in religion at Claremont Graduate University.
Loretta Calvert is an attorney, college professor, speaker and writer. She graduated from NYU School of Law and has practiced law in several states in addition to teaching at various academic levels, including college. Calvert is the past-president of the American Association for Paralegal Education. Her book What the Good Student Said was published to help students succeed in college.
Tim Cobler began teaching more than 14 years ago. Throughout this time, he has taught at Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Jacinto College, Riverside Community College, and University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He looks forward to settling down to life at Fullerton College. He received a bachelor’s and a master’s in mathematics from Cal Poly Pomona. He also holds a master’s in electrical engineering from UC Riverside, where he is currently working on a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Michelle Craner comes to Fullerton College after spending more than nine years lecturing in fashion merchandising at Cal State Long Beach. She has also enjoyed teaching at many Southern California community colleges and for Coastline ROP, where she took students on travel trips, tradeshows and participated in career pathway programs. Craner’s fashion industry experience spans more than 12 years. She holds a bachelor’s in fashion merchandising and a master’s in family and consumer science education from CSULB.
Benjamin Cuatt joins the Printing Department faculty at Fullerton College as an experienced print professional. He has spent the last eight years working on the front lines of the printing industry, with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art from UC San Diego. He has worked intensively in digital and variable data printing. Having always dreamed of teaching, he is ecstatic to join the full-time faculty and share his experience and skills with the next
generation of printers.
Roman P. de Jesus
Dr. Roman P. de Jesus joins Fullerton College from Los Medanos College in Northern California. Upon completing his doctorate in oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, he held faculty appointments at Harvey Mudd College and the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. As a native Californian, he has enjoyed sharing his passions for the ocean, the environment and science with students from diverse backgrounds.
P.E. / Women’s Basketball Coach
An established coach, Marcia Foster began her coaching career at local high schools, Mater Dei and Garden Grove, before embarking on a collegiate basketball career that would include stops at Arizona State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Caltech and Cal State Fullerton. Fullerton College has been her home for the last two seasons. A passionate leader, mentor, teacher, and poet, community service has been a hallmark of her career. She established “I’ll Tell 2,” a breast cancer awareness program, and has been involved with Special Olympic clinics and the local Hoopstars Organization.
Frank Guthrie has more than 20 years of experience working as a professional artist for studios such as Nickelodeon and Warner Bros. His career started as a designer for television productions, such as Angry Beavers and Dora the Explorer, creating characters, props, layouts, and background-designs. He continued his education in digital arts by attending Gnomon School of Visual Design, Animation Mentor, and iAnimate. For the past two years, he’s spent most of his time working as a 3D sculptor in the 3D-printing field.
Michele Hagan is a former real estate instructor from City College of San Francisco and the past director of the California Community Colleges Real Estate Education Center for the State Chancellor’s Office. As a real estate broker and an attorney, she continues to represent clients in real estate matters and sales transactions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in city planning from UC San Diego and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.
Abraham Romero Hernandez
Abraham Romero Hernandez graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Cal State L.A. and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from Cal State San Bernardino. He has tutored at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, and East Los Angeles and Chaffey colleges, CSUSB, and various tutoring centers. As an adjunct professor, he has taught mathematics courses at Cal State Fullerton and CSU San Bernardino, as well as Glendale Community, Rio Hondo and Fullerton colleges. He enjoys spending his personal time playing video games, guitar and billiards.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Klaus Hornell has called Southern California his home for more than 20 years. He received his bachelor’s degree in international studies and German at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and received both his master’s degree in German and his teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton. His international experience derives from having lived in Germany as an exchange student and a university student for two years as well as teaching ESL, and working in international sales and marketing in Taiwan for three years. For the last 12 years, he has worked as a German and Mandarin Chinese teacher at West Covina High School. He resides in Hacienda Heights with his wife and his son, where he actively volunteers for his son’s AYSO soccer league, is a member of the German community in Orange County, and performs as a dancer at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim.
Tamieka Hunter comes to Fullerton College by way of El Camino and Pasadena City colleges where she worked as an adjunct counselor. She attended Cal State Long Beach where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education. She has more than 10 years of experience working in the area of student services.
Courtney Jane holds a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College’s The Tuck School, and a Bachelor of Arts from UC San Diego where she majored in economics and political science. While at UCSD she was a varsity basketball and softball player. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration, expected in 2016. Jane has more than 20 years of business expertise as an economist for the United States Treasury Department, marketing manager for The Walt Disney Company, advertising account manager for Young & Rubicam, and as a real estate asset manager and finance specialist for Americorp Funding and Merrill Lynch. Jane is the mother of two teenagers, ages 19 and 16.
Charlotte Jimmons joins Fullerton College as a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. A native of Southern California and mother of two, Jimmons is currently working on her bachelor’s degree. She has worked in a beauty salon for more than 14 years and has been an educator for more than eight years. Although she once thought becoming a cosmetologist would become her passion, she realized her true passion is teaching. Her desire to make a difference in one’s life fulfills her passion, and she is excited to begin her role in the Cosmetology Department at FC.
