Leadership Spotlight


Don Sanchez Kitch portrait

Don Sanchez Kitch, Class of 2020

Don Sanchez Kitch is the new Site Director for the Belleview location of Family Promise in Scottsdale, AZ. Family Promise operates four locations that transition homeless families into emergency shelters. Family Promise leads families through a 60 day program to assist with employment & permanent housing. Don’s primary concern is helping the kids who are experiencing a loss of stability gain personal confidence as they see their parents succeeding through hardship. Don is starting an M.S. in Organizational Leadership at the University of Colorado Boulder in Spring 2021.

Seleana Kleparek portrait

Seleana Kleparek, Class of 2020

Seleana Kleparek is the new Reading Seed Program Manager at Literacy Connects!

Tony Viola, Class of 2020

Tony Viola is the Outstanding College of Education Senior for the May 2020 graduation. Tony is also the recipient of one of the University’s top Undergraduate Honors, the Robie Gold Medal. This honor is awarded to students of high “personal integrity, initiative, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, humility, well-rounded interests, active participation in student affairs, service to the University, and an overall willingness to give more than required…” Tony will be back at the UA this fall to start a PhD in Language, Reading and Culture in the Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies Department as one of two recipients of the Richard A. Harvill Graduate Fellowship. This fellowship completely covers his entire first year of doctoral studies! Congratulations, Tony!!!

Joseph Sturm portrait

Joseph Sturm, Class of 2020

Joseph Sturm is the May 2020 Outstanding LLL Senior. Joseph has been intimately involved with the College of Education and the greater university committee his entire UA Career. Joseph will continue as a Wildcat this fall as he starts a PhD in Higher Education at the University of Arizona!

Celia Romick portrait

Celia Romick, Class of 2019

Celia Romick (Class of 2019) is an educational assistant at the Marysville YMCA in Marysville, WA. In this role Celia performs a variety of instructional, on-line learning support to assist YMCA staff during synchronous instruction for the school year.

Rebecca Perez portrait

Rebecca Perez, Class of 2019

Rebecca is getting her PhD in Education at the University of California, Davis. Rebecca’s research is on environmental education and citizen science!

Rena Mendoza portrait

Rena Mendoza, Class of 2019

Rena Mendoza is the Outstanding Senior for the College of Education. Starting in the spring, Rena will be returning to the UA for her graduate degree in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies!

Natalie Larez portrait

Natalie Larez, Class of 2019

In fall 2019, Natalie is attending the University of California, Santa Barbara to pursue a Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Natalie’s research interests include childhood trauma in underserved communities and the development of possible repercussions in multiple youth environments---schools, hospitals, juvenile detention centers, foster care, and universities/colleges. Natalie’s goal is to become a research professor and mentor for underrepresented students.

Ashlee Parra portrait

Ashlee Parra, Class of 2019

Ashlee Parra (Class of 2019) is now Assistant Learning Specialist for CATS Academics within Arizona Athletics. Ashlee just graduated with her MA in Higher Education in December 2020.

Andrea Gauthier portrait

Andrea Gauthier, Class of 2019 Outstanding LLL Senior, May Convocation

Andrea is joining a Leadership Development Program with Axon, an Arizona-based company focused on public safety technology.  Congratulations, Andrea!

Kylee Baldwin portrait

Kylee Baldwin, Class of 2018

Kylee Baldwin is a Senior Recruiting Coordinator for Matrix Absence Management in Phoenix, Arizona.  In her role at Matrix, Kylee suggests compensation offers to managers, makes official offers to candidates,  serves as the point of contact for candidates until their first day, sends weekly staffing updates to upper management, and oversees the Glassdoor and employment branding efforts.

Sarah Azhar portrait

Sarah Azhar, Class of 2018

Sarah Azhar has graduated from New York University with a Master’s Degree in Digital Media Design for Learning. Sarah works as an Analyst in Organizational Effectiveness Systems & Online Learning for Jet Blue Airlines.

Colin Eischeid portrait

Colin Eischeid, Class of 2018

Colin Eischeid received his Master’s in Teaching and Teacher Education in December 2019 and was selected as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the College of Education.

Colin is a Senior Student Support Specialist for the UA SALT Center.

