Student Success Center Interim Director

Jennifer Lawler

Counseling and College Student Personnel Services, M.S.

Educational Leadership: Higher Education, Ed.D

Photo of Dr. Jesus VegaLikes: Spending time with friends and family, Harry Potter, Disney

Dislikes: Feeling content, seafood

My role at GPS: Ensuring students feel welcomed and supported at the Student Success Center

What I love about working at GPS: The family culture and positive energy from everyone that walks into our center



Pam Kennedy-Luna

Counseling Psychology and Pupil Personnel Service, M.A.

Picture of Pam Kennedy-Luna outside

Likes:  Warm days, The Andy Griffith Show, family, lemon meringue pie, "old school" music, being a mom

Dislikes: Cottage cheese, grumpy people, procrastination


My role at GPS: Master of the air conditioner/heater, doing what I can to motivate, educate, and support students toward reaching their academic goals and potential


What I love about working at GPS: The close family/team atmosphere, getting to know all the great, wonderful GPS students




Dr. Eddie Beltran

Counseling and College Student Personnel Services, M.S.

Educational Leadership, Ed.DPicture of Eddie Beltran in a park

Likes: Movies, laughing, spending time with my family and friends

Dislikes: Email, slow Internet, gum on the bottom of my shoe

My role at GPS: Helping students feel capable of accomplishing their personal and educational goals, connected to our office and the campus community, and inspired to achieve more than they could have ever imagined

What I love about working at GPS: The students, staff and memories we create 


Student Success Coaches


Rachelle Goetz

Communication, Broadcast Journalism, B.S. [In progress: Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, M.S.]

photo of Rachelle GoetzLikes: Exercise, Shaquille O’Neal, shopping, sunshine, traveling, shoes, inspirational quotes


Dislikes: Sour milk, bad hair days, bad grammar in text messages, overripe bananas, SF Giants (Go Dodgers!), not getting enough sleep


My role at GPS: Duchess of the back corner desk, to inspire and facilitate positive energy in academic and creative environments and propel students to new breadth and depth in their lives


What I love about working at GPS: Witnessing our students’ growth and change, seeing the excitement upon their successes, and our awesome team spirit (including whipped cream pies!)


Karla Montenegro

Counseling, specialization in College Counseling and Student Services, M.S. 

Likes: Taking care of plants, going to the beach, visiting aquariums, drinking coffee, eating cheesecake

Dislikes: Caramel flavored food/drinks, messy spaces, Greek yogurt

My role at GPS: Creating small activities for students wanting to de-stress in the lobby area (some can be found in the student supplies area and the white board), meeting with students to help them develop the skills they need to successfully achieve their goals and become the person they want to be, supporting the DREAMers Club on campus


What I love about working at GPS: Getting to meet a lot of friendly students, the team in the center is very outgoing and funny, the environment in the Student Success Center is welcoming and inclusive


Seville Ajiri

Educational Counseling with Concentration in School and Family Based Counseling, M.S., P.P.S

Likes: Anything food/cooking related, oversized sweater, daylight savings time (I know, I'm the only one)

Dislikes: Allergies, waking up to the sound of my alarm, overbooked weekends

My role at GPS: Motivator to our students here to help them navigate their way through college and life, learning stress management skills and coping strategies along the way


What I love about working at GPS: The positive energy, how warm and welcoming the staff and students are, how happy everyone gets for each other’s accomplishments




Stephanie CaranicaPicture of Stephanie Caranica outside

Communication Studies, B.A. [In progress: Counseling and College Student Personnel Services, M.S.]

Likes: Mornings, handmade journals, flossing my teeth, snail mail, being with my family

Dislikes: Waking up early, the "Would You Rather" game, slow computers, boardgames (unless it's chess)

My role at GPS: Website updater, seeing each student's potential and encouraging them to achieve their goals, raising awareness about awesome resources to help students succeed

What I love about working at GPS: Walking into a room full of positive energy each day, celebrating our students' little and big accomplishments


Student Staff


Kathy Guerra

Likes: Disneyland, summer, orangutans, See's candies, In 'n Out

Dislikes: Cockroaches, math, science, rain, oranges

My role at GPS: The first person you see when you walk in, a shining smile, your go-to for scheduling your appointments, the person who refills the printer and SNACKS


What I love about working at GPS: My GPS family, working here does not feel like work at all but just that I'm helping others





Aly Hernandez

Likes: Disneyland, the color blue, UCLA, spring, coffee, white flowers

Dislikes: Mayonnaise, the Trojans, excessive heat

My role at GPS: Help all students with anything they need, including registering for classes, keeper of happy and fun environment, giver of free swag


What I love about working at GPS: The welcoming environment, being able to work with people who actually care about your well-being, meeting new people