Meet the SOAR Team

SOAR Professional Staff

drew agbay

Drew Agbay, SOAR Director

Drew is a Spartan through and through. He graduated with a BA degree in Behavioral Science, Double Major in Psychology and earned his MA in Counselor Education both at SJSU. Originally from San Leandro, Drew is proud of where he comes from but has called San Jose State his home for over 20 years. His hobbies include playing and watching basketball, riding his road bike, staying active all while being a huge "foodie" too. His favorite part of his job is traveling and interacting with different people from all walks of life.

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amanda aldama fernandes

Amanda Fernandes, Spartan East Side Promise Program Lead

Amanda has proudly developed and led the Spartan East Side Promise Program since its inception.  With a foundation in project management, and a diverse background in civil and community services, she brings a wealth of experience, and a proven track record of innovation and success in various leadership capacities. Her commitment to fostering lasting positive change is deeply rooted in her passion for giving back to the community, having previously served two terms as a Youth Commissioner for the City of San Jose. Amanda is an alum of the East Side Union High School District and San Jose State University, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science, as well as her Masters in Education, Counseling and Guidance. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, watching Marvel movies, and traveling. 

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Axel Garcia

Axel Garcia, Non Resident (Out of State) / International Admissions Counselor and Recruiter

Axel was born and raised in Oakland, California. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Hispanic Linguistic Studies from Saint Mary's College of California. He is a huge fan of Soccer and is a Jersey Collector for the Guatemalan National Soccer Team. The oldest jersey from his collection dates to 1967! He also has a passion for giving back to the community and guiding students through the college application process.

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 Alison Ross-Medina

Alison Ross-Medina, Welcome Center Operations Specialist/Admissions Counselor

Alison is a first-generation graduate from SJSU with a BA in Communication Studies and a minor in Sociology. She is passionate about advocating for underrepresented populations within higher education, and loves supporting students through their collegiate journey. In her free time, Alison loves to go thrifting, watch live music, and travel

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Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah, Transfer Admissions Counselor/Recruiter

Purvi is a proud first-gen product of the CSU system where she received a BA in Psychology from CSU Monterey Bay. She also started her professional career there before becoming a Spartan. Her goal is to help students navigate through higher education and ensure they are aware of all of the opportunities out there. She loves exploring new places, trying new foods and is a 49ers fan.

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Verenice Rojas, Transfer Success Pathways Coordinator

Verenice is a first generation student pursuing her graduate degree. During her undergraduate career she attended Mission College, Santa Clara then transferred to Notre Dame de Namur University and graduated with a BA in Psychology. Another fact about Verenice is she was not CSU eligible during her high school or community college years, so she is passionate about paying forward her knowledge about the community college and CSU system. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing and attending music festivals.

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TJ Kaur

TJ Kaur, Admissions Counselor/Recruiter

TJ is a proud Spartan Alumni. She completed her Bachelors in Health Science with a minor in Communication studies. After graduation she served as an educator on the East Side of San Jose. TJ is passionate about closing opportunity/learning gaps for first generation students. In her spare time, she loves playing with her two dogs, baking, and having book club with her closest friends.

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Santi Herrera Victor

Santi Herrera Victor, Admissions Counselor/Recruiter

Santi is honored to be a CSU alumni graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cal State East Bay in 2022. He is passionate about increasing BIPOC and underrepresented student & staff populations in higher education through the use of justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion. Originally from Mexico, Santi is proud of his heritage and background and uses his degree to honor his community. In his pastime he likes to take care of his many plants, go on nature walks/hikes, and being a foodie he loves to try new foods from around the world.

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Esmir Basic

Esmir Basic, Administrative Analyst

Esmir has spent many years growing within the SJSU environment and loves being able to use his administrative skills to help further the education of prospective students. Esmir was born in Bosnia and moved to the Bay Area when he was young, he received his Bachelors in Business Administration here at SJSU. He spends his rare free time cycling, running, and lounging around with family.

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Brendan Lorenzana

Brendan Lorenzana, Student Outreach Marketing Analyst/ University Representative

Brendan is from Dublin, California. His educational journey led him to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising from San Jose State University. As a proud AVID Alumni, he is deeply committed to fostering achievement in higher education among students. Beyond academics, he is currently exploring bass playing and possesses an a passion for hiking. Brendan's dedication extends to the community, as he finds great fulfillment in aiding students through the step of the college application process.

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Student Staff

Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors

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