Sergio Castro portrait

Sergio Castro, Class of 2018

Sergio is working on a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Arizona. Sergio’s research is on underserved students’ access to higher education.

Michelle Yu portrait

Michelle Yu, Class of 2018

Michelle Yu is a Recruitment Advisor at Medix, a national staffing company working primarily within the Healthcare Industry, assisting clients with their hiring needs by conducting phone screens and face to face interviews with potential candidates.

John Gallo Portrait

John Gallo, Class of 2018, COE Outstanding Senior, December Convocation

John Gallo has accepted a Promising Scholar Award at the University of Oregon for a Ph.D. in School Psychology and a M.S. in Special Education.  John will begin his degree in fall 2019!  Congratulations, John!

Parick Polanco portrait

Patrick Polanco, Class of 2018

Patrick is a Facilitator for the Guy Talk program with Child & Family Resources. Guy Talk is a program of personal empowerment and reproductive health information for boys 14-17 years of age. As a Guy Talk Facilitator, Patrick leads multiple workshop groups in high schools during the day or in an afterschool setting for 5 consecutive weeks. This summer Patrick will begin to provide curriculum training to certify others in the Guy Talk curriculum. In addition, Patrick also works as a Behavioral Health Paraprofessional (BHPP) for Zarephath, where he provides quality respite care for children ages 5-17, who have been diagnosed with behavioral health disorders.

Rose Makinen portrait

Rosie Makinen, Class of 2018

Rosie is an Education Partnership Representative for Zovio (formerly Bridgepoint Education) doing corporate education benefit events for different companies across the nation.

Thea Van Gorp sitting at a table

Thea Van Gorp, Class of 2018 Outstanding LLL Senior, December Convocation

Thea Van Gorp is currently attending Columbia University in New York City pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology and Education with an emphasis on Informal Education. She is also a museum educator at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, running field trips and after school programs.

Renna Bazlen standing with coast line behind her

Renna Bazlen, Class of 2018

Renna Bazlen is the new Career Development Specialist for the International Rescue Committee in San Jose, CA.

Nicole in a dance pose on steps leading up to a building

Nicole Del Principe, Class of 2018

Nicole Del Principe is teaching Dance and Physical Education at Sabino High School (Tucson Unified School District).

Alexis Dotson portrait

Alexis Dotson, Class of 2017

Alexis Dotson, a May 2020 graduate of the School Counselling Degree, has been accepted to Howard University and selected for the Frederick Douglass Doctoral Scholars Program. This program, is awarded to new Ph.D. students and is designed to recruit academically talented students with an interest in college or university teaching.

Stephanie Choi portrait

Stephanie Choi, Class of 2017, COE Outstanding Senior, May Convocation

After several years working on renewable energy projects for the Department of Sustainability for the city of Cleveland, Stephanie is now at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts working for the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability. In her new role as the Sustainability Communications and Student Engagement Coordinator, Stephanie communicates sustainability initiatives at Smith to students, staff, faculty, and the wider public through various print and digital platforms. Stephanie also works in student programming, including the Eco-Reps program and supporting student clubs and organizations, as well as individual students interested in sustainability.

Alison posing in front of YMCA Camp Mohawk sign

Alison Irwin, Class of 2017

Alison is the Associate Director of YMCA Camp Mohawk in Litchfield, Connecticut. Camp Mohawk is an all-girls YMCA camp that was established in 1920.

Kenny standing out in the snow

Kenny Briggs, Class of 2017

Kenny Briggs is in Flagstaff, AZ, doing assessment with Intermountain Centers, an Arizona nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive behavioral, speech and psychological services for children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Kenny is working towards becoming a behavioral therapist and is starting a behavioral health home with Intermountain.

Juloni portrait

Juloni Davis, Class of 2017

Juloni Davis is a counselor at the Clare Foundation in Santa Monica, a crisis residential treatment center for adult mental health.

