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Meet the Staff

Deborah Thien

Dr. Deborah Thien, Interim Director

Office: Library, Room 507

Phone: 562.985.4233
Email: deborah.thien@csulb.edu

Deborah Thien, Professor of Geography completed her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, UK as a recipient of a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship. She received her MA from The University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, and she was also an international exchange scholar at Massey University, New Zealand. In both research and teaching, Dr. Thien explores the intersections of gender, place and culture, with a special interest in feminist and emotional geographies. Dr. Thien serves as an editor for the academic journals: Emotion, Space & Society and she has authored numerous publications.

Since her arrival at CSULB 2006, Dr. Thien has maintained a commitment to student success, as undergraduate advisor, graduate advisor, and supervisor for several graduate theses and directed studies. She is an advocate of maximizing student educational experience, whether through local activities or studying abroad. She looks forward to meeting and mentoring UHP students.

Vincent Norga, Associate Director

Vincent Norga, Associate Director

Office: Library, Room 507

Phone: 562.985.1950
Email: vincent.norga@csulb.edu

Vincent earned a Masters in Educational psychology from CSULB.  His experience in higher education ranges from coordinating placement exams, first-year transition programs, study skill workshops, academic intervention programs, graduate school preparation courses, academic advising, and scholarships.   

Vincent completed his undergraduate education at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), where he pursued a BA in Psychology. In undergrad he conducted and presented research under different faculty members with topics including anxiety, information re-call, and auditory perception.

Vincent strives to assist students in reaching their full potential and looks forward in working with you.

Kashima Samuels

Kashima Samuels, Associate Director

Office: Library, Room 507

Phone: 562.985.4706
Email: kashima.samuels@csulb.edu

Kashima attended UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) and pursued a BA in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating from UCSC, Kashima joined AmeriCorps and volunteered as an Outreach Coordinator for a California low-income housing community. Through this experience, she was able to engage with a diverse population and directly address social justice issues. During this time, she was reminded of why education was important and made the decision to pursue her graduate degree in Student Affairs.

Kashima graduated from the CSULB Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) Master’s program in 2013. In graduate school, she served as President for the Association for Professionals in Student Affairs; co-developed, implemented and coordinated an International Service Learning Program at CSULB; completed a thesis that examined how international service learning experiences influence graduate student identity development; and co-presented research at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

Lizette Alvarez

Lizette Alvarez, Academic Advisor

Office: Library, Room 507

Phone: 562.985.2426
Email: lizette.alvarez@csulb.edu

Lizette received a BA in Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies from CSULB. She is an alumna of the UHP and served on the UHPSA 2011-2012 board. Her undergraduate Honors thesis is titled, “Indigenous Languages in Contemporary México: Preservation, Restoration, and Cultural Re-invention.” It was during the thesis-writing-process that Lizette realized her passion for social justice and interdisciplinary research.

Lizette entered the CSULB Health Science Graduate Program shortly after graduation and received two graduate fellowships with the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training: She mentored CSULB undergraduate students majoring in the health-related sciences as part of the Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance (H2OLA) and taught childhood obesity prevention nutrition workshops for the Sanos y Fuertes/Healthy & Strong project. Her graduate thesis examines differences in psychosocial determinants of physical activity among minority middle school girls by phases of pubertal development. She received her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Community Health Education in 2015.

Her research interests include: food systems and nutrition, health disparities, neoliberalism, borders, identity, and linguistic and cultural rights.

Jacqueline Toy

Jacqueline Toy, Academic Advisor

Office: Library, Room 507

Phone: 562.985.1951
Email: jacqueline.toy@csulb.edu

Jacqueline Toy received a BS in Public Health Sciences and a minor in Education from University California, Irvine (UCI). Jacqueline’s Student Affairs experience ranges from working in Housing and Residential Life, Student Life & Leadership, and the Office of Student Conduct.

Jacqueline is joining the University Honors Program as an Academic Advisor after receiving her MS in Counseling with the option in Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) from CSULB. In graduate school, she served as a Graduate Assistant for Women’s Gender and Equity Center as well as an Assistant Residential College Coordinator in Housing and Residential Life. She completed her thesis entitled Mentors in Violence Prevention Training and Its Effectiveness with Resident Assistants, which explored gender violence and the effect of a leadership bystander training with student leaders on a college campus. Jacqueline is a student-centered Academic Affairs professional with interests in student leadership and advocates for student growth and development. She is very excited to be joining the UHP family and have the opportunity to provide guidance and support to UHP students.