Samantha Krag graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2009 with a master’s degree in English. Since then she has taught English at Chaffey and East Los Angeles colleges, as well as Fullerton College. She worked for three years in Chaffey College’s Language Success Center as a reading tutor and enjoys hiking, camping, and attending as many theatre productions as possible.
Dr. Laura Lazarus obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from UC Irvine before returning to college to study chemistry. As an undergraduate, she became involved in outreach and found she loved mentoring students. She continued her education and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from USC with an emphasis in Nanoscience. However, serving as a teacher’s assistant brought out her passion for teaching and drove her to pursue a career in higher education. She has three years of experience teaching chemistry at the community college level throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Dr. David Lopez received his Bachelor of Music Performance from Cal State Long Beach, his Master of Music Performance from Cal State Fullerton, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona. Prior to Fullerton College, Lopez was adjunct faculty at Cerritos and Santa Ana colleges. He has taught various courses such as, music appreciation, music theory and jazz in America.
Lorena Marquez has worked in higher education for 11 years. She previously worked as a career counselor in the Career Center at UC Irvine and as an adjunct counselor at the Rancho Santiago Community College District. She enjoys teaching, counseling, and providing support to a diverse student population to help them reach their personal, academic and career goals. Marquez earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UCLA and her Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education from Cal State Long Beach. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants and going to the movies.
Katheryn E. McGuthry
Katheryn E. McGuthry holds a doctorate in biological psychology from Howard University and a master’s in neurosciences from UC San Diego. She has held assistant faculty positions at Morehouse College and Reinhardt University throughout her 20 years of teaching. Prior to teaching, McGuthry trained as a neuropsychology intern at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as an intramural research fellow in the NIMH epilepsy research, and as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Maryland Medical System. Varying in her research studies, she has focused primarily on studying changes in memory that occur in normal aging, various dementias and brain trauma. Her current interests revolve around ways to maximize student learning and helping people maintain optimal brain function throughout their lifespan.
Dr. Renee Mills
Disability Support Services
Dr. Renee Mills began her career at Fullerton College as an adjunct learning disabilities specialist and counselor approximately nine years ago. Accepting a part-time position afforded her an opportunity to spend more time at home with her two young children. Her experiences at FC have confirmed that this is exactly where she wants to be – working in Disability Support Services assisting students to become self-advocates and to achieve their own academic success. Mills earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Pacific Union College, a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology at Loma Linda University, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Loma Linda University.
Dr. Gita Nilkanth
Dr. Gita Nilkanth has worked as an adjunct instructor in the Natural Sciences Division at Fullerton College for the past nine years. She has taught at both two- and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and India. Nilkanth has always been passionate about biology and brings that energy to the classroom. She never misses an opportunity to link a particular concept to topics in the news or to personalize her lectures. She believes that students learn best when they feel the material applies to them and their lives. Nilkanth lives in Trabuco Canyon with her family and dog.
Stefani Okonyan received her doctorate in English from Claremont Graduate University and bachelor’s degrees in English and linguistics from UC Santa Barbara. She has taught English at Pitzer College, University of La Verne and Chaffey, Scripps, and Fullerton colleges. In addition, she has served numerous hours instructing students in the Writing Center at Pitzer College.
Janaki Parikh has more than 11 years of experience teaching anthropology at various colleges and universities throughout Southern California. A native of Gujarat, India, Parikh arrived in the United States at the age of one and began taking classes at Fullerton College as early as 16 years old. She began teaching part time at FC in 2004 after completing her anthropological fieldwork in the northwest states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, India to explore the role of multi-religion pilgrimage in facilitating a pan-Indian ethnic identity, and later led to a thesis that was presented in a departmental symposium and self-published. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and master’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Irvine.
Child Development & Educational Studies
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Karin Pavelek immigrated to the U.S. in 1996. She began taking classes at Fullerton College and received her bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development from Cal State Fullerton. She continued her education at CSUF and received her master’s degree in education in 2013 while working as a lab technician and mentor teacher at the Fullerton College Child Development and Educational Studies Lab School. She is looking forward to continuing her work with staff and students of FC.
Kara Pham is no stranger to community college. She began her higher education career by taking classes at Orange Coast College and then transferred to UC Irvine to obtain a bachelor’s and Ph.D. in mathematics. She served as a teaching assistant while in graduate school, an adjunct professor during summer sessions at UCI, and tutored high school students. In 2011, she began working for an educational software company and taught at UC Irvine and Irvine Valley College. Pham brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Mathematics Department and is excited to continue her teaching career at FC.