Maya Bakerman portrait

Maya Bakerman, Class of 2016

Maya Bakerman graduated in 2020 with a Master’s in Public Health from Grand Canyon University. After working several years for the Planetary Science Institute as an Educational Outreach and Program Coordinator, Maya now works as the Special Projects Coordinator at MIKID, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support, education, and skills development to families and their children as well as youth and young adults who are experiencing mental health and behavior challenges throughout Arizona. In this new position, Maya will coordinate outreach and supportive services to help participants gain access to health care and treatment, pursue educational goals, enter into rehabilitation and recovery programs, develop vocational and social skills, and secure housing and employment.

Nick Giannini portrait

Nick Giannini, Class of 2016

Nick Giannini is a Quality Assurance Specialist for Sharper Image, doing quality assurance analysis on calls, online chats, emails, and customer satisfaction surveys. Nick also provides coaching to the customer service and sales agents and is in charge of writing up performance reviews and reports.

Spencer Brickell in cap in gown portrait

Spencer Brickell, Class of 2016

Spencer Brickell is an Instructional Systems Designer for KeyBridge Technologies, Inc. in Oklahoma City. Spencer received her MA in Adult Education from the University of Oklahoma and is now working on a Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology and Technology!

Chris Mims Portrait

Chris Mims, Class of 2016

Chris Mims is now working at Curriculum Associates, a company with a mission to make classrooms better for teachers and students. Chris leads a team that services current partners to ensure their implementation is successful and trains new hires within the Tucson office location.

Oscar Guerin portrait

Oscar Guerin, Class of 2016

Oscar is Practice Manager at Lichfield Family Medicine Clinic and Estrella Health Center in Phoenix, overseeing the day to day operations, employee engagement, and development.

Monika Cabrera portrait

Monika Cabrera, Class of 2016

After several years as a Program Coordinator for Youth on their Own, Monika Cabrera is now pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Counseling with an emphasis in School Counseling at the University of Arizona. Monika is an AmeriCorps intern and a graduate teaching assistant at the Guerrero Student Center on campus. Monika is also a recipient of the NBCC Foundation’s Minority Fellowship Award for this coming year.

Paige Moffett selfie

Paige Moffet, Class of 2016

Paige Moffett is working as the Programs and Operations Manager for the Chattanooga School of Language! Paige is currently working on her MBA and hopes to get a certificate in nonprofit management as well!

Amanda Agate in graduation cap portrait

Amanda Agate, Class of 2015

Amanda graduated in May 2019 with her MA in English Applied Linguistics. Amanda is now the Global Teach and Learn Coordinator for UAGlobal. In this role, Amanda is responsible for developing content and teaching success courses to students in UA Micro-campuses around the world.

Angel Navarro portrait

Angel Navarro, Class of 2015

Angel is a Learning Specialist at the UA Think Tank. Think Tank is a U of A centralized system that supports students to develop their academic and personal life skills to their full potential. As a Learning Specialist, Angel works one-on-one with students in the Schedule for Success program, so that they are successful at the U of A. Angel is working on an MEd in Educational Leadership.

Lacey Smyth portrait

Lacey Smyth, Class of 2015, COE Outstanding Senior, May Convocation

Lacey is a Learning Specialist for Student-Athletes at Oregon State University, working with an academically at-risk population of student-athletes to build their organizational, time management, and study skills through weekly meetings.  Lacey also oversees the Mentor Program for athletes at  OSU.

Liz in front of old main portrait

Elizabeth (Kelly) Marsalla, Class of 2014

Elizabeth is the Senior Program Coordinator for the UA Institute of the Environment. In this role, Elizabeth plans events and programming for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and guests of UA in areas concerning the environment. Elizabeth is also the Coordinator of the UA Carson Scholars program supporting the faculty mentors and graduate scholars in their year-long fellowship. The UA Carson Scholars program selects top graduate students across disciplines in areas concerning the environment and trains them in the art of effective science communication, so they are able to reach wider audiences and engage more deeply with the communities their work impacts.

Monique Perez standing in the library of congress

Monique Perez, Class of 2014

In summer 2017, Monique was selected for a 10-week internship program at the Library of Congress as part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities Internship Program. Monique worked as a Program Support Assistant for the Internship & Fellowship Programs Division at the Library of Congress, a program that oversees over 80 programs throughout the Library of Congress. In 2019, Monique received her MA in Library & Information Science. Monique is an assistant manager and children’s librarian at the Woods Memorial Library in Tucson, AZ.