President's Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Advisory Council

The HSI Advisory Council is Chaired by the School of Education Dean Laura Alamillo, with Professor Robert Train assisting her, and includes individuals from across the campus, in the community, and Sonoma State alums.

The Council will create an HSI success construct based on “servingness”. Servingness is a concept that Gina Garcia, Anne-Marie Núñez, and Vanessa A. Sansone (2019) argue is “a multidimensional and conceptual way to understand what it means to move from simply enrolling Latinx students to actually serving them.” The Council’s work will also be aligned with our core values as articulated in our Strategic Plan and Graduation Initiative 2025. You can read more about “servingness” in this article.

Charge of the Advisory Council

The purpose of the Council is to advise the President on HSI excellencia initiatives, focusing on the following areas: 

  1. Deeply examine the barriers in the university that are preventing Latinx students from fully succeeding.
  2. Review and make recommendations on campus policies, practices, and procedures that may inhibit student success.
  3. Analyze the April 2023 campus climate data and raise any questions and concerns about what it says, and how we might address the concerns.

The Council will meet throughout the academic year and will submit a end of the year report to the President in May 2024. 

Advisory Council Membership

  • Marie Ramirez Downing, Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts Performance 
  • David Crozier, Associate Vice President Financial Services 
  • Gerald L. Jones, Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Access and Educational Equity
  • Heather Brown, Associate Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness
  • Laura Alamillo, Dean School of Education, Co-Chair        
  • Mario A. Perez, Vice President for University Advancement 
  • Robert Eyler, Interim AVP Government Relations 
  • Natalia Villanueve-Nieves, Assistant Professor, Chicano and Latino Studies
  • Robert Train, Professor, Department Modern Languages, Co-Chair     
  • Ronald Lopez, Professor, Department Chair Chicano and Latino Studies
  • Alma Sanchez-Carreno, DREAM Center Coordinator
  • Maricela Ibarra Aceves, Credential Office, School of Education 
  • Shelly Gomez, Manager, Seawolf Scholars
  • Bianca Delgado, Senior Program Coordinator, HUB Cultural Center
  • Vanessa Sanchez, Associated Students Senator for Diversity
  • Luis Gutierrez, Student Representative 
  • Ashley Escobar-Macias, Student Representative 
  • Roberto Campos, Student Representative 
  • Tramaine Austin-Dillon, Manager, DEI Programs and Initiatives, Staff to the HSI Advisory Council and Ex-Officio Member
  • Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Chief of Staff/Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Diversity, Ex-Officio Member