Contact Us

Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center at SJSU

Email: chicanxlatinxssc@sjsu.edu 

Main Phone: 408-924-5102

Office Location
Diaz Compean Student Union
Room 1340 (across from Jamba Juice)

Mailing Address
Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center
San José State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA  95192-0196


Staff Directory

Program Director

Lilly Pinedo

Lilly Pinedo Gangai, M.A.

Pronouns: She/Her
Office Hours at the Centro:
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. and Wednesdays 11am-12pm
Email: Lilly.gangai@sjsu.edu
Phone: 408-924-5949

Lilly Pinedo Gangai is the inaugural Program Director of the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center. She leads, coordinates, and implements culturally sustaining academic programs and initiatives that support and promote Chicanx/Latinx student success. In collaboration with various campus and community partners, Lilly is committed to improving retention and graduation rates for Latinx students by applying research-based best practices and models. 

 

Program Coordinator

ElisaAquino

Elisa Aquino
Pronouns: She/Her
Office Hours at the Centro: TBD
Email: Elisa.aquino@sjsu.edu
Phone: 408-924-3919

Elisa Aquino is the program coordinator at the Chicanx Latinx Student Success Center. Elisa received her bachelor degree in Latin American Latino Studies and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2017. 

 


Student Success Leaders

Alex's Picture

Alexandra Isabel Puga
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Junior
Major: Business Administration, Concenration in Marketing
Minor: Chicano/a/x Studies

Hola todos! I am a first-generation student studying business administration with a concentration in marketing. I decided to pursue a business marketing degree as I became an entrepreneur in 2020 when I founded my Peruvian pasty business, Alexas Delights. As an entrepreneur, I discovered my interest in social media marketing and I am very excited to be starting my second year as a student success leader at Centro because I enjoy getting to know my peers in this space and seeing their growth. I am here to support you all in any way that I can. Centro has become my ‘home’ on campus and I hope that I can make others feel the same while they are here at San Jose State University. Like we like to say here ‘don’t be shy' come on in to Centro and be a part of the vibras!

 

Belen Gomez Anguiano
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Senior
Major: Psychology
Minor: Chicano/a/x Studies and Public Health

Hola! My name is Belen Gomez Anguiano (she/her/ella). I am a 4th-year student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Chicanx Studies and Public Health. I am from Orange, CA but my family is from Jalisco, México from a pueblito called Ahuisculco which means “Agua que serpentea entre las rocas,” water that winds between the rocks. As a first-generation Mexican-American college student and the eldest daughter away from home, it was hard for me to adjust to the new city and college environment. Centro, with open arms, was the space that welcomed me and made me feel most at home. Everyone I have met at Centro is always eager to help and support one another, and I knew since my first year after entering Centro that I wanted to do the same and help other students navigate through the ups and downs of college being like an older hermana to them. I look forward to meeting and helping new students that enter what has been my home away from home these past years. In the future, I would like to help and advocate for issues affecting BIPOC communities. A fun fact about me is that I enjoy working out and reading in my free time. If you see me at Centro, feel free to say hi!

 

Brianna Navarrete
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Junior
Major: Social Work 
Minor: Forensic Studies 

Hola todxs! My name is Brianna Navarrete (she/her/ella). I am a junior and am currently majoring in Social Work with a minor in Forensic Studies. I was born and raised here in San Jose, but still find myself learning something new about the city every day. As a first-generation college student, Centro was my one-stop-shop to finding all the resources I needed to succeed, and wanted to do the same for others! Every day, I look forward to helping and meeting new members of my comunidad :) A fun fact about me is that I love to paint and (when I have time) do art commissions!

 

Carolina Medina
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Junior
Major: Chicano/a/x Studies
Minor: Public Administration and Public Policy 

Hi everyone! I'm Carolina, a first-generation college student born and raised in San Jose. A few fun facts about me: I'm a huge Disney nerd, I love to read books, and I'm a June Gemini! My favorite Disney movie is Princess and the Frog and my favorite book of all time is "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe". As a commuter student, I struggled to build community on campus until I found it at Centro. Now I hope to help other students find their sense of belonging and comunidad as a Student Success Leader.

 

Emily Valdivia
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Junior
Major: Business Administration, Concenration in Marketing
Minor: Chicano/a/x Studies

Hey everyone! My name is Emily Valdivia, my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am currently a junior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and am also minoring in Chicano and Chicana Studies. I grew up in Richmond, CA, which is an hour away from San Jose (15 minutes away from Berkeley, CA), but spent my educational career in Berkeley, CA, a predominantly white affluent community. As a first-generation Latina student, I had a difficult time transitioning into college–my freshman year began during the pandemic and everything was online. I didn’t know what to expect or how to navigate my way through college as well as the resources that were available to me. However, one day, my best friend and I were walking around campus and found Centro–my safe haven. After finding mi Comunidad and such an amazing space filled with good vibras, I knew I wanted to be involved and connect underrepresented students, like me, to the resources Centro and San Jose State have to offer. So don’t be shy, stop by and say hi :)

 

Luis Aquino 
Pronouns: He/Him/Él
Class Level: Senior
Major: Political Science and Philosophy 

Hello all, my name is Luis Aquino, my pronouns are He/Him/Él. I am currently a graduating senior double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. I’m from Inglewood, in SoCal, however my family is Indigenous to Oaxaca, MX. We are Zapotec and this has played a huge role in my upbringing and the way in which I have come to understand the world. 

