Casimiro M ("CJ") Tolentino, Professional Staff Advisor
Casimiro M. (“CJ”) Tolentino was born and raised in Los Angeles. Starting his college career at the community college level, he eventually transferred, earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA and then his Master of Science in Counseling: Specialization in College Counseling and Student Services from Cal State Northridge. He is passionate about motivating and inspiring students to develop academic, career, and life goals. Prior to Cal State LA, he has worked in various areas of student affairs such as student housing, student life, TRiO Student Support Services, TRiO Upward Bound, EOPS, and career education.
Beth Yuan, Professional Staff Advisor
Beth Yuan graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis, and an MBA from California State University, Los Angeles. She has over 15 years of experience at Cal State L.A., working in various departments like Extended Education, Admissions, and currently serves as an academic advisor. Beth volunteered at the Billie Jean King & Friends Event. She enjoys reading, traveling, and nature.
Joaquin Franco, Professional Staff Advisor
Joaquin Franco earned his B.A. in Human Services at Cal State Fullerton and his Master’s in Educational Administration at Cal State Northridge. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Ed.D. Educational Leadership program at Cal State Northridge. His dissertation is on the first-year transitional experiences of foster youth. Joaquin’s passion and focus is on assisting disadvantaged populations. He has spent years working with groups such as foster youth, first-generation, low-income and AB 540 students. He has worked at Cal State L.A. for 4 years as an Academic Advisor.
Joaquin believes each student has the potential to succeed in whatever endeavors they choose and his focus is on removing any barriers that prevent students from being successful. He believes on taking a holistic approach to advisement focusing on the students’ strengths to acknowledge the power they possess and to empower them to become good global citizens.
Karissa Pimentel, Professional Staff Advisor
Karissa Pimentel (she/her/ella) is a first-generation Latina college graduate. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Services from California State University, Los Angeles. She went on to complete a Master of Science degree in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. Karissa started her higher education career with Pasadena City College in the Robert G. Freeman Center for Career and Completion as a Career Advisor. She is excited to be back at her alma mater and is committed to assisting students to achieve their academic and professional goals!
Monica C Lee, Professional Staff Advisor
Monica Lee graduated from UCLA with a Master’s in Education, along with a single-subject teaching credential in Science (Biology, Chemistry, General Science) and Physical Education. She started her career in teaching middle and high school for a few years before transitioning to Higher Education. Along with being an Academic Advisor for the College of Business and Economics, Monica also teaches Kinesiology courses as adjunct faculty within the College of Health and Human Services.
Siu Leung, Professional Staff Advisor Siu Leung is originally from Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles. He got his Bachelor of Science in Applied Ecology (think environmental engineering/sciences) at the University of California, Irvine. He joined the Cal State LA family in 2006 and has held positions in both Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. He also brings experiences from various private institutions with him, including Conexant (formerly Rockwell Semiconductor Systems), Prime Wheel (OEM wheel manufacturing company), and eToys (e-commerce company). He also enjoys sports, watching movies, television shows, and art. He has also helped to plan and curate art shows at a local art gallery with various artists and professionals from Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Bros…etc. and is known to have created some artwork of his own.
Daniel Ruiz, Intake and Operations Coordinator
Daniel Ruiz graduated with a Bachelor in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Originally from Southern California, Daniel started his professional higher education career with Whittier College, a 4-year private liberal arts college in the Counseling Services Center as Program Assistant. Daniel has a diverse background in higher education, having been a resident advisor for ECU and a student assistant for both the Campus Living and Judicial Affairs offices at his alma mater.
1. Assist with understanding major, general education, and university requirements.
2. Review your selection of classes to make sure courses are appropriate.
3. Help you develop strategies for academic success.
4. Provide information regarding University requirements, policies & procedures.