FMP Active Mentors
Renato Alvim is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Modern Languages, where he teaches Portuguese and, sometimes, Spanish. Renato lives in Turlock (Originally from Brazil) loves traveling, learning, cooking, hiking, dancing, reading, biking, and playing with his cat.
"I like to listen to what students have to say. I support them, and I appreciate having the chance to know about our students' diversity and present steps to achieve what they plan for their future. I am here to help."
Office: S103B Extension: 6704 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Cotter, teaches psychology at the Stockton Center. Originally from the Los Angeles area, went to Boston for graduate school, and now back in California raising two little kids.
"I am interested in health and social relations across the lifespan. I like to hike, bike, dance, eat, read, travel, spend time outdoors, and enjoy the company of friends and family. I'm a supportive mentor; I try to help students achieve their goals but I'm not pushy. I look forward to learning more about you and helping you to achieve your goals in any way I can."
Office: B240J Extension: 3865
Jessica De Silva
Jessica De Silva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Originally from Hilmar, California, Jessica is a Central Valley native and Stan State alumna. She pursued her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and says “It was great to get out of the CV and experience a different American culture (those midwesterners…) but nothing beats being back home near her family and friends!”
You’ll often find Jessica chatting it up with students in the hallways and her office (Science 1, 115). These conversations capture her favorite part of being a professor: getting to know such beautiful people. She aims to help students make the most out of their college experience, academically, professionally, and socially. Most importantly, Jessica hopes that every one of her students feel they are part of her extended family and cared for as such.
Office: Science 1, 115 Extension: 3540
José R. Díaz-Garayúa
José R. Díaz-Garayúa teaches courses in human geography and geographic information systems (GIS) in the Department of Anthropology, Geography & Ethnic Studies. He is interested in Latin American Studies and his research interests are in the area of socio-economics inequities and race, ethnicity, and place, among others.
"I am first-generation from Puerto Rico (my first language is Spanish). I have live in OH, MD, KY, and CA. I have traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica, Perú, and other Latin American and Caribbean countries. "I like to talk with students about their academic progress & their goals. I always look forward to the commencement ceremony."
Office: B216 Extension: 3479
Victor Luevano (loo-EHV-uh-no; kind of rhymes with “you never no”) is a professor of psychology. He is a first-generation college student who grew up in New Mexico. He earned his B.S. degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, lived in Austin, TX for a couple of years where he did not go to school, and then went to the Boston area to earn his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. He has been an active mentor in FMP since 2012.
“My favorite part of FMP is getting to know our students (and faculty, for that matter) on a personal level. This is such a great organization. If you ever get a chance to go on an FMP retreat, take it!”
Office: B237 Extension: 3096
Sandra García Sanborn
Sandra García Sanborn is a lecturer in Spanish and Hispanic Literature in the Department of Philosophy and Modern Languages.
Hi, there! I have been faculty in the Spanish Program for 15 years now and I am very proud of my students. I love learning new languages and traveling and have studied English, French, and Portuguese through high school and college. That's right: English is not my mother tongue. Funny enough, though I have been living in California for 30 years, I still have a strong accent. I also love mentoring students. Communicating with students, listening to their inquiries, finding ways that can lead them to success, and being available asap, is something I have been doing from my very first day teaching simply because it is my passion to support as many students I have can in succeeding and accomplishing their dreams.
The portrait behind me is by my artivist friend Mirta Toledo. It is titled "Autorretrato del Regreso"© In English: "Self-Portrait after my Return". Mirta Toledo is an Indo-Afro-Argentine visual artist who lived in the US in the '90s. She is on Instagram @mirtatoledo.arte I love her work! I am passionate about the arts, writing poetry, animals, and dancing tango :)
Office: S240 Extension: 3501
Alex Hiropoulos, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, researches xenophobia, migration, violence, and policing, and immigration control.
"I'm a first-generation college student and daughter of immigrants. I grew up in various places, including a small town in the U.S. and Athens, Greece. I've lived, studied, and/or worked in various countries, including Greece, England, Belgium, Scotland in Europe, NYC and California in the U.S., and South Africa. I enjoy mentoring students in navigating the college experience, techniques in managing the associated stress, and listening to their concerns, and answering questions"
Office: B126B Extension: 6722
Clarissa Lonn-Nichols works in the Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs. She is from Modesto, California.
"I love reading, traveling, walking my two dogs, enjoying a good suspense movie, meeting new people, and swimming."
"My mentoring style reflects the needs and goals of each protégé and their ambitions and horizons."
Office: MSR360H Extension: 6564
Virginia Montero-Hernández is an Associate professor in the Doctoral Program in Education and Director of the Center for Excellence in Graduate Education (CEGE).
"I love dogs and I walk every day with my dog Ted, a small white Poodle. I come from Mexico and I Speak Spanish fluently. I am the oldest of my siblings. I am a good cook and I love dancing to all types of music!"
Office: DBH350 Extension: 6564
Jason Pourtaverdi teaches in the Department of Criminal Justice at both Turlock Campus and Stockton Center. He loves "anything outdoors!"
"I love being out in nature where it's quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. I follow all 4 major sports and soccer when there is a World Cup. I love playing dominos, and softball from time to time. I am here to be the person you can speak to no matter what is going on in your life. I hope to gain your trust and build a relationship we can maintain well beyond graduation!"
Office: B118K Extension: 3406
Brent Powell is a Professor of Public Health in the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health Promotion. Currently living in Modesto (originally from Alabama).
I also am a first-generation student. I love to travel, explore nature and cities, college football, and amusement parks (especially Disney). "I love to talk and listen. I’m a great sounding board."
Office: FX111 Extension: 3348
Sebastián Sclofsky teaches criminal justice at Turlock and Stockton campuses. He is interested in state and police violence, socio-economic inequalities, critical race theory, abolitionism, and Latin America, among others.
“I was born and raised in Uruguay. I lived in Brazil and Israel before coming to the US. I am crazy about sports, in particular futbol (90 minutes of the best sport in the world) and rugby. I love traveling, and I am crazy about the beach. I love reading, spending time with family and friends, and drinking mate, of course. I like to listen to students about whatever they want to share with me and find ways to help.”
Office: Turlock B107C Stockton A1008 Extension: 6618
Jenni Whitmer is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, where she primarily teaches classes on gender, sex, embodiment, and social inequalities. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, film, reading, buying too many clothes, and being a cat lady.
"I joined FMP because I was a first-generation student, and I wanted a way to give back and help students. I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know students and help them to achieve their goals."
Office: B211 Extension: 3708
Karen Zandarski teaches in the Department of English.
"Outside of work I like camping, hiking, kayaking, knitting, and of course reading and writing (I’m an English teacher after all). I am especially proud to have graduated from a junior college as a nontraditional, first-generation student. I understand and empathize with the struggles my students are experiencing. I mentor because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I have been so lucky to have people in my life who helped and supported me through school and into my career; I want to give some of that back."
Office: DBH229 Extension: 3284
Updated: August 21, 2023