Dr. Catherine Reinhardt-Zacaïr
Dr. Catherine Reinhardt-Zacaïr comes to Fullerton College with 25 years of experience teaching French, German and English at various schools, universities, and educational institutions in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Central America. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. in French literature and civilization from UC Santa Barbara, has published articles on the memory of slavery, and a monograph titled “Claims to Memory: Beyond Slavery and Emancipation in the French Caribbean.”
Alberto Romero comes to Fullerton College with two decades of community college library experience as a library media technician at El Camino College, where he assisted in over seeing the Public Access Department of the library. Additionally, he has worked for the City of Los Angeles and the City of Redondo Beach as a part-time librarian. He was also an adjunct librarian at Fullerton College. Romero earned an associate’s degree at El Camino College, and was accepted into the World, Arts and Culture program at UCLA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in cultural studies. He holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from UCLA.
Yvonne Salazar has taught cosmetology at Fullerton College for eight years and has more than 22 years of professional experience in the beauty industry. Her career began in 1993 at Precision 6 Salon. In 2006, she enrolled in the Cosmetology Teacher Trainee Program at Fullerton College and was employed there as an adjunct instructor in 2007. She obtained two more adjunct positions at Golden West and Cerritos colleges. She also became an American Board Certified Hair Colorist, obtained a barber license, and earned a bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Salazar continues to educate herself so she can share her knowledge with others.
Jeff Samano joins the Speech Department this fall. He graduated from CSU Long Beach with his bachelor’s and master’s in communication studies. His prior experience includes serving as an adjunct instructor at Cerritos, Fullerton and Long Beach City colleges. He also served as the director of the individual events for Cal State Long Beach’s forensics team. During his free time he enjoys visiting family and friends, going for a hike, and watching the newest TED Talk.
A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Citlally Santana was raised in Anaheim. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/Latina Studies at USC. Santana pursued her Master of Arts in Education-Counseling from Cal State Dominguez Hills. Helping students pursue higher education has inspired her work in community colleges throughout Southern California for well over a decade. She finds inspiration in the people and places that bring the arts to life both at home and abroad. Her extensive travels alongside her spouse, have taken her across the globe to Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Japan and China.
P.E. / Men’s Track & Field Coach
Sean Sheil joins the staff at Fullerton College after spending 18 years as an instructor and coach for cross country and track and field at El Camino College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at CSU Stanislaus and his Master of Science in Physical Education at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While a grad student, he began coaching at Cuesta College and upon graduation, became the exercise test technician for the Beach Cities Health District in Redondo Beach. He began his teaching career in 1997 as an instructor at El Camino and LA Trade Technical colleges.
Ryan Shiroma has more than seven years of teaching experience at Fullerton College as an adjunct instructor. He has also taught at Mt. SAC, El Camino College and West Coast University. Outside of the classroom, he has editing experience as well as several publication credits in the creative writing field. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University and his bachelor’s degree in English from Cal State Long Beach.
Brian Shotwell is a San Diego native and is thrilled to be teaching physics at Fullerton College. He received a Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from UCSD after a brief stint on the East Coast where he received his master’s from Yale and discovered his love of teaching during graduate school. In his free time, Shotwell likes to surf, despite being pretty terrible at it.
Gretchen Stanton received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from UC Riverside. After culminating her doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania with a collaboration in Tarragona, Spain, she went on to teach introductory chemistry at Pierce College. During this time, Stanton also taught organic chemistry at the Keck Science Department at Claremont McKenna College for two years. There, she embraced her passion for teaching and outreach and served as a faculty mentor in Keck Science’s inaugural Summer Science Immersion Program for incoming freshmen.
Dr. Matt Tribbe has taught U.S. and western history courses. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from University of Cincinnati, as well as a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his arrival at FC, he taught at UT-Austin, the University of Houston, and the University of Connecticut. He is the author of No Requiem for the Space Age: The Apollo Moon Landings and American Culture.
Valerie Tuttle is excited to join the Reading Department at Fullerton College. She received her Master of Science in Education/Reading and her Bachelor of Science in Child Development from Cal State Fullerton, and has lived in Orange County her whole life. She has taught reading courses at Cypress, Santiago Canyon and Long Beach City colleges. She also has many years of experience at the elementary school level. Besides reading, Tuttle enjoys attending sports events, traveling and spending time with her family.
Marcu Wade joins the Cosmetology Department full-time after teaching at Fullerton College since 2010. She previously taught at Cerritos and Golden West colleges. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Cal State Fullerton. Her 15 years of professional salon experience coupled with her experience in the cosmetic laboratory, has allowed her to keep current with trends, technology, and advanced techniques pertaining to the cosmetology industry.
P.E./Men’s Basketball Coach
Perry Webster served as a part-time instructor and lead assistant for the men’s basketball team at Saddleback College from 2012-2015 ending the Gaucho’s 2015 season with a state championship. Webster received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports studies from Cal State Fullerton where he also played on the basketball team under a full scholarship. He holds a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University and shares his love of sports with his new bride, Stacey Webster, an assistant soccer coach at Cal State Fullerton.