When I first arrived at SJSU, I was afraid that I would not be able to succeed. However, I found a home in centro and was able to crearte community with the welcoming faculty, staff, and students. Being at Centro and the community allowed me to make connections and lifelong friends that I cherish to this day. My goal at centro is to continue to foster an inclusive environment for all our community members. 

Some fun facts about me, I came in as a vocal performance major! I currently serve as the A.S. Director of Intercutlural Affairs.

Adelante Peer Mentors

Briseyda Duran Orozco
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Class Level: Junior

Hey everyone! I'm a first-generation student, I'm from San Jose. I started at San Jose State University during the pandemic, which meant everything was online. However, being a part of the Adelante program my first year helped me with my transition to college, feel more connected to the college, and find that sense of community. I'm excited to be a mentor this year, helping other students with their transition to college and feeling more connected to campus.

Dayrin Rivas
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Class Level: Sophomore
Major: Sociology/Race & Ethnic Studies

Hi everyone! My name is Dayrin Rivas, my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a first generation, majoring in sociology with a concentration in race and ethnic studies and this is my second year at San Jose State. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA and currently commute to SJSU but plan to move to San Jose later on. When starting SJSU I had a hard time adapting to the college lifestyle, thankfully Centro was there supporting me in every step of the way. This year I have the opportunity to be a part of Adelante. I am here to help you have a successful and memorable experience at San Jose State University. I am excited to meet everyone and support you in any way that I can! 

Evelyn Hinojosa
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Class Level: Sophomore
Major: Physics

Hello! My name is Evelyn but I go by Evey. I’m from the Central Valley, specifically Visalia. I consider myself a first-gen student even though my two older siblings have gone to college. I have navigated the college process so far on my own findings and being in the Adelante program myself. I’m a second year Physics major, but am in the process of switching my major to Biochemistry and moving towards a minor in Environmental Studies. I have found that my interests align with being involved and hands on. As my personal aspirations in life is to continue building awareness through medical equity to marginalized gente.

Evelyn Soriano
Class Level: Junior
Major: English & Spanish double major

Hola Todos! My name is Evelyn Soriano and I will be a mentor this year at Centro! I was born and raised in Palm Springs California and coming to San Jose was a big change for me, but opportunities like this make it all worth it. I’m currently a 3rd year double majoring in English and Spanish. My ultimate goal is to one day become a high school teacher who is able to teach both of these subjects. I want to be able to inspire my future students to become the best version of themselves and succeed in all of their dreams! With that being said, I wanted to become a mentor because I wanted to make an impact on all of my mentees lives. My first year at San Jose State I was a mentee, and  thanks to my mentor at the time, I was able to accomplish many things as a freshman. I understand how overwhelming college can be especially as a first generation college student. Navigating college on our own is hard, and as a mentor I will make sure that my mentees and anyone who crosses my path is never alone during their journey here at San Jose State! 

Kaylana Becerra
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Class Level: Senior
Major: Sociology with concentration in Race & Ethnic Studies

Hi! My name is Kaylana and I am a Sociology major with a concentration in Race and Ethnic Studies. I am also minoring in Deaf Education. My hobbies include hiking, watching movies (specifically Romance Comedies), and coloring or painting. I chose to work for Adelante as a peer mentor because I love to help incoming students transition from high school to college. The process can be scary and overwhelming and I like to be the support system and role model for the incoming students. 

Leonardo (Leo) Plazola
Pronouns: He/They
Class Level: Junior
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Minor: Japanese

Hello everyone! My name is Leonardo (Leo) Plazola, and I am excited to serve San Jose State as an Adelante Peer Mentor this upcoming year! I am a first-generation student and the first in my family to pursue an engineering degree. I am currently studying Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in astronautics and earning a minor in Japanese. Being part of this university, both online and in-person has been met with tremendous growth after each opportunity I have had in the various extracurricular and academic experiences. As an Adelante Peer Mentor, I am excited to support the transition from high school to college with the excellent resources available on campus to new students. I look forward to meeting the upcoming year’s Centro community, working with everyone, and sending good vibes!

Mario Tavarez
Pronouns: He/Him
Class Level: Junior Transfer
Major: Psychology

I'm Mario Tavarez, and I am a Peer Mentor for the Adelante Program sponsored by Centro. I am also a mentor at Peer Connections. This is my second semester at SJSU and I'm currently pursuing my bachelor's degree in psychology. My goal is to welcome everyone to SJSU, and my main goal is to help my mentees. Lastly, my hobbies consist of playing soccer with friends, listening to rock music, and meeting new people while making memories. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you!

Quetzalli Sanchez
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Class Level: Junior
Major: Jusitce Studies with Criminology concentration
Minor: Chicano/a Studies & Legal Studies

Hola Tod@s! I am a San Jose native from West San Jose. My dad's side of the family is from Jalisco, Mexico and most of my family members reside there. My mother's side of the family is Purépecha and I hold that identity close to my heart. I have two younger brothers which makes me the oldest and only girl in the familia. Me encanta ayudar a otros y encontrar comunidad. I plan on attending Law School after my undergrad and pursuing a career as an attorney. For fun I enjoy anything that has to do with moving my body. I love to dance and most recently I am getting back into running. Growing up I played soccer and now I enjoy going out to watch a game more than playing. I am so excited to connect with you all! ¡Nos Vemos!