Read the CCPA Bylaws and Position Descriptions below.
Julia Stanton received her master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University and has worked in orientation, first-year experience programs, residential life, student conduct, and student activities. After moving to California, Julia got involved with CCPA in 2013, supporting spring institute planning. In 2017, she won the award for Outstanding Service to the Association and served as CCPA’s Director of Professional Development from 2017-2018, coordinating CCPA’s institute on Intersectionality & Inclusion. She has worked for three different universities in California and currently serves as the Director of Orientation Programs at Loyola Marymount University.
Dr. Tracy Pascua Dea is currently the Senior Director of Student Services at University of California, Berkeley. She was the former Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success and Co-Director of the High Potential First Generation to College Program at Saint Mary’s College of California. She also teaches part-time at Northeastern University. Her research and teaching focus on student success with an emphasis on first generation and historically marginalized student populations, strengths-based institutional change, first generation professionals with special interest in the Asian Pacific Islander community, and the power of narratives for social change. She has developed on-ground and on-line, domestic and international graduate and undergraduate programs and collaborated with Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations. Throughout her career, Tracy has been active in service to the community and has held leadership roles in professional organizations. Her family immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines. She is the first in her family to attend college in the U.S. Tracy earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and B.A. in Psychology from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She is co-author of NextGenFirstGen.com.
Solomon Matthews is a higher education professional from New Orleans, Louisiana who currently serves as an Associate Director for USC’s Office of Orientation Programs. With over five years of experience in higher education, Solomon specializes in new student and family programs and student leadership development. Solomon believes that the key to student success is centering students in every aspect of program development and outcomes. Solomon graduated from USC as a Master of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs. During his time at USC, he served as Vice President of USC’s Black Graduate Student Network and regularly attended higher education events such as NASPA and NODA Regional and Annual Conferences. As a first-generation college student, Solomon attended Northwestern State University of Louisiana where he faced racial and socioeconomic adversity, but also discovered his passion for student affairs during his time as a student leader. Previously, Solomon was the Academic and Career Specialist for predominately BIPOC students in the USC Rossier School of Education Master’s Programs Office where he received Outstanding Staff Member for two consecutive years.
Dr. Aaron Jones | University of California, Santa Cruz | Director of professional development
Aaron Aaron Jones has spent the last 10 years within student affairs and educational spaces creating programs and advocating for social justice and inclusion at various institutions and non-profit organizations. Aaron currently serves as Interim Director for Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) at the University of California Santa Cruz. Aaron is an alumnus of the University of California Riverside, receiving his BA in English and M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Policy. He completed his doctorate at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Higher Education Leadership . His dissertation centered on creating spaces for thriving for incoming Black students at a Dominantly White Institution. Aaron joined UCSC to do academic advising, counseling, and equity-minded success initiatives as African/Black/Caribbean Retention Specialist, later as Associate Director for Black Student Success, reporting to the African American Resource and Cultural Center and EOP. Prior to UCSC, he served as a Residence Director at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He has served in various leadership roles in local and national organizations like Council of UC Staff Assemblies, UC Council on Student Fees, UC Student Association, NASPA, ACPA, and CCPA. As a graduate student in 2011, Aaron was the graduate student representative and later UC constituency representative.
Freddy Gutierrez, MFA, is the Director of the Center for Social Justice and Civic Engagement and teaches part time in the English department at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, occupied Ohlone territory. He received a BA from the University of San Francisco in Performing Arts & Social Justice and his MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College In Oakland. Freddy has taught as a teaching artist and cultural worker in middle and high schools, as well as, juvenile detention centers and prisons in the Bay Area and abroad. He posits that culture is the keystone for student persistence and that all who work in higher education must be keen in their ability to cultivate a disposition rooted in cultural responsiveness and too, affirms that the premise of education is to raise consciousness and that no matter what position one holds at the institution, one should attempt to provide catalyzing experiences for students in order to lead them towards critical consciousness. Freddy is a solo father of two, writes poetry, tends a garden, and bakes delicious glutenless chocolate chip cookies.
Ryan Christopher Johnson has worked as a professional in the field of higher education since 2008. He started his career with the University-Student Union at California State University, Los Angeles, where he coordinated on and off campus art, music, entertainment, and community service events. In this role, he discovered his passion for working with first-time freshmen to help close their retention gap, and developed the Freshman Activities Board to program community-building events specifically for this population. From there, Christopher helped to create a new department, New Student and Family Programs where he currently serves as its founding director and is able to focus his efforts to assist first-year students. In addition to overseeing new student orientation, Christopher also coordinates the campus’ main parent engagement efforts, implementing a year-long workshop series for parents and family support members, as well as social events and volunteer opportunities. He also coordinates a peer mentoring program that provides social and academic support for first-year Black freshmen and transfer students and their allies. Christopher previously served as the Awards Coordinator and a Member-at-Large for CCPA.
Dr. Soua Xiong is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation at California State University, Fresno where he also coordinate the Student Affairs and College Counseling program. As a student affairs practitioner, he has experience in outreach and recruitment, advising, and counseling for TRiO and other educational opportunity programs. He completed his M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fresno and his Ph.D. in Education, with an emphasis in Higher Education/Student Affairs, from the Joint Doctoral Program between Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University. Diverse Issues in Higher Education recently names Dr. Xiong a 2021 Emerging Scholar. He is a former President of CCPA (2017-2018) and received the award for Outstanding Service to CCPA in 2020.
Nancy Cheng is a first-generation queer immigrant who moved to the United States in her teenage years. Learning English as her third language, Nancy consequently entered the American higher education system with limited familiarity and limited support. She went on to become a counselor and an educator to help students navigate through their journey in higher education in hopes that, with proper guidance and mentorship, they too may have a success story to be proud of. Her professional journey began during her time at the University of California, San Diego where she focused on systemic inequality, educational equity, and social justice. Her interests lay in expanding access and creating tangible opportunities for historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities.
Currently, Nancy Cheng is a second-year graduate student at California State University, Fresno’s Student Affairs and College Counseling (SACC) Program. She serves as the Research and Internship Assistant Coordinator at the Advising and Resources Center. She is also the President of the SACC Graduate Student Association. Furthermore, she is involved on campus as a Peer Mentor at Wayfinders, a Bulldog Global Ambassador for the Study Abroad Office, and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council at the College of Science and Mathematics. In her free time, you’ll find her learning new nerdy things such as playing the Rubik’s Cube, Chess, and the Steel Tongue Drums!
Jose L. Medina III (he, him, his) is an aspiring Student Affairs Professional who completed an Associate of Arts for Transfer in History and Psychology at Merced Community College District (Merced College) in 2018. He then went on to complete his Bachelor of Art in History at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) in Spring 2020. He is currently a first-year graduate student at Fresno State pursuing a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Affairs and College Counseling. Jose’s journey in Student Affairs began as a Student Ambassador while attending Merced College. From there he went on to serve in various functional areas. The functional areas include: Auxiliary Services, Career Services, Orientation Programs, Transfer Student Programs and Services, TRIO and College Access Programs, Undergraduate Admissions Programs and Services. Jose currently works as a Counselor Intern with the office of Admissions and Recruitment at Fresno State as well as a Peer Advisor for Central Valley Cal-SOAP. Jose’s goal is to bring more collaboration within the field of Student Affairs and connect with graduate students and professionals to make an impact in the lives of student just as many have made an impact on his academic journey.