Meet the Mentors

Please take a few minutes to read the profiles of mentors who are a part of the program. You may contact any of us individually and/or attend one of the campus events. For additional questions, please email us at lgbtmentors@csustan.edu.


Photo of Robin BaldridgeRobin Baldridge

Hi, I’m Robin Baldridge. I am an adjunct lecturer in Gender Studies and English and teach several Gender Studies courses on a rotating basis, including the queer centric “Gender and Sexuality in Literature in Film.” The design of that class partially emerged from the Queer Theory Focused Research Cluster at UCSC, of which I was a founding member. I taught my first class at Stanislaus State in the Spring of 2002. I had reluctantly moved to Turlock from Santa Cruz, where I had been working on my Ph.D. in early modern nationalities and sexualities in the Literature program at UCSC. My partner had a job here at Stanislaus, we had a six—week old daughter, and it no longer made sense to live in two different places. I was apprehensive about the dominant cultural community I would encounter in the Central Valley and did indeed experience an incredibly heteronormative and heterosexist world—view in my neighborhood and beyond. Part of my personal solution to curtailing my sense of being an alienated outsider who appeared complicit in sexual privilege and gender normativity as a new mom was to bring queer theory and sexuality studies into the curriculum in any class I got to teach as an adjunct. I have done so ever since. I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve our student community as an LGBTQ mentor. Contact me at rbaldridge@csustan.edu.


Photo fo Jessica De SilvaJessica De Silva

Hi, my name is Jessica De Silva and I am an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Stan State (yay STEM!). I started at Stan in Fall 2018, but I was actually an undergraduate here just a few years ago. My home town is Hilmar, you can find it by driving a few miles south on 99 and taking the Lander Ave exit. Once you see cornfields, dairies, and Portuguese bakeries, you’re in the right spot. Before moving back to the Turlock area, I spent 5 years in Lincoln, Nebraska working towards my Ph.D. in Mathematics. Although it was great to have an active sports team (go Huskers!) I am happy to be back home in the Central Valley.

In my free time, I enjoy working out (mostly weights, a little stair master) and cooking (trying out Mediterranean recipes these days). My favorite part of being a professor is taking the time to get to know my students beyond the classroom. As an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, being a mentor for this program is an incredibly rewarding way for me to support our beautifully diverse student body at Stan State. Please feel free to send me an email at jdesilva1@csustan.edu or drop by my office in the Science 1 Building, room S115. 


Photo of Rachel GrimshawRachel Grimshaw

I’m Rachel Grimshaw. This is my tenth year teaching in the English Department, and when I’m not grading, you can find me at a local coffee shop, playing card or board games with friends, playing video games, floating the river, attending live music events, reading, writing, or arithmaticing (not really—I’m a nerd, but I don’t do the math for fun). If I can do any of these activities with my girlfriend of 13 years and our puppy, Greta, that’s even better. I attended Stan State for undergraduate and graduate work, and when I transferred to this campus in 2006, I had just come out. I was lucky enough to find myself surrounded with love and acceptance both at work and at school, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. As someone who comes from a conservative family and region, I know the difference a support system can make, and I would love the opportunity to work with students who need support, guidance, or even just an open ear or a friendly face.

Because of the leadership position I’ve taken in the program, I’ve decided not to take on any new mentees at this time. I made this decision, so I’m available to support all of the students in our program. You can reach me by email: rgrimshaw@csustan.edu or in person during office hours Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00 (DBH 246). I look forward to meeting you, I’m excited to have you be a part of our program, and I hope you have an amazing year!


Photo of Stephanie HubbardStephanie Hubbard

Hello!  My name is Stephanie Hubbard and I am the Director for Student Leadership and Development.   I identify as Bi-Sexual and live with my partner, Karen, and our animals Amani and Aurora.  Outside of work, we spend much of our time at the water (ocean, lake, or pool), playing games, seeing movies, and traveling.  I am a native Californian who grew up in San Diego, worked in four different regions of the country, and have been working in the Bay area for the last 18 years.  I started at Stan State in August and I have really enjoyed getting to know the campus and our amazing students.  I am passionate about diversity and social justice and worked with students and administrators to open the campus Diversity Center this last year.  I find supporting and empowering students so rewarding, which is why I wanted to serve as an LGBTQ+ Mentor.  If you need someone to listen, provide support, or help you through challenges you are facing – please feel free to contact me at: shubbard1@csustan.edu, (209)-664-6939, or come by my office in Housing Village 1 #118.


