Professional Staff

Andrene Headshot

Andrene Kaiwi-Conner

Director, New Student and Family Programs

Mrs. Kaiwi-Conner has been a member of our CSU and orientation, transition and retention community for over 30 years! Prior to joining the SJSU New Student and Family Programs Team in January 2023, she was the director for new student and transition programs at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo.  Andrene is an active member and leader of NODA, the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education where she has served the association in many leadership roles -- including as association president, association consultant, annual conference host, on the board of directors, as regional coordinator of four states, and as faculty for the Orientation Professionals Institute. She is first in her family to attend college earning her Associates degree from Cypress Community College in Orange County, then her Bachelor of Science and Master’s in Education degrees, both from the CSU at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. She is passionate about supporting students and their families while they navigate higher education and loves that she gets to do that with an equally passionate team at San Jose State University.

Drew Nicklas

Drew Nicklas 

Assistant Director

Ms. Nicklas joined the New Student and Family Programs team in Fall 2021 as the Parent and Family Programs Coordinator.  She began her role as Assistant Director in Febraury 2024.  Searned her Master of Education in Counselor Education (Student Affairs) from Clemson University and has worked in first-year experience and orientation prior to joining our team at SJSU.  She is also an alumna of the CSU system as she completed her Bachelor of Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  She is an active member in NODA, the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education as well as AHEPPP, the national association for family engagement in higher education.  She is excited to support the newest members of the SJSU community!

Noheli Serrano

Noheli Fuerte

First Year Engagement Coordinator 

Mrs. Fuerte earned her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies (Higher Education) from California State University Sacramento and received her Bachelors of Arts in Communication from Southern Oregon University. She has primarily worked in residential life throughout undergrad and graduate school, and is excited to dive into orientation. Her Masters research project focused on exploring the wealth of support Latinx families are able to pass down to their children as they transition to college, and she is thrilled to be able to apply her research into her position at SJSU. Noheli is happy to be part of the NSFP team and excited to help new Spartans transition to higher ed!

Bianca Aranda

Bianca Aranda

Administrative Support Coordinator

Ms. Aranda is a candidate for her Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership at San Jose State University, where she also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Education. Her research focuses on enhancing graduate student engagement and sense of belonging across academic colleges at San Jose State. Her academic and professional experience has provided her with the guidance and motivation to want to contribute to improving academic standards, student success, engagement, and retention. She is grateful to be able to fulfill these goals by supporting and welcoming new students and families to the Spartan community!