Meet the Advising Team

Beth Yuan

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.

Casimiro Tolentino

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.

Daniel Ponce

Daniel Ponce, Intake and Operations Coordinator

Daniel Ponce (he/him/his/el) was born and raised in Los Angeles. Daniel obtained his Bachelors Degree in English/Chicana/o Studies and minor in Education Studies at UCLA in 2021. Daniel gained interest in student affairs when he worked as an Academic Peer Counselor for UCLA's Student Retention Center. He held one-on-one counseling sessions to help students with their academic and holistic goals. Daniel continued his professional higher education career working for the Events and Transportation Office at UCLA. Before coming to Cal State LA, Daniel also worked as an Administrative Assistant at Santa Monica College. Daniel enjoys working with students and giving them tools to grow and develop new skills. During his free time, Daniel likes to read, watch movies, go hiking and cook new recipes.

Daniel Ruiz

Daniel Ruiz, Professional Staff Advisor

Daniel Ruiz graduated with a Bachelors 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. He served the Cal State LA College of Business and Economics Student Services Center as Intake and Operations Coordinator for several years and is now part of the Academic Advising team.

Faraah Mullings Brown

Faraah Mullings Brown, Professional Staff Advisor

Dr. Faraah Mullings Brown comes to CalStateLA with 18 years of experience in higher education. Her professional background includes residence life, student activities, student government, Greek Life, student programming, and commuter services whereby she fostered faculty student interaction, created a dynamic student life experience, pioneered basic needs initiatives and increased commuter student retention. Faraah also has served as an instructor for first year experience and graduate studies at two independent faith-based institutions. Her most recent role ventured into research consulting for graduate admissions at the University of Southern California. Faraah is delighted to join the College of Business and Economics as an Academic Advisor where she will have the opportunity to be intentional in supporting the growth and development of students in pursuing their personal and professional goals.

Karissa Pimentel

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!

Luz Santana

Luz Santana, Professional Staff Advisor

Luz Santana was raised in the city of Indio where she graduated from La Quinta High School. She attended California State University, San Bernardino where she received a dual B.A in Psychology & Human Development. In 2020, Luz attained her M.S degree in College Counseling & Student Development from Azusa Pacific University. Before joining the Cal State LA family, Luz served as an Academic Counselor for the Center for Advising & Academic Success at Whittier College where she worked extensively one-on-one with a caseload of students to provide individualized academic counseling. Luz is passionate about serving students by cultivating opportunities for them to attain and achieve their own, unique definition of success. On her time off, Luz enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones and sightseeing!

Siu Leung

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.

Sophia Heiser

Sophia Heiser, Professional Staff Advisor

Sophia Heiser (she/her) graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and continued on to earn her Master of Applied Positive Psychology in 2020, also from UPenn. Her professional background is in student services and research, having worked with infants and young children at Penn's Infant Language Development Lab, undergraduate and graduate students in Penn's Psychology and Cognitive Science departments, middle and high school students at Ivy League Potential, and working adult students at Guild Education. She believes in a person-first approach to student advising, supporting and celebrating you as a whole person - because you are more than just a student. Sophia loves animals (she has a cat and dog walks for her neighbors), baking, reading, woodworking, and learning about other people's interests!


Adviser's Role:

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.