Photo of Mirta MaldonadoMirta Maldonado

Hi, my name is Mirta Maldonado, and I am a professor of English at Stan State. I came to the university in August of 2016 to teach in the TESOL program in our department, and I have to say I am still enjoying it to this day. When I am not teaching, you can find me wandering around town taking pictures or trying to find plantains, sofrito, culantro (not cilantro), and all sorts of ingredients that make food taste even better. Looking at my grocery list, you can probably guess that I have a passion for cooking Puerto Rican foods, perhaps because it brings me a little piece of home -yes, you guessed it right! I am Puerto Rican. Aside from Puerto Rican foods, I am also experimenting on preparing Filipino delicacies, because I feel that’s it’s unfair for my spouse to always be stir-frying when I am craving pansit or lumpia, which is more often than I would like to admit. When I am not cooking, teaching, or grading papers, I also spend the majority of my time with our two lovable fur babies, Sofrito and Wasabi. They are always finding ways to keep me entertained, and most importantly, always on my toes. I know I might seem a little quiet at first, but once I find myself in familiar grounds, I can be a big talker, a good listener, and even a bit of a goof. So, if you think you would like to connect, feel free to contact me at mvalentin1@csustan.edu.


Photo of Jon McFarlandJon McFarland

My name is Jon McFarland, and I am an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education in the Single Subject Credential Program. Before coming to Stan State, I have been teaching English and French language, literature, and culture for over 20 years at multiple institutions at both secondary and tertiary levels. My research interests include second language acquisition, academic gamification, generational learning, and educational technology, and issues of equity and diversity. When not working, I enjoy exercising, cooking vegan food, listening to an array of different music, and hanging out with my dogs. I also enjoy going to museums and discussing art and pop culture. I always look forward to meeting and working with students of all backgrounds. Feel free to reach out to me at jmcfarland1@csustan.edu.


Photo of Dr. Paul James MorganPaul James Morgan

Hello, I’m Paul James Morgan. I'm a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Gerontology, and Gender Studies. My academic research and interests centralize issues of work and labor, crafts, gender, and money to better understand the ways in which people use culture to navigate the economy. In my spare time, I’m a hobbyist potter who enjoys locally roasted coffee, vinyl records, thrift store hunts, bad TV marathons, and vegan baked goods.

I’m originally from Yuma, Arizona, so the Central Valley is very much like home. As such, I know quite well the trials and tribulations of coming out in an agricultural region that is separated geographically and culturally from a larger, urban metropolis.

I look forward to helping students as they navigate college life, explore LGBTQ+ life, and prepare for the time beyond Stan State in any way that I can. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at pmorgan1@csustan.edu or swing by my office in DBH 360 during my office hours (Mondays 9:15a-11:00a)


Photo of Dr. Dana NakanoDana Nakano

My name is Dana Nakano. I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and been here at Stan State since fall 2014. Professionally, my research takes an intersectional approach to race, immigration, sexuality, and the affective dimensions of citizenship (You can ask me what that all means at one of our events!...or not). I also bring this approach to the courses I teach in sociological theory and methods, immigration, gender, and race and ethnic relations. Outside of work, I can be found relaxing in Oakland (where I live…but I am a So Cal boy at heart) or playing soccer with my LGBT soccer club, the San Francisco Spikes. I look forward to helping students navigate their unique college experiences as well as personal challenges that face LGBTQ+ young adults, particularly for LGBTQ+ folks of color. I know how important it is to build community and a sense of belonging. As a mentor, I hope to help students develop spaces and feelings of belonging that will enable them to live their best college life with academic success. So, for a good time (totally kidding), feel free to contact me at dnakano@csustan.edu, or Bizzini 213-G. Oh, and I also currently serve as co-director of the program with Rachel. In this capacity, I am happy to meet with and support any of the students in our program!

(The card in the photo reads: “Ph.D., an academic that has learned more and more about less and less until they know everything about everything.” Accurate.)


Mentor with PlantJocelyn Olick

Hello, I’m Jocelyn Olick. This is my third year teaching at Stan State, and I primarily teach in the English Department. However, you may find me in other departments too. You will definitely see me at both the Stockton and Turlock campuses. I also teach ESL courses at Modesto Junior College.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, yoga, reading fiction books, binge-watching bad TV, and spending time with friends and family. If you like games, I am a Taboo champion. I love plants and probably have over 50 in my home. I can tell you the best local spots to get coffee and soup if you’re ever in Stockton.

I am excited to work with students in Stockton, Turlock, and wherever you may find yourself. If you need someone to listen, want guidance, want to talk, or would like to connect, please reach out. I understand how important it is to have support and community when coming out and to be out. And I think this is especially true here in the Central Valley. Feel free to e-mail me! jolick@csustan.edu


Tabbitha Raebel

Hi! I’m Tabbitha, Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. I’ve been with the CSU since 2018 as both staff and graduate student, and have been an active LGBTQ+ and polyamorous community advocate, support group attendee, and group facilitator outside of the CSU for going on 7 years. In 2019 I presented a paper titled “The Bloomsbury Group, Homosexuality, and Polyamory: Modernity’s Deviation from Traditional Relationship Models” at the Queer Modernisms Conference at Oxford – the one in England! – and was delighted to engage with people from all over the world about Queer studies and literature. I very much enjoy working with our program’s students and building a stronger sense of community and am eager to be involved with and assist my mentees. You may reach me at traebel@csustan.edu or 209-667-3130.  


Photo of Vicke SalisburyVickie Salisbury

My name is Vickie Salisbury, and I am a graduate of Stan State with a BS in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration.

I currently live with my wife and youngest son in Turlock. I work in Information Services which a part of the Office of Information Technology here at Stan State. When not on campus, I like to camp, hike, kayak, play board games, tinker with computers and robotics, and ride my trike. Having been brought up in a very conservative family, I know the struggles of finding yourself. I would love to be an ear to listen and help be the support a student needs to find their way. Feel free to contact me at vsalisbury@csustan.edu.


Image of Mentor on Mountain RoadDaniel Soodjinda

My name is Daniel Soodjinda and I have been a professor at Stan State for about 10 years in the Department of Liberal Studies and Teacher Education.  Prior to being a professor, I was an elementary school teacher in Southern California where I taught in South LA.  Most of my experience in K-12 teaching stems from working with Black and Latinx students, and I am interested in research relating to anti-racist, social justice, and asset-oriented teaching practices that can support students of color.  I've also done work with the LGBTQ+ community and have conducted research with LGBTQ+ Asian American students.  I currently split my time between living in Turlock (during the semester), and living in Richmond, which is located in the Bay Area near Berkeley.  When I'm not working, I'm usually out for a long run, or hanging out with my partner and/or dogs - Monty and Rupert. More info about my background and research areas can be found HERE.  Thanks!


Paul Strauss

Hello! I’m Paul Strauss, a transplant to California via Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Germany. Having grown up on a farm, the Central Valley feels very familiar to me. I am a faculty member in the Department of History, where I teach ancient, medieval, and early modern European history, focusing on religious history and the Reformation. Before my Ph.D. work, I was a high school teacher in rural Missouri and I did my student teaching on a military base. When not working on campus, I’m either reading a historical, science fiction, or fantasy book, hiking, being physically active, playing volleyball, or exploring California. Learning to lean on and reach out to mentors and friends from a variety of backgrounds have shaped my life, so giving back to the community and supporting others is deeply important for me. Please contact me at pstrauss@csustan.edu, (209) 667-3238, or (History Department) Bizzini Hall 118H.


Photo of Pam YoungPam Young

I’m Pam Young, and here I am with 3 of my 4 kids. Can you tell who is straight, who is bisexual, who is questioning? Because I am the kind of mom who is a good listener and easy to talk to, I also know that it’s not easy to talk to your own mom until you feel sure about what you want to say. If any of our LGBTQ students would like a mom-type person to talk to, I think I could be one. You can show up in email or in person before you even know what you hope for from a mentor. I am especially interested in being there for the not—sure—yet population. People need a place where it feels safe to think aloud with a listener who can help sort through the hard—to—talk—about stuff. Please contact me at pyoung1@csustan.edu, (209) 667-3361 (English department) or DBH 235B. I am not able to accept new mentees at the moment, but I am happy to help introduce you to other mentors.